Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Plethora of residential sites for developers to choose from

The Business Times
Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012

SINGAPORE - RELEASING sites in the Central Region will bring more live-in population nearer to the city centre and help cut commutes to work. At the same time, releasing sites near MRT stations will enable more residents to have better access to the public transport network.

So said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in response to BT's queries on the government's strategy to release several plum private residential sites including in the prime districts for the first-half 2013 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

These include a rare landed housing plot in Coronation Road, abutting the Victoria Park and Rebecca Park Good Class Bungalow Areas. The District 10 site, scheduled for launch in March next year, is expected to yield some 140 landed homes.

The former Chinese cemetery was acquired by the state and cleared for development in the late 1990s. "Any stigma surrounding the site is expected to ebb once the site is sold and developed - especially since land resource for private landed residential development is fundamentally scarce in Singapore," said Colliers International's director of research and advisory Chia Siew Chuin

HSR Property Group's special adviser Donald Han says the Coronation site is the most attractive private housing site on the latest GLS slate.

He forecasts the winning bid for the 3.8-hectare plot to come in at $880-$990 per square foot (psf) on its land area while Jones Lang LaSalle's head of investments Karamjit Singh predicts the plot could fetch a higher price of $1,100-$1,200 psf.

Mr Han puts in No 2 spot a District 9 plot on Mount Sophia near Dhoby Ghaut MRT Stations that can accommodate 505 homes. The confirmed list plot will be launched for tender in June. The 2.4-ha site includes land occupied by the former Methodist Girls' School at 11 Mount Sophia, the former Trinity Theological College at 7 Mount Sophia as well as the former Nan Hwa Girls' School.

Part of the land parcel will have a 1.4 plot ratio (ratio of maximum gross floor area to land area) and the rest, 1.6 plot ratio - taking into account the existing terrain and building height control for the area. "The development densities for the site also take into account the existing conservation buildings on site," said the URA. The total GFA allowed for the development will be about 35,500 square metres (382,118 sq ft), which is estimated to yield about 500 homes.

While Mr Singh expects the top bid for the site to touch $950-$1,050 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), HSR's Mr Han predicts the winning bid would be in the $1,100 to $1,200 psf ppr band.

Mr Han says the third most attractive site in the H1 2013 Programme is on the reserve list - a coveted District 15 plot in Siglap Road, which he says could fetch $780-$850 psf ppr.

Located beside Victoria School, the land parcel is slated for development into a high-rise condo of about 780 units, boasting unblocked views of East Coast Park and the beach. Mr Singh estimates it could fetch $800-$900 psf ppr at tender.

Said a URA spokesman: "When selecting sites for the GLS Programme, we want to ensure that there is a good distribution of sites across the island to provide more choices for home-buyers. Similarly the sites can yield a variety of housing types - ranging from landed houses to high-rise condos - to cater to different lifestyles and budgets.

"Some sites are also chosen to meet planning and development objectives."

Property consultants also point to an agglomeration of sites in the vicinity of city-fringe MRT stations on the Western line, such as Tiong Bahru, Redhill and Queenstown, in recent GLS programmes.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong says the Kim Tian Road condo plot on the confirmed list list of the H1 2013 slate may fetch at least $970 psf ppr, rivalling or even exceeding the recent $970.18 psf ppr bid by Singapore Land for the Alexandra View plot.

Five executive condo sites have been earmarked for launch on the confirmed list in the first half of next year, adding up to to 3,110 units. They comprise a site in Woodlands Avenue 5/Avenue 6, one in Sengkang, two in Punggol and site near Jurong Lake.

The last site can generate about 610 units and is located at the corner of Tao Ching and Yuan Ching roads - opposite Fairway Country Club, Lakeside Fishing Village and overlooking the lake. Given the popularity of ECs (a hybrid of public and private housing) and that the site is located in a growth region, the plot will be contested strongly at tender, says Colliers' Ms Chia.

It is due to be launched in June 2013.

"The site's proximity to the Chinese and Japanese Gardens will also heighten its potential," she added.

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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