Outdoor space loophole – Who benefits?

Current property policies do not  disallow developers to sell free spaces for profit. What free spaces? The space, for example, that comes with your EC “sky suite” or “sky terrace”. The developers may not have paid development charges on them, yet they are charging sky-high prices for this open spaces which adds loads of bucks on an otherwise normal apartment unit.

Forestville EC

Who truly profits from this use of outdoor space? Could the property buyers have thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, on units which claimed to come with huge outdoor areas?

Housing minister, Khaw Boon Wan, has said on his blog that these open spaces were originally meant for developers to create communal spaces for residents and to promote greenery. Instead, you get a few penthouses and sky suites with private open spaces. How would other residents and buyers feel about this? If you’re the buyer of these units, would you think it’s fair to have paid the prices you’ve paid for space which the developer basically got for free? Or do developers have a free say and free play about how the space they bid for are used? What guidelines are there for such spaces?

Photo by the Ministry of National Development

Photo by the Ministry of National Development

In his blog post titled “Who gets short-changed?“, Mr. Khaw also mentions that for the space of one penthouse, the developers could have sold two or more units, each at a higher psf price. Although there are no hard and fast rules for the use of such spaces, for now,  the intention of its use as communal space may be misappropriated even further in future. Also, buyers may not know, but they are unable to cover up or enclose these ‘open’ spaces which came with their units.

Expect some changes. Soon.