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The full adoption of the International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) is a welcome move that is set to take the real estate industry forward. But what of the IPMS, really?
According to a study conducted by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), ''depending on the measurement method used, the floor area of a building can deviate by as much as 24%.'' How so, you may ask. This is because of the absence of a uniform measurement standard that professionals will need to adhere to anywhere in the world.
As a buyer, then, you may feel somewhat confused when you were promised a 1,000-square-foot apartment and you find yourself actually occupying only 600 or 800 sq.ft. To avoid confusion, it would help to be familiar with a few terms of measurement you just might encounter:
• Carpet area – refers to the net usable area measured from wall to wall which means ''from the inner faces of walls.'' It is the actual area that can be covered by carpeting. What is tricky is when the builder includes half of the actual area of a balcony or a terrace or any 'dry areas' in the calculation of the total carpet area, whereas others treat such spaces like internal rooms and consider them as part of the entire area.
• Built-up area – includes the total gross area of a unit. Aside from the carpet area, the calculation of BUA includes the space covered by the wall thickness as well as the ducts, and it may be 10-15 per cent higher than the actual carpet area of the apartment in question.
• Super built-up area – some professionals consider this to be the total saleable area; it takes into consideration the built-up area and a proportionate area in common spaces such as the ones on the floor (elevators, stairwells, etc.) as well as those in the building like the reception or entrance lobby, electrical room, pump room, etc. Parking space is usually charged for separately or not included in its calculation.
So if you are unsure about your purchase plan, and to quell your fears as a home buyer, don't be afraid to take photos of the property you mean to buy and have it appraised by a trusted valuation professional.
• Be familiar and understand the calculation terms used by developers
• IPMS will eliminate confusion and set global standards of measurement
• Seek professional assistance to confirm gross floor area before purchase
Source: Claire Dangalan, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer