Thursday, August 30, 2012

15 developers vie for Farrer Road site

Straits Times: Wed, Aug 29

A PRIME residential site has led to stiff competition among 15 developers - and the highest bid for a 99-year leasehold site offered at a state tender in recent years.

The site, within 1km of Nanyang Primary School and near other popular primary and secondary schools, is likely to yield homes that are a draw with parents who have school-going children.

The top bid of $45.8 million for the Farrer Road site, which beat market expectations, was from Far East Soho, a unit of property giant Far East Organization. It works out to $1,108 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), a key price measure. This beats a previous record of $1,048 psf ppr lodged in June by a unit of Singapore Land, for a Farrer Drive site.

Experts had initially predicted between 10 and 15 bidders, with a top bid of $950 to $1,000 psf ppr.

Bohai Investments (Seng Kang) and ZACD Investments together offered the lowest bid of $31 million, or $751 psf ppr.

The 2,741.5 sq m land parcel, which can yield some 40 units, was put on the reserve list on April 30. URA then received an application from a developer, who committed to bid at a price of not less than $28.888 million.

Unlike confirmed list sites, which go on sale regardless of interest, reserve list land goes out to tender only if a developer makes an acceptable initial offer.

The tender was launched on July 30 and closed yesterday.

Mr Lee Sze Teck, Dennis Wee Group's senior manager of training, research and consultancy, said that the key attraction of the site lies in its district 10 address.

"It is near to the Botanic Gardens and Farrer Road MRT stations. There are amenities like schools in the Bukit Timah area and retail amenities in Orchard. The CBD is a short 10 minutes' drive away," he said.

He estimated a selling price of some $1,800 to $1,900 psf.

Credo Real Estate executive director Ong Teck Hui said: "Having lost out in the Farrer Drive tender just two months ago, this is sweet victory for Far East Soho, coming in as top bidder and beating the second highest by a thin 3.3 per cent margin."

He added: "It is a small site that can be developed and sold quickly, bearing in mind the unsold supply in D'Leedon as well as the units coming on from the Farrer Drive parcel."

Mr Chng Kiong Huat, executive director, property services at Far East, said: "This compact site gives us the opportunity to expand our Far East Soho brand... It will comprise a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments with high ceilings, with the majority of units being two-bedroom apartments to cater to young families who appreciate trendy and flexible spaces in an urban setting."

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)

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