Leave shoebox units to demand and supply

From Tang Fook Meng

I refer to Mr Paul Chan’s letter “Set minimum size for homes” (June 14). Given a choice, most people or families would likely prefer a bigger home. Who does not want a better quality of life?

One could legislate, like what Mr Chan proposed, for a minimum 60-sq-m apartment. But at what price? Is the Government now expected to subsidise private housing? The most important consideration for any housing, shoebox or otherwise, has to be affordability.

If one overstretches, above what one could afford comfortably – and housing is only one aspect of living expenditure – then one is asking for trouble in the years ahead. Not all would qualify for a public flat. They can turn only to private housing.

Hence, the best approach is to leave it to demand and supply. If the economy continues to do well, enough jobs go around, wages go up, inflation is contained, prices of land and housing are stabilised, then we may see less demand for shoebox apartments.

Of all the points raised in the shoebox debate, it was most heartening to note the assurance given that the size of public flats will not shrink. I hope that prices will also remain stable and affordable for most people.

Source : Today – 2012 Jun 17

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