It seems that how, where and why Singaporeans park their cars is hot news lately. From fistfights over curb-side parking to the legality of installing your own mechanical car-lifts, the issue of vehicle parking keeps cropping up in the news. Even the latest issue, as seen in the Straits Times, is nothing more than a facet of what we talked about in our early article, Private Parking Woes.

This recent article reports about the parking crunch at newer condominiums. Many developers now provide the bare minimum of one parking space per unit, which is the rule laid down by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). But this rule does not take into account the size of the units available, or the need for visitor lots. It is quite naive to expect that occupants of a studio apartment would have the same parking requirements as occupants of a 6-room penthouse unit. Yet under the minimum guidelines set by LTA, both are treated as simply “units”. For some developments situated near MRT stations or within the central city areas, this minimum can be even less than one lot per unit.

And without visitor lots, our already-dwindling social cohesion will suffer even greater strain. Can you imagine telling a family friend that he cannot drive his wife, three kids and maid to visit you, because your condominium has no parking lots for his MPV? But no worries, it’s situated near an MRT station, so it’s all good! I doubt that friend will be coming over very often, no matter how much the kids enjoy the company…

But what really caught our attention, is the indication of how Singaporeans decide their property purchases. Some people, no doubt, have little use for a parking space currently. This is especially true of young, starting families. However, a housing purchase is generally for the long term. Can you say for certain that five years down the road, you will still not own a vehicle? And what about friends and relatives who come to visit? By supporting developers who are stingy on parking spaces, the property-buying public is essentially saying: “Yes, our lifestyle and convenience can be sacrificed for your profits”.

We believe that when you’re making a purchase that requires you a lifetime to pay off, even considerations such as ample parking space should not be lightly taken. It is only when we mature as buyers, can we force developers to take us, and our needs, seriously.


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