Sunday, April 18, 2010

Not only do you have to worry about condo prices, but parking too!


The wife and I have been wondering when the issue of “new condos with fewer carpark lots than apartment units” will finally come to a head. It certainly did not take long – The Sunday Times today has reported on the troubles that car-owning condominium residents can get into when the total number of cars owned exceeds the number of parking space allocated to them.

This has resulted in quarterly balloting of lots for owners with second or third car, charging residents a fee to park their additional vehicles, constant bickering between residents over parking spaces and even threats of lawsuit between dissenting car owners and their condo managements.

While some older condos have 15% more parking spaces than homes, those built in the past five years just meet the government standard of one space for each home.

A rule change in 2005 has allowed condos within 400m of an MRT or LRT station, or in the Central Business District, to have up to 20% fewer spaces.

So Centro Residences, near Ang Mo Kio MRT station, will have 260 spaces for 329 units, while Waterbank @Dakota, near Dakota MRT station, will have 554 spaces for 616 units.

Condo like Centris, above Jurong Point Shopping centre in Boon Lay, charges owners of second or third car $270 to park their vehicles. And examples of upcoming condo projects that do not provide parking spaces include One Rochester (next to Bouna Vista MRT station) and Concourse Skyline (overpass linking to Nicoll Highway MRT station) – owners will have to pay separately for parking.

Even condos with more parking spaces than homes may not be spared the agony of parking disputes, as is the case for Hillington Green in Hillview Avenue. The condo has 480 units and 492 parking spaces.

Some industry observers question the 2005 rule: Home buyers may choose to live near an MRT station not because they do not want to own a car, but for the convenience of their children. Such projects may face parking woes in the future.

The wife and I have a simpler rationale to explain why the 2005 rule is…well… crap. If a family is buying a 3- or 4-bedroom condo apartment for their own stay these days, chances are that they will probably own 2 cars (or more). Even within our circle of DINK (double income, no kid) friends, it is more a norm than exception to find both the husband and wife owning separate vehicles. And the notion that residents (especially expatriates) who are renting units (especially 1- or 2-bedders) in a condo project are unlikely to own a car is, in our opinion, dated.

So the next time you visit the showflat of a new project with fewer carpark lots than apartment units and the marketing agent starts reassuring you with “you don’t really have to worry, many of the 1-bedder residents will not have a car so there will be more than enough lots”, you may need to take that reassurance with a big pinch of salt…

condo parking


.

1 comments:

Jones Morris said...

constant bickering between residents over parking spaces and even threats of lawsuit between dissenting car owners and their condo managements. Jurong MCL Condo

Post a Comment