What?! No more visitor parking in all the new condominiums in Singapore! Did I hear that right? In this article, we will discuss the new ruling announced by Land Transport Authority (LTA) that will phase out visitor parking lot moving forward called Range-based Parking Provision Standards (RPPS). What is the impact of this new ruling on car park spaces in new launches in Singapore? What is the impact then of this new ruling on older condominiums in Singapore?
Range-based Parking Provision Standards (RPPS)
Before we dive deep into the impacts, we first have to know what is in LTA’s new Range-based Parking Provision Standards (RPPS). The revised parking standards will replace the existing Car Parking Standards and Range-based Car Parking Standards from 1 February 2019.
In line with Singapore’s move towards a car-lite society, this gives developers greater flexibility to manage parking spaces according to the needs of the development. This is especially in regions that are very well connected to the current public transport system. As such, more space will be freed up for greenery and communal use.
The new standards will specify the range of car parking provisions such as parking spaces for cars, motorcycles, bicycles. On top of that, specific lots such as coach buses for hotels and loading/unloading bays for commercial development that private developments are allowed to provide will vary according to location zones and land uses.
Minimum Parking Provision
Previously, there is a minimum parking provision, and developers have to request for LTA’s approval to reduce the parking provision of up to 20% below the minimum standard for some developments. Now, RPPS provide the developers’ flexibility to determine the desired level of parking provision within the range without the need to seek LTA’s approval. However, if the developers wish to build less than or more than the specified range of car parking provision then the application will still have to be evaluated by LTA on a case by case basis.
Developers might face penalties of $16,000 charge for each car parking space (or $5,500 for each motorcycle parking space) if they go either above or below the range they are allowed. This is interesting as LTA move towards capping of the parking spaces instead of stipulating a minimum number of parking provisions. This move is seen as a greater emphasis on reducing the number of cars on the roads and also encouraging people to commute via public transport. It also specifies mandatory bicycle parking requirements.
The impact on new condominiums affected by this new RPPS
Under the RPPS, the lower and upper bound for car park space in residential developments is split according to Zone 1. Zone 1 is defined as central business district and Marina Bay, except for car-lite precinct.
Source: The Jovell Residences
Zone 1: 50-80% of the total dwelling units
Outside of Zone 1: 80-100% of the total dwelling units
Usually, buyers of private condominiums expect to have at least 1 car park space in the condominium for their own use. Thus, there will not be additional car park spaces for visitors even for condominium outside of Zone 1, much lest the buyers that purchase a unit within Zone 1.
Does it really impact the actual owner profile that are currently staying in Zone 1?
Based on experience, the condominiums in Zone 1 usually exercise a paid parking system to reduce the number of parking spaces to residents that need it, and thus willing to pay for it.
That is even for condominiums that have a 1-1 ratio of car park lots to units. Being located so near to the city centre, many owners and tenants does not need a car too. The excess provides for bigger unit owners that could have a need for 1 or 2 cars lots, which is paid to the management agent. That is then added into the maintenance fund and sinking fund.
This is not the first time that the issue of car park space is in the spotlight. From 2005, developers of new condominiums that is build within 400m of a train station is allowed to reduce the car park space to only 80% of the number of units in the condominium. When Home Quarters visited a few of these developments, we found that the car park lot space is not fully taken up as well.
This might be due to these condominium being heavily tenanted. Majority of the tenants and even residents who chose a living location nearer to train station do not own a car. This transition will takes time to be generally accepted and people will adapt to the fewer parking spaces in new condominiums moving forward.
What about the older condominiums?
Not only will the new ruling affect new condominiums, we think that it will definitely affect older condominiums built before the new parking standards. If buyers are looking for condominium that will allow them to park 2 or even 3 cars in the condominium itself without paying for the additional car park lot, they could consider buying older condominiums such as Mandarin Gardens that have about 1500 parking spaces for its 1000 residential units.
Source: Mandarin Gardens
There are definitely enough lots for guests and visitors to park during festive seasons such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Christmas! This will become a selling point for older properties with ample parking spaces. Another type of property that might attract more attention will be the strata property with their own lots. Usually they come with 2 parking spaces and are right outside the door of the unit.
This will save the owners the hassle of walking a long distance from the lot where they park or competing with the neighbours for parking space. Regarding the 2nd car parking lot charge, if buyers buy a condominium without being made aware of the 2nd car park charge, they can end up having unwanted tension between themselves and the management council. As reflected by the incident in 2010, the police had to be called in twice to intervene on matter relating to additional car parking lots.
There will most likely be more new rules or by-laws set up by each individual management committee of the condominium to have a mutually agreed upon way to resolve the parking situation.
There will also be teething issues such as those seen in the viral video in October 2019 where a resident at Eight Riversuites condominium hurled vulgarities at the security officer over a condominium rule that requires guests to pay $10 for parking after 11pm.
At Home Quarters, we think it will take time for Singapore to fully embrace being a car lite city, to take public transportation or to make cycling a mainstream transport option. To integrate it as part of the culture and way of life of all the residents living in the city state will take some time.
Now that you know about Range-based Parking Provision Standards, what will be the impact on car park spaces in new launches in Singapore and also what might be the impact of this new ruling on older condominiums in Singapore. Do you support the push by the government towards a car-lite nation and is parking spaces important in your decision to purchase your next dream home?
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That’s it for this article! Stay safe everybody, and remember, call Home Quarters and start packing!