Monday, May 28, 2012

Shoeboxes: In the spirit of balanced posting...

While the writer has raised some interesting and valid points, it's rather sad to think that the notion of a home these days are nothing more than a place to go back to sleep to... much like a hotel.

Maybe one reason why many Hong Kongers are rarely at home is because of the fact that most of their apartments are so lacking in space that they have little choice but to go out...?

Reference: "Shoebox flats = Inhuman? Where's the logic?" - The Sunday Times, 27th May 2012



Anonymous said...

I was in HK. Even at 12 am mid week, ppl are out at cha chan tien. The guide cited small apts as one of reasons.

Also, prices have risen to such an extent that ordinary folks hv no choice but to be in small apts.

K said...

Completely agree with above comment. I think it is inhumane that prices are so high that people have no choice but to keep downsizing their apartments, given that real wages have not risen.

Given a choice, everyone would prefer a more spacious apartment. It doesnt help that the govt permits 10% Gross Floor Area balcony allowance, in addition to excluding aircon ledges from GFA.

The Folks @Proptalk said...

Home prices in Singapore have indeed risen sharply, but such phenomenon is not peculiar to our lil island alone. You see the same situation in all major cities, from Hong Kong, to Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and all the way to New York City. Such is the ill that development brings.

The wife and I could well be wrong here, but compared to the other cities mentioned, Singaporeans at least have more options when come to apartment choice, since our public housing policy is probably the best within the list.

We appreciate that there are certain criterias/restrictions associated with public housing purchases. But for a married couple or family unit, the secondary market is always an option. One may argue that the secondary market for public housing has also risen quite substantially, but a decent-sized flat is still generally within reach of most singaporean households.

But if one insists on going "private", then you have to contend with prevailing market prices or wait for the market to correct.

So it is not really a case of lack of affrodable larger-sized homes for most (note: MOST be the operative word here) buyers rather a lack of affordable larger-sized PRIVATE homes.

If one is willing to explore all housing options, we believe that they should be able to look beyond just shoeboxes...unless they are perfectly happy living in one such, of course.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Sam has printed so much monies that all the monies have to flow and be parked somewhere.

Anonymous said...

In response to the comment above on 28 May 2012 @ 7.25 pm, I suppose the group which is excluded from the operative word "MOST" would be those singles who are too old to live with parents (or who live in family homes which are too cramped anyway) but younger than 35. Sadly, these youngsters would have to be rather successful in their careers to be paid the kind of salaries which will allow them to enter the private home market (shoebox units or otherwise) on a single income. How else can a 28-30 year-old afford the downpayment, save for assistance from parents. If their parents are rich, the youngster would not find themselves living in family homes which are too cramped already. The age restriction in public housing needs to be reviewed and overhauled if we were to produce a less disgruntled Gen 'Y'. And it makes no sense to contend that the restrictions encourage singles to get married. Methinks it will take a lot more than the eligibility to purchase an HDB flat to entice a Gen Y-er to marry. Some would take advantage of this rule and enter into sham marriages, which I don't think are the kind of unions that the Government would want to encourage anyway. Fortunately, I'm one of those Gen Y-er who did manage to get a non-shoebox unit on my own without any assistance. But I can well imagine spending significantly less if I were eligible for an HDB flat of the same size. Just two cents worth.

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