URA cuts number of units allowed to be built in condos, private flats

The move aims to safeguard the liveability of housing estates in Singapore by restricting the reduction of private condo sizes. 

UPDATED: The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) changed the formula for determining the maximum number of units that developers can build in new non-landed residential projects outside Singapore’s central region on Wednesday (17 Oct), reported Channel NewsAsia.

It said the move is to “safeguard the liveability” of housing estates by restricting the reduction in sizes of private condos and curtailing the number of shoebox units or small condos.

More: URA To Adjust Guidelines If Developers Build Too Many Shoebox Units

In the Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) by the National University of Singapore (NUS), small units are defined as those measuring 506 sq ft or below.

Currently, the maximum number of residential units in a development is attained by dividing the project’s gross floor area (GFA) by 70 sq m. But starting on 17 January 2019, the divisor to be used is 85 sq m.

For nine areas where a large number of homes can negatively impact the local infrastructure, the divisor that needs to be used is 100 sq m. By increasing the divisor, the resulting quotient or the maximum number of homes will be lower.

In particular, the higher rate of 100 sq m will apply to Loyang, Shelford, Balestier, Marine Parade, Pasir Panjang, Kovan-How Sun, Stevens-Chancery, Joo Chiat-Mountbatten and Telok Kurau-Jalan Eunos.

“With the revised guidelines, developers are encouraged to provide a wide range of unit sizes which will cater to the diverse needs of all segments of the market, including larger families,” said URA’s group director for development control, Goh Chin Chin.

Meanwhile, the Straits Times reported that URA will address the feedback of buyers struggling to find condos without balconies, in addition to its observation that some projects have excessively large balconies.

To tackle these issues, it will cut the bonus GFA of a project’s private outdoor spaces from 10 percent to 7.0 percent, and limit overall balcony space for each unit to 15 percent of the net internal area.

Furthermore, there is a new bonus GFA scheme to spur developers to build more indoor recreation spaces like libraries, gyms and function rooms. This scheme, which takes effect immediately, provides a bonus GFA for such spaces limited to one percent of a residential project’s total area, or GFA of housing component only for mixed-use projects.

Source: Propertyguru