FOR the third time in as many months, a 99-year leasehold condo plot offered at a state tender has fetched an aggressive top bid.
A city-fringe condo site at Bendemeer Road/Whampoa East near Boon Keng MRT Station drew a higher-than-expected top bid of $543 million or about $774 per square foot of potential gross floor area from United Engineers.
When quizzed after the provisional tender result was released yesterday evening, some analysts said they had expected the highest bid for the site to be in the $650-720 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) range, based on recent state tender results for plum 99-year condo sites near MRT Stations.
Analysts expect UE's breakeven cost to be around $1,200 psf. 'We expect units in this new project to be launched at around $1,350-1,400 psf,' said CBRE Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho.
Units in Nin Residence, one MRT station away in Potong Pasir, sold at $1,000-$1,400 psf in January to March this year.
Last month, a plot next to Bartley Station drew a $621 psf ppr top bid from a Hong Leong Holdings, City Developments and TID consortium.
In February, CapitaLand paid $869 psf ppr for a plot near Bishan MRT Station, which set a new record for 99-year leasehold suburban condo land.
As for the latest Bendemeer plot, UE's top bid was 12.6 per cent or about $60.8 million above the next highest offer by Keppel Land unit Sherwood Development of $482.23 million or $687.51 psf ppr.
The tender drew eight bids in all, just like the Bartley site. The Bishan plot attracted a whopping 19 bids.
Market watchers acknowledged the Bendemeer site's attractive location at the fringe of the city, near an MRT station and Housing & Development Board neighbourhood centre-type amenities like a hawker centre and wet market and even a small shopping mall.
'Residents on the upper floors of the proposed condo development on this site should be able to see distant views of the sea and Marina Barrage,' according to a developer who took part in yesterday's tender.
A UE spokesman said the group plans to develop an inner-city waterfront condo of about 700 units comprising one, two, three and four-bedroom, loft and penthouse units on the site.
'The development on the site will command panoramic views of the city skyline as well as overlooking the entire Kallang River and Basin.
'The site has a land area of 200,402 sq ft and we believe is one of the very few large private residential sites in the city or city fringe that is ideal for waterfront lifestyle condominium living ... The shopping, financial and commercial districts of Orchard Road, Shenton Way and Marina South are a few minutes away by car, bus or MRT,' he added.??
Agreeing, Credo Real Estate executive director Ong Teck Hui said: 'There aren't many sites like this in the Government Land Sales Programme. This is a fairly large site at the doorstep of the city, ideal for home buyers who want to live near the city without paying prime district prices.'
CBRE's Mr Li said: 'We observe that recent state land tenders for 99-year condo sites have attracted fewer than 10 bids each. This is probably because bidders are aware that 12 more residential sites on the confirmed list and more from the reserve list if they are triggered will be supplied by the government by June 2011.'
Other bidders yesterday included a City Developments and Hong Leong joint venture, which offered about $677.50 psf ppr; a Frasers Centrepoint and Far East Organization tie-up (about $669 psf ppr); Best Desire Investments, which is not incorporated in Singapore ($572 psf ppr); and a Hoi Hup Realty, Sunway Developments and Straits Construction tie-up ($552 psf ppr). Qingdao Construction (Singapore) offered $543 psf ppr and Robert Kuok's Allgreen Properties, $519 psf ppr.