Saturday, December 10, 2011

Devious Move to Build Smaller Pigeon Hole Flats

I have mentioned about the accumulating tons of crap & clutter collecting dust in our homes previously in a sept blog entry. Now the state controlled media announced tat HK based Storefriendly is opening its storage business in S'pore.

Read why that storage business is entering S'pore (i've bolded it) & you'll realise the misleading answer given out by the woman in charge of S'pore 's public housing govt agency. She skirts around the complaints of tiny pigeon dwellings by telling others that living space is increased despite smaller flat sizes due to smaller household size. What she didn't tell everyone is that smaller household size is replaced by bigger size of clutter at home. With so much shopping malls luring people to buy, buy, buy in order to spur superconsumption, how many people can resist? Furthermore there's the temptation to keep up with the joneses as well as people using retail therapy to buy tempoary happiness from their overworked stressed lives.

In the end you'll realise that by building smaller pigeon dwellings, more & more people are forced to pay for storage solutions to store their accumulating stuff. Gdp up again. Imagine peope working their asses off to pay rental to store stuff collecting dust elsewhere which they seldom use. Instead of them owning the stuff, it seem the stuff owns them instead.

Is a reason i'm no fan of shopping malls with its buy, buy buy 'sirens'. Why spend unnecessary $$? Why have more stuff pile up & collect dust at home? Why spend time cleaning & maintaining it? Why complicate our lives?

State Media report:
As the average apartment size in Singapore shrinks so does the space people have to keep their stuff.

The trend is attracting a new wave of companies that rent out storage space.

Hong Kong-based Storefriendly opened its first franchised outlet in Singapore on Friday.

It aims to have 25 operating across the country by 2014.

Jes Johansen, Managing Director at Storefriendly, said: "We believe that Singapore is ripe in that apartment size is getting smaller. People consistently accumulate a lot of things, they want to have access to them and we believe with the small storage conveniently located, air conditioned, they will make use of that, they will appreciate that product right in their neighbourhood.

Storefriendly's 12,500 square foot outlet at Bukit Batok comprises about 300 secure lockers.

They will cost between $88- $888 dollars per month to rent, depending on the size.

The company says it has the largest network in Asia, with 90 branches through Hong Kong, China and Macau.

It opens a new franchise on average every month, and this year its revenue jumped 50% to S$60 million.

The top 4 existing operators in Singapore control the majority of the industry's approximately 17,000 storage units or 1 million square feet of net lettable area.

With a population of 5 million in Singapore, Storefriendly says that will translate into an industry penetration of 0.25 square feet of self-storage space per person or one storage unit per 250th person.

By contrast, the penetration in more developed markets is above 1 square foot per person or about 80 people per storage unit.

Singapore therefore has the capacity for further organic growth in the self-storage industry.

Another industry player, Lock and Store says consumer demand in Singapore is growing 5 percent a year, in view of the smaller properties being built.

Dare Not Tell Truth Reply:
Shrinking size of public flats here has not lowered Singaporeans' quality of living, according to Housing and Development Board's (HDB) CEO Cheong Koon Hean. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a housing forum yesterday, Dr Cheong noted that there are now fewer people living in one flat which works out to increased living space per person.

"Our families are smaller. In the old days, we have very large families living in a flat. Today, the family is 2, 3, 4 (people)," she said.

As a result of rising land costs and the need to keep flats affordable, the size of HDB flats has shrunk by 5 to 10 per cent over the last 2 to 3 decades. For example, a 5-room flat in Bukit Batok Central built in 1989 has a floor area of 121 sq m, compared to 110 sq m for a similar unit built in 2003.

Based on official surveys, the average household size was 3.5 last year. In 1980, it was 4.9.

This means an occupant of a 110 sq m 5-room flat today will have 31 sq m of space, while a resident of a 121 sq m 5-room flat in the '80s had about 25 sq m of space. Dr Cheong added that interior design also plays a part in creating good living space.

"In many global cities of the world or big cities, people do pay attention to how they do the inside of the flat as well as optimising the use of furniture and storage. It can be a very comfortable living environment," she said.

PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail concurred with Dr Cheong: "The modern Singapore family is much smaller & living in a bigger place compared to previous generations, and with amenities. The quality of life is not affected."

Mr Ismail added: "And people have a choice to buy 3, 4 or 5-room flats."

Still, Mr Ismail noted that with the high property prices, the lower income with many children will be most affected as they have "no choice but to buy within their means, and that means a smaller flat".

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