Thursday, March 22, 2012

Space still key factor for home buyers

Straits Times: Thu, Mar 22
NEWS that a developer is cramming three bedrooms into a tiny flat has put the spotlight on the regulations determining such matters, and it appears the builders have plenty of leeway.


In fact, developers can put as many rooms into a flat as they like, although the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) does review a project's overall design, site configuration and unit layout to ensure a good living environment.


So how Natura, a joint development between Macly Group and Roxy-Pacific Holdings in Hillview, will fare with plans to build 635 sq ft three-bedroom units remains to be seen.


Unsurprisingly, potential buyers told The Straits Times that their chief complaint is space constraints.


Mr Heri Setiabudi, who is in his late 30s and works in the supply chain sector, said such an apartment is 'basically just too small'.


'If you're thinking of renting it out, I don't think people, especially the foreigners, will rent such a small unit... Even if you are single but intend to start a family, (it's too small),' he added.


A manager who wanted to be known only as Alex, 35, said the units may attract investors who 'are thinking of... subletting (them) as three separate rooms'. But he said he would not invest in them because of a 'lack of flexibility'.


'I don't think these will be very long-term tenants. I can't imagine someone who will live there for more than 12 to 24 months.'


A 22-year-old newlywed undergraduate, who wanted to be known only as Mr Ong, said such a flat is not large enough to 'raise a normal-sized family, which has about two kids on average'...

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