The bigger the unit, the better it is, definitely. (PPR)

The Housing Development Board of Singapore has this line in their website. “With more than 1 million flats spread across 23 towns and 3 estates, the Singapore brand of public housing is uniquely different. The flats spell home for over 80% of Singapore’s resident population, of which, about 90% own their home.”  Here’s the site.  I could not find any reliable source to say what’s the percentage of Malaysians staying in some forms of government built homes. I seriously do think the government has a huge role to play when it comes to ensuring that Malaysians do own the home they stay in. This is the only way that they do not pay rental forever and remain poor. Fortunately, I think the government is getting increasingly more concerned because the needs for affordable housing is getting higher but the numbers are not really growing and despite this huge demand and little supply, the number of unsold units continue to be high! Demand will always be selective. Thus, supply that does not meet the requirements would move on to join the unsold units statistics. Well, how about building bigger units then?

Currently, the People’s Housing Project (PPR) size per unit is 600 sq ft. There are now plans to increase it to 900 sq ft. What happens to the price then? This is from the Housing and Local Government Ministry.  Its minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said that the price will be adjusted because of the financial implications in terms of construction costs and subsidies which comes with a bigger sized unit. She said, “We are very careful in terms of price to ensure it will not be wasteful.” Zuraida added that the reason for bigger units is because there are wishes for bigger units from people with large households for a bigger and more comfortable homes. For now, the federal government is drawing up a policy requiring state governments to provide bigger land for the construction of PPR houses and other basic amenities. “With this condition, it will lower the prices (of PPR unit) and will not affect the prices of low-cost houses,” she said. Besides this, the ministry will also be discussing with Bank Negara for flexibility in terms of bank loan facility to PPR house applicants.  Here’s that full article in EdgeProp for reference. 

Personally, every time someone asked me about projects, my question is always on the size as one of the key priorities. The reason is very simple. Building a 1,000 sq ft apartment today will be many times cheaper than building a 1,000 sq ft apartment 10 years in the future. This is even assuming that the land is provided by the state government at nearly the same rate as 10 years ago. Construction costs would have gone up as the years go by too. Thus, in the future the focus would still be on the affordability factor. By then, more units would have to be built on the same piece of land so that the costs are more manageable. More units, same piece of land, that would mean smaller units. By then, car parks would no longer be a standard. It would be a premium but the home will be connected to a public transport, whether it’s a bus stop or LRT / MRT stations for example. So, building larger units today is a good decision. Perhaps in the future, the number of people in the households would also be shrinking. When that happens, perhaps larger units are no longer a priority. Happy following.

Featured image source is from Astro Awani. 

written on 2 Aug 2018

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