SINGAPORE – The median size for units in new condominiums has shrunk in the past decade, but continuing robust demand has kept per-square-foot prices trending higher.
The median size for new homes in the suburbs fell from 116 sq m in 2007 to 71 sq m (the equivalent of a two-bedder) last year. Resale units downsized from 118 sq m to 106 sq m over the same period.
The squeeze is even more evident in other areas. The median size for new condos in prime districts shrank from 119 sq m in 2009 to just 62 sq m last year, while units in the city fringe dropped from 100 sq m to 69 sq m.
“New homes are smaller now but they have more facilities and smart features, and the layout is more efficient. Family sizes are also smaller now, so why not?” Colliers International head of research (Singapore) Tricia Song said. “There’s a more efficient layout as bomb shelters are no longer required within a unit, and there are fewer planters and bay windows. There is also less storage needed due to tech advances.”
But the Government’s move in 2018 to try to reverse the trend of developers building more shoebox units is starting to have an impact.
Hong Leong Group’s 566-unit joint venture project Penrose in Aljunied and its other joint venture project One-North Eden, which is slated for launch in the first half of this year, have made provisions for larger units in accordance with the guidelines, a spokesman said.
“These provisions are balanced and in proportion to the project size. At the same time, small units remain in demand, given their overall price quantum and investment value. There are buyers who still prefer smaller units to accommodate smaller families or for rental yield,” Hong Leong said.
New Urban Redevelopment Authority rules that took effect in January 2019 cut the maximum number of units allowed in new private flat and condo developments outside the central area in a bid to manage potential strains on infrastructure.
The minimum average unit size for such developments outside the central area – including new private flats and condominium developments – went up from 70 sq m to at least 85 sq m. The new guidelines applied to new development applications for projects submitted on or after Jan 17, 2019.
Ms Song said the guidelines did not have an impact on unit sizes in 2019 because many projects, particularly those acquired via collective sale in 2017 and 2018, had obtained planning approval before the rules kicked in. “But there was a slight uptick in median unit sizes in 2020 for new condos in the suburbs and city fringe area.”
“Source: [More condo and HDB units leased last month as rents rise] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction”