Nothing ‘inhuman’ about shoebox homes: Oxley boss

Oxley Holdings Chief Ching Chiat Kwong has defended shoebox apartments, following a comment by CapitaLand’s CEO Liew Mun Leong that such units are ‘almost inhuman’.

“Tell me what is more inhuman? Giving a young person an opportunity to buy an affordable first apartment in a good location, or making people cough up S$1,700 psf for a 99-year leasehold residential unit in the suburbs or HDB townships?”

The developer has been actively building shoebox projects throughout Singapore.

However, recent debates on shoebox units have sparked a lot of controversy.

Liew said: “I am dead against shoebox developments,” adding that the government should restrict growing demand for these housing types. “Singapore’s land is very precious and you are wasting your scarce resources (by building shoebox apartments).”

“It’s almost inhuman, it’s not good for the welfare of the family to feel that constrained,” noted Liew.

Meanwhile, the government’s concern is that the number of shoebox units is growing too quickly, with private home sales surging to a near three-year high, setting a record for units purchased below 500 sq ft.

Ching countered that “when a young man or woman leaves the parent’s home for the first time, they want a nice affordable pad which provides adequate personal space”.

“This is a first purchase. In time, they will upgrade, as they get married, and have children. But they can leverage on this first purchase to upgrade to a larger unit. Tell me, what is inhuman about that?”

Source : PropertyGuru – 2012 Jun 7

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