Globally, we see increasing numbers of high rise residential developments popping up, particularly in cities where population/inhabitant numbers spike. The disparity usually is in the material costs applied to construct in accordance to the design variants. Nonetheless, the structural materials in use seldom vary too far… especially when it is categorized as dwelling for the public masses.
To keep the comparison relative, let’s just look at the regional public housing costs and retail/leasing prices in South-East Asia. Public housing fundamentally is state funded residential development, catered towards providing the citizens & residents with affordable housing. The very fact that it is funded by the state; the criteria essentially is exclusive for citizens & residents only.
In Kuala Lumpur, the price to afford a typical 2 bedroom unit of a high-rise state developed residence hovers at approximately MYR 50K-70K (SGD 21K-29K). In Bangkok, not too many public housing around, but a typical 2 bedroom private condominium unit (little or no facilities) hovers approximately THB 500K-800K (SGD 20K-33K). Meanwhile, here in Singapore, one of similar size sets you back by SGD 350K thereabout.
Unlike condominiums & private properties, where the deed or strata-title encompasses land prices, state funded developments do not include the land’s prices. Therefore, dwellers are literally paying for the individual unit, or in some cases, called air-space.
Singapore though small in land mass, the high rise residential developments are going through a transition of speeding construction, and are going taller to accommodate the increasing population. Therefore, the more units available within a block of flats, the cheaper per square foot for the same plot of land the building occupies.
And since, HDB is built on a pre-fabrication, pile & stack system; requiring significantly lesser manpower, and time to delivery is shortened greatly, one can safely assume that the average cost for each unit should not exceed SGD 50K.
And if the assumed cost is SGD 50K± each; how did they arrive at a figure 7times that of the costs for 3-5room HDB? And what’s more shocking, 14-16times the costs for DBSS and/or EC?
Is the price for residential lands really that costly, despite the costs being defrayed by the number of home owners over the same plot of land? Or, did some mathematician conveniently add a few zeros behind the average cost prices?
Competition drives price & value competitiveness, and since competition is permitted in several other industries, I often wonder why there isn’t any for public housing? Have you ever wondered too?