Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Woodlands EC site draws top bid of $150.2m

Business Times
OCTOBER 10, 2012
Plans made for 447 units in eight blocks of 12 storeys each, mainly 3, 4-bedroom

Demand for executive condominium (EC) sites in Woodlands remains strong, with a top bid of $150.18 million, or $302 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), submitted for a 99-year leasehold site there.

That bid came from a joint venture between Fraser Centrepoint's unit Opal Star and Lum Chang's unit Binjai Holdings, which have a 70-30 per cent stake in the venture.

The site is on Woodlands Avenue 6 and Woodlands Drive 16, next to another EC development, La Casa.

The tender, which closed at noon yesterday, attracted five bidders - comparable to a site on Woodlands Avenue 5 sold in May which also pulled in five bidders and was sold at $318 psf ppr.

Opal Star and Binjai Holdings' bid was 1.6 per cent higher than the next highest bid put in by the joint venture between Far East Civil Engineering and China Construction.

That bid was $147.777 million, which translates to $297 psf ppr.

When the tender for the site was launched in August, property consultants polled by BT had predicted that the winning bid would be in the $300-350 psf ppr range, and that 3-7 bids would be submitted. The tender outcome was thus within expectations.

ECs are a hybrid of public and private housing, with initial-buyer eligibility and resale restrictions lifted 10 years after the completion of the project.

A Fraser Centrepoint spokesman said yesterday that plans have been made for 447 units in eight blocks of 12 storeys each, and that the units will mainly be three- and four-bedroom ones.

Property consultant DWG's senior manager for training, research and consultancy Lee Sze Teck estimates the project's break- even cost at $600-650 psf, and that its estimated sale price would be between $680 and $730 psf.

Other bidders for the site were Mezzo Development ($138 million or $277 psf ppr); Verspring Properties ($134.7 million or $271 psf ppr); and CEL Property ($124.399 million or $250 psf ppr).

Credo Real Estate executive director Ong Teck Hui described the combined Fraser Centrepoint and Lum Chang bid as a display of confidence in the demand for ECs in this north Singapore neighbourhood.

"The top bidder for the subject site would have taken into account the adjacent site's time advantage in sales launching and so tendered a little lower to be competitive in pricing when he launches his sales," he said.

He added that the tender bidding for the site did not seem to have been affected by the latest round of cooling measures.

Although the bids were relatively optimistic, DWG's Mr Lee cautioned that the take-up rate may be slow, given the wide variety of options for buyers. "Developers will have to differentiate their project from others in the market in the areas of design, theme and quality," he said.

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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