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URA Revises guideline on proportion of bigger units of Non-Private Residential Developments in Central Area

By Kelvin Sin | | 18 October 2022


In order to increase the central areas of Singapore as an attractive place to live, work and play for families, the URA introduced a new guideline on 18th Oct 2022 to stop the increasing number of shoebox units in the non-landed private residential properties.


With effect from Jan 18, 2023, all flats and condominiums in the central area, as well as the residential component of commercial and mixed-use developments, will be required to provide a minimum of 20 per cent of dwelling units with a net internal area of at least 70 sqm, similar to the size of a 2 bedroom unit.


The central area covers 11 planning areas including Outram, Newton, River Valley, the Singapore River, Marina South, Marina East, Rochor, Orchard and the Downtown Core.

Who is affected?

Developers are directly affected with this new change. Larger dwelling units means lesser units built for each project. It also translates to a higher overall price quantum for Investors purchasing a unit for rental. A 365 sqft studio yields about the same rent as a 441 studio unit.


What happened before?

The median size of homes in the central regions has been shrinking, from 94 sqm five years ago to about 73 sqm now. In 2018, the URA reduce 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 went up from 70 sqm to at least 85 sqm. 


What to expect in the future?

Following new rules to limit shoebox apartments

(1) Future developments in the Central area will offer larger units on average. All else equal, lesser units will be supplied in the Central area as anticipated.


(2) Due to the larger sizes of small unit types, we can foresee a higher overall price quantum for the smallest unit types in each development.


(3) Which means that prices of smaller condominium units located in the central area would appear to be more attractive due to its smaller price quantum and result to more appreciation as compared to larger units in the next few years.

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