Thursday, January 6, 2011

For sale: two housing plots, industrial site

THE new year has brought with it a slew of residential and industrial sites for developers to invest in.

Two private home developments are up for collective sale. One is the freehold Whitley Heights, located off Whitley Road, which occupies a land area of 130,165 square feet.

The owners are asking for $185-210 million, which works out to around $1,421-1,613 per square foot (psf) of land area.

Whitley Heights is more than 20 years old and has 45 walk-up apartments in three three-storey blocks. Under the 2008 Master Plan, the site is designated for two-storey mixed landed houses upon redevelopment.

This means that the buyer can choose to build a combination of conventional terraces, semi-detached and detached houses, strata terraces, strata semi-detached houses and strata bungalows.

Credo Real Estate is handling the tender for Whitley Heights, which closes on Jan 26. It notes that the project could be the first site with an area of more than 100,000 sq ft to be sold en bloc for landed development in more than three years.

According to Credo, the buyer could build as many as 80 strata terrace houses or around 60 strata semi-detached houses on the site.

'Supply for landed sites has been few and far between,' said Credo managing director Karamjit Singh. 'The dearth of supply can only result in price escalation for landed homes.'

Credo found that from 2000 to 2010, barely 4,000 units were added to the stock of landed homes, leading to an increase of less than 6 per cent.

As a result, the stock of landed housing as a proportion of all private residential homes has dropped to 27 per cent last year from 35 per cent in 2000.

Over at Telok Kurau, the freehold Residence 81 is up for auction with an indicative price of around $25.1 million, which translates to $950 psf of strata floor area.

The five-year-old property has a single owner and will be sold with vacant possession. BT understands that the owner is part of the Hotel 81 group, and the sale is the result of a property portfolio reorganisation.

Residence 81 sits on a site measuring 15,455 sq ft and has a total strata floor area of 26,446 sq ft. There are 21 strata-titled units, of which two on the ground floor have been reconfigured into a communal area.

Colliers International is handling the auction, scheduled for Jan 19. According to its deputy managing director Grace Ng, the buyer can apply for naming rights for the development and put the individual units up for sale.

The buyer can also rent the units out. 'Leasing demand is expected to stay robust in 2011, partly supported by the projected increase in hiring, especially by financial institutions,' she said. 'Rents for private residential homes can be expected to climb further by 8 to 12 per cent on average in 2011.'

While the sale process is just beginning for some home owners, residents of Maison Royale have bagged $46 million for their freehold estate in Newton. The buyer, Giant Land, may have to pay another $2.55 million in development charge, leading to an overall price of around $1,230 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr).

In the industrial sector, an unnamed developer has committed to pay at least $18 million or $68 psf ppr for a 30-year leasehold state land parcel at Kaki Bukit Road 4.

The 2.45-hectare site on the reserve list, zoned for Business 2 development, will be launched for tender in two weeks' time.

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