Friday, July 2, 2010

Three land plots put up for sale

99-year-lease sites located at Bedok, Yishun, Jurong West

(SINGAPORE) The government yesterday rolled out for sale three plots of land across the island, potentially adding some 1,300 units to the residential supply pipeline.

The blitz of sites followed the release of new data showing public and private home prices continuing their ascent in the second quarter.

The three sites at Bedok, Yishun and Jurong West are from the confirmed list under the government land sales (GLS) programme in the second half of the year. The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is handling the tenders.

Of these sites, the 99-year-lease one at New Upper Changi Road/Bedok North Drive attracted the most attention because it can house a commercial-residential development which will be integrated with a bus interchange.

The 2.49 hectare site is at Bedok Town Centre, next to Bedok MRT Station, and is surrounded by amenities such as supermarkets and a library. It has a maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) of 938,157 square feet and can yield an estimated 475 dwelling units.

DTZ South-east Asia research head Chua Chor Hoon believes this plot is the most attractive of the three because it is centrally located in a well populated town. Also, 'there are only a few mixed sites available at the heart of HDB estates in the GLS programme', she said.

Cushman & Wakefield managing director Donald Han added that Bedok still lacks a major retail centre, so there could be fairly fierce bidding for the site, in the range of $500-580 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Colliers International investment sales executive director Ho Eng Joo expects to see bids coming in at $500-550 psf ppr. The tender for the site will close on Aug 17.

Another 99-year-lease land parcel at Miltonia Close can be developed into a strata housing community, or a condominium project with 345 units and a maximum permissible GFA of 406,875 sq ft. It lies at the fringe of Yishun Town Centre and is next to The Shaughnessy terrace house project.

While the plot may not be near an MRT station, its views of Lower Seletar Reservoir and Orchid Country Club's golf course may be a selling point, Mr Ho said. He projects bids of $300-350 psf ppr, while Mr Han is anticipating $270-320 psf ppr. The tender for this land parcel closes on Aug 24.

There was little hype over the third site at Jurong West Street 42, which is for an executive condominium project and is some distance from Lakeside MRT Station. It has a 99-year lease and can yield an estimated 460 units with a maximum permissible GFA of 542,988 sq ft.

Mr Ho and Mr Han expect to see bids of $230-280 and $250-300 psf ppr respectively. The tender for this site closes on Aug 12.

With more land parcels to be released, Mr Ho believes developers will be less aggressive in their bids. This month, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will be launching another two sites from the confirmed list, and making one from the reserve list available for application.

Mr Han added that the Miltonia Close and Jurong West sites just released by HDB are right next to other plots which can be launched for sale in future. The presence of such potential competition may make developers more price-sensitive when submitting their bids, he said.

The government has been ramping up land supply in the last few months to temper sentiment in the property market. Flash estimates yesterday showed private home prices rising 5.2 per cent in Q2 from Q1, and HDB resale flat prices increasing 3.8 per cent.

Source: Business Times, 2 Jul 2010

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