Oral Answer by Ministry of National Development on air-con ledges and balconies for non-landed residential properties
Apr 4, 2017
Mr Ang Wei Neng: To ask the Minister for National Development whether URA is
(a) reviewing the rule of allowing developers to build large air-con ledges and balconies for non-landed residential properties without them being counted as part of the gross floor area and yet are allowed to be charged to buyers for such space, and
(b) making it mandatory to state the floor areas dedicated for balconies, air-con ledges and other outdoor space in the floor plans of such properties during their launches.
URA grants Gross Floor Area (GFA) exemptions to achieve certain planning objectives. For example, air conditioner ledges below 1m in width are exempted from GFA in order to encourage developers to house air conditioner condensers neatly in residential developments. Balconies, on the other hand, are in fact not exempt from GFA, and developers must pay development charge for them. The rules on what constitutes GFA are publicly available on URA’s website.
Developers factor in strata area when pricing units in their developments. Strata area measures the amount of floor space that is sold to the buyer, on the basis that the space is for the buyer’s exclusive enjoyment. As both balconies and air conditioner ledges solely serve individual units, they are considered to be strata area, and hence, chargeable to the buyer.
It is already mandatory for developers to provide prospective home buyers with a drawn-to-scale floor plan of the unit, and a detailed breakdown of the area of the unit by various types of spaces, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, air conditioner ledges and balconies. This information must be given to prospective home buyers before they pay the booking fee for an Option to Purchase the unit. The floor area of various types of spaces, including air conditioner ledges and balconies, must also be accurately represented in the show-flats. URA will not hesitate to take action against developers who have misrepresented such information to home-buyers. Home buyers are advised to review the information in order to make an informed decision over their purchases.