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Guidelines on Dwelling Units in Non-Landed Residential Developments

  Published: 18 October 2022
Circular No : URA/PB/2022/10-CUDG


Who Should Know:
Developers, building owners and architects

Effective Date:
With effect from 18 January 2023

This Circular supersedes Circular No: URA/PB/2018/06-DCG dated 17 October 2018 on “Revision to the guidelines on maximum allowable dwelling units in non-landed residential developments outside the Central Area”.

  1. This circular is to inform the industry of the new guidelines on dwelling units (DUs) in non-landed residential developments1 within the Central Area (see Appendix 1) and to summarise the DU guidelines for non-landed residential developments island-wide, including new requirements (see Appendix 2).

  2. In 2018, to moderate the excessive development of shoebox units, URA revised the guidelines on maximum allowable number of DUs in non-landed residential developments outside the Central Area. The maximum allowable number of DUs was derived from dividing the proposed building Gross Floor Area2 (GFA) by 85 square metres (sqm)3. Developers were also requested to provide a good mix of unit sizes and to have 20% or more of the DUs with a nett internal area4 of at least 100sqm and at most 20% of the DUs with a nett internal area of less than 50sqm. These earlier guidelines have been effective in achieving a good mix of both smaller and larger units in new private housing developments outside the Central Area.

  3. As lifestyle needs evolve, the planning intention for the Central Area has shifted to position it as an attractive place to live, work and play. Hence, there have been concerted efforts to introduce more mixed uses in the Central Area to encourage more live-in population (including families) and make our city more vibrant. However, for developments within the Central Area, URA has observed a persistent trend in declining DU sizes. There is thus a need to ensure a good mix of DU sizes within the Central Area to support the planning intention.

Details of Guidelines

  1. Taking the above into consideration, all new flats and condominiums within the Central Area, as well as the residential component of commercial and mixed-use developments, will be required to provide a minimum of 20% of DUs with a nett internal area of at least 70sqm. 

  2. The threshold of 70sqm is a reasonable size for small families, taking into account the tighter space constraints in the Central Area. URA has not imposed a cap on the total number of DUs within the Central Area because it is generally well-served by public transport, with residents here less reliant on private vehicles. As such, new developments are less likely to put a strain on local infrastructure.

  3. Developers are encouraged to provide a good mix of DU sizes to cater to the diverse needs of all segments of the market, including larger families, and avoid a disproportionately large quantity of smaller DUs.

  4. URA will continue to monitor and review the guidelines periodically, taking into account factors such as lifestyle changes and infrastructural developments.


  1. The guidelines will apply to relevant development applications submitted to URA on or after 18 January 2023. If the proposed development needs to undergo a Pre-Application Feasibility Study (PAFS)5, applicants must first obtain LTA’s clearance6 before submitting the application.

  2. Only formal development applications (excluding Outline Applications) which have already been granted Provisional Permission or which will result in a Provisional Permission that are submitted before 18 January 2023 will not be subject to the revised guidelines.

  3. I would appreciate it if you could convey the contents of this circular to the relevant members of your respective organisations. You are advised to refer to the Development Control Handbooks and URA’s website for updated guidelines instead of referring to past circulars.

  4. For other information on the master plan, urban design guidelines, private property use and approval, car park locations and availability, private residential property transactions, and conservation areas and buildings, use URA SPACE (Service Portal and Community e-Services). This is an online portal packed with useful data and visualisation to help building professionals, business operators and the general public in their decision-making. It consolidates detailed information on land use and private property into a one-stop platform presented on geospatial maps. For feedback or enquiries, please email us.

Thank You.



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1Refers to flats and condominium developments (including Executive Condominiums), as well as the residential component of commercial and mixed-use developments, but not applicable to HDB flats and Serviced Apartments. 

2Excludes bonus GFA.

3There are nine identified areas where the maximum allowable number of DUs are derived by dividing the proposed building GFA by 100sqm as the cumulation of new developments in these areas will likely pose a severe strain on the local infrastructure.

4Refers to the nett living space of a unit, excluding voids, balconies, air-conditioner ledges and other external areas.

5The PAFS (URA/PB/2017/07-DCG) will estimate the supportable number of DUs, taking into consideration the car-lite measures and/or feasible transport improvement plans to be implemented by the developers.

6Applicants will not be subject to the revised guidelines, provided (a) they have conducted a PAFS scoping meeting with LTA on or before 18 January 2023 and (b) their formal development applications are submitted together with LTA’s clearance for PAFS and satisfy the conditions in paragraph 9.


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