Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coming up: Sites for 14,100 new homes

Straits Times: Thu, Dec 08
AS MANY as 14,100 new private homes can be built on sites that are being offered on the government land sales (GLS) programme for the first half of next year.


The Ministry of National Development (MND) has listed 14 confirmed sites and 27 reserve list plots as it moves to keep up the supply of development land to meet demand.


There are also sites listed for hotels and commercial development and white sites, which can be used for any purpose.


The list was released on the day that tighter measures were announced to dampen demand.


A notable factor yesterday was the relatively larger proportion of sites on the reserve list, allowing a steady supply of land while reducing the risk of oversupply in the mass market segment.


All 14 confirmed list sites - five are for executive condominiums (ECs) - are for private homes and could accommodate around 7,000 units, including 2,900 executive condominium units.


There is a mixed bag on the 27-strong reserve list. These sites go on sale once a developer makes an offer above a certain trigger point while those on the confirmed list are released for sale according to a schedule.


There are 15 residential plots on the reserve list, including one for executive condominiums, which could yield 7,100 homes in all.


It also includes two commercial and two white sites and eight plots for hotels that could mean around an extra 4,800 rooms. These sites can yield about 218,000 sq m of gross floor area of commercial space.


With the confirmed list for the first six months of next year expected to yield about 7,000 units, this will be less than the 8,100 homes from the confirmed list sites for the second half of this year.


MND said that it reduced the numbers because of the 81,600 new homes already in the pipeline of which about 41,000 remain unsold.


It also expects that demand for new homes could be affected by the stamp duty levies announced yesterday.


Analysts noted that suburban sites dominate the confirmed list, with residential plots in Punggol, Pasir Ris, Tampines and Upper Serangoon.


'It's not surprising because these sites are aimed at catering to first-time private property purchasers, typically from the HDB upgraders market,' said Mr Ong Teck Hui, head of research and consultancy at Credo Real Estate.


Land for ECs, a hybrid of private and public housing, also features prominently on the confirmed list, reflecting their popularity among buyers, said property experts.


This is especially since revisions to the buyers' income ceiling announced earlier this year allow more people to qualify for such housing.


The confirmed list plot at the junction of Upper Serangoon Road and Pheng Geck Avenue will be a choice pick for developers, said analysts, due to its proximity to Potong Pasir MRT station.


The reserve list has its share of goodies as well. Industry experts have tipped that developers will chase the one at the corner of Farrer and Lutheran Roads, and the plot at the junction of Tiong Bahru and Kim Tian Roads.


'The Farrer Road site is smaller and could be an attractive option for smaller developers. The Tiong Bahru site isn't too bad either, especially since it's within walking distance to the Tiong Bahru MRT station,' said Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research at SLP International.


Only two sites in the second half of this year's GLS programme have been allocated for office development, both on the reserve list. One is at Marina View and another at the corner of Sims Avenue and Tanjong Katong Road.


MND said yesterday the decision to put office sites on the reserve list was because of the already large supply of office space in the pipeline.


It added that the potential office supply on the upcoming reserve list will provide opportunities for developers to act if there is demand.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

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Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
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