New URA guidelines on unit sizes for non-landed projects in Central Area

DEVELOPERS will need to provide for larger homes in non-landed projects in the Central Area from January 2023, when new guidelines from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for dwelling units kick in.

From Jan 18, 2023, a minimum of 20 per cent of dwelling units (DUs) with a nett internal area of 70 square metres (sq m) will be required for all new flats, condominiums and residential components of commercial and mixed-use developments in the Central Area. This size is considered reasonable by URA for small families, taking into account the tighter space constraints of the Central Area.

Since 2018, when URA revised guidelines to “moderate the excessive development of shoebox units”, requirements on dwelling unit size have been applied only to projects outside the Central Area. Developers have to set at least 20 per cent or more of a project’s DUs with nett internal area of at least 100 sq m, and at most 20 per cent of the DUs with nett internal area of less than 50 sq m.

Analysts noted the timeliness of the guidelines in relation to upcoming developments, notably the new Greater Southern Waterfront.

These guidelines will also help to arrest the shrinking of homes in the Central Area, where prices are significantly higher than on the rest of the island.

The impact of these guidelines on the market is likely to be subdued due to the attractiveness of living in the Central Area. In fact, larger units might draw more investors and homeowners to the area.

These guidelines would also help prevent the issue of unsold units in a development.