Land Area vs Built-up Area

While browsing a property website or brochure, we often come across terms such as built-up area and land area. The experts in the field will use terms such as the property’s land size is 20ft by 70ft. However, the unit built-up is never 1,400 sq ft, it could be less, or way more than that.

While you may be left puzzled by what it exactly means, do not fret, as here, we will guide you on what land area and built-up area mean, and why they are not the same thing.

Land area

Landed properties sit on a piece of land, and the size is normally mentioned in how many feet wide by how many feet long. For terrace houses, when talking about size, they usually mean the land size is how many feet wide by how many feet long. For instance, 20ft by 70ft means (the width of land in feet) × (the length of land in feet), which means that the total land size is 1,400 sq ft. This is only applicable to landed properties.

Built-up area

Meanwhile, built-up area refers to the size of the area covered by the building. It is the total area covered by walls on every floor. For instance, if you have a double storey home and the first floor measures a total of 700 sq ft while the upper floor measures 800 sq ft, you will get a total of 1,500 sq ft for its built-up. There may be cases where the built-up area is larger than the land area, and that’s perfectly normal because there are landed properties that can go up to 3-storey high.

In another case, if you are buying a single storey house with land area of 20ft by 70ft, the unit built-up area will be less than 1,400 sq ft, simply because the open space area on the land, such as car porch, garden and back yard, is not considered a part of the “built-up” area. As mentioned, the built-up area refers to the size of the area covered by the building.    

Hence, if you are looking at a landed property, make sure you get an idea of how wide your porch is, as many of us have multiple cars to park at home these days. Also, make sure you take into account any obstruction of pillars and walls to ensure that when you open the door, there are no obstructions especially if you have children or the elderly staying with you.

Due to scarcity of land, homes in the Klang Valley have the smallest home size in Malaysia as we observe that more and more high-rises are being built to compensate for the lack of land space. As a homebuyer, it is often important to consider what you need and can afford before buying into a home. While high-rises do have a land area, amenities such as the swimming pool, gym, multipurpose courts and playground make up for it.

If you prefer easy access from the car to your home without the hassle of going through the lift, then a landed property might suit you better. Ultimately, there are also landed strata homes these days which come with clubhouse facilities at a membership cost if you would like to enjoy the best of both worlds.

[Image source: Photo by Anete Lusina]

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