Shoebox units add diversity, says analyst

The debate between industry veterans over the viability of shoebox units is growing, with Dr Chua Yang Liang, Head of Research at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Southeast Asia, adding his support for the homes which are no larger than 500 sq ft in size.

Speaking to PropertyGuru on the sidelines of the property portal’s strategic investment announcement yesterday, he said: “It’s an open market so let the market decide.” This was made in reference to a recent comment by CapitaLand’s CEO Liew Mun Leong, who referred to shoebox units as ‘inhuman’.

“Shoebox units add more diversity into the housing sector and is a reflection of maturity in Singapore’s housing market. It also provides opportunities for singles and young buyers to enter the private property market,” noted Chua.

With regards to possible cooling measures in the shoebox arena, he suggested that the government may implement a minimum size ruling for new homes as well as strictly enforce guidelines set in May for developers to ensure accurate representation of their showflats.

Liew had earlier claimed that such homes are ‘almost inhuman’ and even urged the government to put restrictions on the rising number of shoebox units.

In a media report yesterday, Oxley Holdings boss Ching Chiat Kwong countered that by saying there is nothing ‘inhuman’ about shoebox units.

“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?,” he said.

Oxley is known for featuring shoebox homes in its developments throughout Singapore.

Source : PropertyGuru – 2012 Jun 8

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