Four sites released amid strong Feb sales of new homes
By KALPANA RASHIWALA
(SINGAPORE) An executive condo plot next to the Tampines Trilliant project has been tipped by property consultants as the choicest among four residential plots released under the Government Land Sales Programme yesterday.
The four plots, including a reserve list site that will be made available for application later this month, can potentially generate an estimated 2,415 homes. This announcement was made on the same day as strong February developer housing sales figures released by Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
'I think they want to send out the message that there's enough supply. If there is demand, the government will release more land to support that demand,' said DTZ's SE Asia chief operating officer Ong Choon Fah.
Three of the four plots released are in the confirmed list. They include two sites that can generate about 1,300 executive condos (ECs) - a public-private housing hybrid - at Tampines Central 7, next to Tampines Trilliant and near the future Tampines MRT Station under the Downtown Line; and at Woodlands Avenue 5/Drive 16, next to the completed LaCasa EC development.
Tenders for both sites were launched yesterday by the Housing & Development Board, as a land sales agent for the state.
The third confirmed list plot is a private condo plot at Tampines Avenue 10/1 (next to the Arc at Tampines development and opposite the Waterview condo project). The tender for this will be launched on March 28 by URA. On the same day, URA will make available for application on the reserve list the adjacent plot, which is also for a private condo project.
The government will launch the tender for a reserve list site only if it receives an application from a developer, accompanied by an undertaking of a minimum bid price acceptable to the state, or if it receives sufficient market interest for the site.
Property consultants polled by BT unanimously listed the EC plot in Tampines as the hottest of the four plots. However, their predictions on the winning bid ranged widely, at $280-420 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). As many as 10-13 bids are expected for this plot.
The Tampines Trilliant site next door was sold for about $392 psf ppr in April last year and the project, launched last month, achieved a median price of $803 psf (probably a new high for an EC project) on the 187 units sold in February, according to monthly developer sales data.
HSR Property Group special adviser Donald Han notes that end-demand for ECs will continue to remain robust especially after the government recently increased the allocation limit for second-timer buyers from 5 per cent to 30 per cent of units in the first month of an EC project's launch. He expects the winning bid for the latest Tampines EC site to be $400-420 psf ppr, surpassing that for the next-door site sold last year.
Others suggest a lower price. 'Economic conditions have moderated compared with a year ago and there will be ample new EC housing supply,' says R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng, who forecasts a top bid of about $320-360 psf ppr.
The Woodlands EC site has been tipped to fetch a winning bid in the $250-330 psf ppr range. Knight Frank research and consultancy head Png Poh Soon expects it to draw three to five bids.
SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak says the site's pluses include proximity to primary schools, the Singapore Sports School and parks. However, it is also near industrial parks and the Sembawang Airbase, and the possible noise level could make it less attractive. 'Developers who participate in this tender would not bid aggressively,' he added.
Credo Real Estate executive director Ong Teck Hui points out that there has been no EC tender in Woodlands since the resumption of EC land sales in 2010. 'So the development could have a good catchment from upgraders within that new town as well as others keen on that location.'
As for the confirmed-list private condo plot at Tampines Avenue 10, the winning bid is predicted to be in the $350-465 psf ppr range. Credo's Mr Ong says bid levels may be affected by the next-door plot on the reserve list.
'Bidders for the (confirmed-list) site would have to consider the fact that the adjacent land parcel could be triggered for sale eventually, thereby posing competition,' he added.
Copyright © 2010 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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