Govt launches tenders for 3 housing sites

Published January 21, 2011
The Business Times
By Kalpana Rashiwala

All three plots are near MRT stations in Choa Chu Kang, Sengkang and Bishan

THE government yesterday launched tenders for three 99-year leasehold housing sites near Choa Chu Kang, Sengkang and Bishan MRT stations.

This includes two plots on the confirmed list – an executive condo (EC) plot in Choa Chu Kang next to Mi Casa condo, and a private condo site near Sengkang MRT Station.

The third parcel, near Bishan MRT Station, was triggered from the reserve list as announced on Jan 7.

The EC plot at Choa Chu Kang Drive, which is near Choa Chu Kang MRT Station and Lot 1, can generate about 490 housing units. Cushman & Wakefield senior manager of Asia Pacific research Ong Kah Seng estimates top bids for the site at about $260-280 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), translating to a breakeven cost of about $550-580 psf and average selling price in the $600-630 psf range.

Credo Real Estate executive director Ong Teck Hui expects three to five bids with the highest in the $220-240 psf ppr band, reflecting average selling price expectations of about $610-620 psf.

ECs are a hybrid of public and private housing with ownership and resale restrictions in the first 10 years.

The Sengkang plot can be built into a private condo with about 530 units. Both consultants predict the top bid could come in at $350-380 psf ppr and a resulting breakeven cost of about $700-740 psf and average selling price in the $800 psf region.

The calculation factors in the possibility of price softening; one MRT stop away, at Buangkok, units in The Quartz are selling at about $900 psf.

The Sengkang plot launched yesterday is a stone’s throw from the bustling Sengkang Town Centre, bus interchange, MRT/LRT stations and Compass Point mall.

On January 7, the government announced that the Bishan plot had been triggered from the reserve list, following a successful application from an unnamed developer that had agreed to bid at least $189.83 million or $300 psf ppr.

Credo’s Mr Ong predicts six to 10 bids for the land parcel, with the highest offer around $550-580 psf ppr; this would result in a breakeven cost of about $950 psf and an average selling price of around $1,100 psf.

Cushman’s Mr Ong forecasts five to seven bids, with the top in the $450-480 psf ppr range and reflecting an average selling price expectation of about $920-950 psf.

Market watchers expect developer interest for Government Land Sale sites to be cautious following the Jan 13 cooling measures, although overall economic fundamentals remain good.

The tender for the Bishan site closes on Feb 24, followed by the Sengkang plot on March 15, and the Choa Chu Kang EC plot on March 22.

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