Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Four residential sites up for tender

FOUR plum residential sites which will yield almost 2,000 new homes are being released for tender by the Government in a move to ramp up supply in Singapore’s hot property market.

They include Punggol’s first executive condominium (EC) site, to boast 615 homes, which will be released for tender early next month as a developer has already made a minimum bid of $147.7 million.

In stark contrast, when a Punggol EC site was launched in September 2008, there were no takers among developers.

The other three sites are for another EC – at Sengkang – and two private development sites at Sembawang and Yishun.

This is the latest round in a slew of sites being released by the authorities to inject fresh supply into the market.

Developers have been snapping up land to replenish landbanks as they scramble to meet dizzying levels of demand for new homes.

Since the start of the year, the Government has sold four residential sites and offered three other sites for tender under the confirmed list, said the Housing Board (HDB) yesterday.

These seven sites could potentially yield a total of 2,775 housing units, and that is not counting another residential site at Upper Serangoon Road to be released for sale later this month.

The heightened level of activity is a drastic turnaround from the same period a year ago, when no sites were offered or sold by the Government amid a lacklustre property market.

Sites on the reserve list could offer an extra 7,625 homes in the first half of the year, said the HDB. Reserve list sites are offered on top of the confirmed list and are triggered for tender if at least one developer lodges an initial bid that meets a minimum threshold.

To date, eight reserve list sites – yielding about 3,345 homes – have been triggered in this way, with one sold and seven under tender or to be launched.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic real estate lecturer Nicholas Mak said the Government is ‘reinforcing the message that there is enough land’.

‘By announcing more than one site at a time, it is also saying to developers that they do not need to bid so aggressively. The objective is to push out enough land supply so that prices can be moderated,’ said Mr Mak.

Among the new sites, the plot at the junction of Sembawang Road and Canberra Drive and the EC located at Sengkang East Avenue and Buangkok Drive go on sale today.

The Sembawang plot, launched under the confirmed list, can be developed into strata-title landed housing or condominium units offering 290 homes.

CBRE Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho said the site is likely to fetch $95 million to $105 million if a condo is built. The tender closes on June 8.

The Sengkang EC site, triggered by a developer’s bid of $103.8 million on April 1, is served by the Sengkang LRT system and could yield 465 homes.

ECs are condo-style homes but with public housing rules. This tender closes on May 25.

Early next month, the Government will put the EC plot located at Punggol Field and a condominium project at Yishun Avenue 2 up for public tender.

The Punggol plot is near the Punggol Town Centre while the Yishun condo site is in the established Yishun Town and could generate 600 homes. A developer triggered the tender for the Yishun site with the minimum bid of $137.9 million.

HDB said yesterday the total supply of 10,550 homes for the first half of the year from the Government’s confirmed and reserve list is the highest level in the scheme’s history.

Source: Straits Times, 14 Apr 2010

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