Family-friendly homes growing in importance

Posted on
Share this article   

Happy Asian family mother and father with two daughters playing

Whether it is high-rise or landed, features promoting family bonding take precedence

By Joseph Wong

IF the StarProperty Awards 2024 Real Estate Developer Edition is taken as an indication of the importance of family-friendly homes, then the fact that 14 property developers are competing for the four sub-categories is indeed a telling sign. 

This is the biggest number of developers vying for the family-friendly title to date in the history of the Award. They include Armani Group, Avaland Bhd, Chin Hin Group, IM Land Bhd, JL99 Group, Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS), Radium Development Bhd, OSK Property Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd, SkyWorld Development Bhd, Sri Pengkalan Binaan Sdn Bhd,  Tropicana Corporation Bhd, UDA Holdings Bhd and UEM Sunrise Bhd

The Star Property Award 2024 Real Estate Developer Gala Dinner will be graced by the Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming on May 15, 2024, at the One World Grand Ballroom. The event is expected to be attended by over 700 guests from the property industry, marking the largest turnout since the Award's inception nine years ago.

This celebration also serves as a prelude to next year’s 10th Anniversary, during which StarProperty will revisit selected past winners to honour them for fulfilling their promises in delivering their projects.

East and West values

In contrast to their Western counterparts, Malaysian families have long placed significant importance on filial piety, often residing under one roof across multiple generations. It was once common to find three generations cohabiting, with grandparents, parents and children all living together.

This arrangement fosters mutually beneficial dynamics: Retired grandparents can enjoy quality time with their grandchildren while parents are at work, resulting in savings on childcare expenses. Moreover, grandparents can have their own time when children are in school. Most notably, the cost of homeownership is substantially reduced, as such families require only one residence.

However, in recent decades, there was a trend of young adults moving out of their parents' homes in pursuit of employment or independence, particularly among overseas graduates. Many have relocated interstate or overseas, leading to decreased demand for larger homes, especially as families enter the empty nest stage.

This shift has naturally spawned new housing demands, which property developers have swiftly capitalised on. Interestingly, in recent years, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of multi-generational homes, accompanied by a heightened demand for family-friendly housing solutions, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. 

While reasons are plentiful, the catalyst could have been the Covid-19 pandemic which forced many households to relook their situation and triggered the return to multi-generation homes. 

And because homes that are suitable for family stay with the focus on parent-children scenarios, these units will usually have a minimum of two bedrooms and three to four bedrooms for bigger families.

“It is certainly a thing these days for friendlier homes – kid-friendly, pet-friendly, disabled friendly, etc – and all these are signs of a maturing nation where brick and mortar alone are no longer the only requirements,” past Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) president Chan Ai Cheng told StarProperty in an earlier article.

Depending on their stage in life, these family-friendly homes will appeal to them, she said, concurring with Knight Frank Malaysia pointing out that there is increasingly more demand for families looking to upgrade and resize, according to their needs. 

What makes it family-friendly?

Given the diverse needs of modern families, developers face the challenge of crafting homes that cater to a multitude of preferences. Beyond simply offering an array of differently sized units, developers must carefully consider common demands to streamline their designs and, ultimately, minimise costs.

The ideal family-friendly home is contingent upon factors such as budget and family size. It should boast ample bedrooms to afford children and adults their own personal space, as well as secure indoor and outdoor areas where children can safely play under parental supervision. Additionally, communal spaces are essential for family bonding, alongside spacious kitchens and abundant storage options.

When envisioning family-friendly homes, the primary focus often centres on accommodating children. This concept parallels that of family-friendly restaurants or activities. Key features of such homes should encompass safety measures such as window latches, stairway baby gates, and wider doorways and hallways to accommodate strollers. Moreover, future considerations for wheelchair accessibility should also be integrated into the design.

In contrast to countries like Australia or certain parts of Europe, where windows are fitted with safety latches to regulate ventilation while prioritising safety, considerations for family-friendly homes extend to even the smallest details, such as the choice of paint. Children often express their creativity by decorating walls with their artwork, making it essential to use paints that are easy to clean.

Designing a family-friendly home entails considering various factors that cater to the needs of individuals from childhood to old age. It is not merely about relocating to a larger residence. It is about creating a space that accommodates the diverse needs and stages of family life

Living in high-rise homes

As the inner city anticipates an influx of high-rise and high-density properties to accommodate its burgeoning population, the question arises: how will this trend affect the concept of family-friendly homes?

According to Juwai IQI co-founder and group chief executive officer Kashif Ansar, high-rise apartments and densely populated neighbourhoods can indeed offer family-friendly living environments. Opting for an apartment or townhouse with ample space and access to outdoor amenities is key. Ansari highlighted the advantage of apartment living, citing the shared amenities such as gyms, gardens, barbecue areas and swimming pools that individual families may find cost-prohibitive to maintain independently. Additionally, the proximity of neighbours in high-rise buildings fosters a sense of community and ensures there's always someone nearby to lend a helping hand with childcare.

Moreover, high-rise residences are often strategically located near educational, healthcare and employment facilities, facilitating shorter commutes for parents and more quality time spent at home with their children.

Not to mention, condominiums and serviced residences offer shared facilities which help mitigate expenses for individual owners. While space is undeniably crucial for family-friendly living, fostering a sense of community is equally vital, whether in high-rise developments or landed properties. Providing communal spaces and facilities like neighbourhood parks, playgrounds, swimming pools and playrooms encourage social interaction among families and creates a safe environment for children to connect with their peers.

As Malaysia's population continues to urbanise, the availability of space for family-friendly homes may become increasingly constrained due to rising property costs. Nevertheless, solutions like shared community spaces and creative facility designs aim to meet the evolving needs of modern families while promoting a healthy, safe and enriching lifestyle.

Public transportation improvements will facilitate commuting.

Public transportation improvements will facilitate commuting.

Status quo remains unchanged

Briefly, there was heightened interest in properties situated on the outskirts of cities due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. StarProperty observed a surge in interest in landed properties located farther away from urban centres, particularly in less densely populated areas.

As the nation progresses towards an endemic stage with the pandemic coming under control, interest in landed properties outside the city has returned to normal levels. But of late, there is a reversal of the trend as more individuals rediscover the advantages of living closer to the city.

Nevertheless, there will always be new families seeking residences in outlying areas with the demand for affordable landed housing remaining steady, driven by growing families in search of more space and a higher quality of life.

Affordability plays a significant role for new families. While larger spaces are attainable for the same budget in suburban areas compared to urban settings, the unappealing traffic jams to and fro work and lengthened travel time make inner-city living equally appealing. 

Moreover, the introduction of more public transportation options, such as the upcoming completion of the light rail transit line 3 (LRT3) and the future mass rapid transit circle line will facilitate easier commuting to and from the city outskirts.

Besides, the movement towards suburban areas is a natural aspect of a city's healthy growth, with these suburbs potentially evolving into satellite cities akin to Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya.


Stay ahead of the crowd and enjoy fresh insights on real estate, property development, and lifestyle trends when you subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media.

Want to contribute articles to StarProperty.my? Email: editor@starproperty.my
Related News

Fresh from the news oven

14:06 PM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
Property News
Latest News

Stories and news that might pique your interest

15:06 PM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
Property News
17:06 PM
Property News
10:06 AM
News & Articles
15:06 PM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
News & Articles
17:06 PM
Property News
10:06 AM
News & Articles
10:06 AM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
Property News
17:06 PM
Property News
10:06 AM
News & Articles
10:06 AM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
Property News
17:06 PM
Property News
10:06 AM
News & Articles
10:06 AM
News & Articles
11:02 AM
Home & Living
09:08 AM
Home & Living
10:07 AM
Home & Living
12:07 PM
Home & Living
14:07 PM
Home & Living
22:06 PM
Home & Living
01:05 AM
Featured Dev
01:05 AM
Featured Dev
01:05 AM
Featured Dev
01:05 AM
Featured Dev
00:05 AM
Featured Dev
19:05 PM
Events
18:05 PM
Awards 2024
16:05 PM
Events
15:05 PM
Events
00:04 AM
Events
00:04 AM
Events
09:04 AM
News & Articles
16:03 PM
News & Articles
10:02 AM
News & Articles
11:11 AM
News & Articles
11:09 AM
Featured
17:04 PM
News & Articles
11:11 AM
Investment
16:06 PM
Featured
16:06 PM
Investment
15:06 PM
Investment
12:07 PM
潮樓產業
14:07 PM
潮樓產業
10:07 AM
潮樓產業
16:07 PM
潮樓產業
14:07 PM
潮樓產業
12:07 PM
潮樓產業