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Thread: S'pore govt land sales in FY2007 double to $12.4b

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    Default S'pore govt land sales in FY2007 double to $12.4b,00.html?

    Published September 24, 2008

    S'pore govt land sales in FY2007 double to $12.4b

    The total is $2b shy of FY1997's record sales of $14b


    (SINGAPORE) The government sold some $12.4 billion worth of land in the financial year ended March 31, 2008 - double the sales of $6.2 billion achieved in the previous year.

    The numbers mark a steady increase for 10 straight years now, ever since the property slump in 1997-98. But the $12.4 billion value is still around $2 billion shy of the record achieved in total state land sales during the property boom in the 1997 financial year. Then, the state netted about $14 billion.

    The Singapore Land Authority (SLA), which appoints agencies to conduct state land sales, announced the figures yesterday in its annual report. The private sector contributed the bulk of revenue, accounting for a record $10.4 billion of land sales.

    Top deals included the purchase of a land parcel at Irrawaddy Road by Parkway Holdings for $1.25 billion in February 2008, and the sale of the iconic South Beach site, which was snapped up by a consortium comprising City Developments and overseas partners Istithmar (part of the Dubai World Group) and United States-based Elad Group for some $1.69 billion in September 2007.

    The public sector accounted for the remaining $2 billion of land sales.

    The year was marked by 'urgent strong demand' for land for office, hostel, international schools and other commercial uses, SLA said.

    '2007 was a busy year,' said chief executive Lam Joon Khoi in the annual report. 'We achieved high levels of operational output across all functions.'

    The government agency has been working to release state properties for adaptive interim development. For example, it has launched eight transitional office sites since July 2007.

    There were also other signs that FY2007 was a boom year for the property sector. During the year, SLA launched 78 tenders, which works out to one tender every 4.5 days - an 8 per cent increase from 2006. The number of tenders awarded also increased by 56 per cent.

    And with the strong growth in the property market, SLA registered a high volume of 537,600 instruments and caveats lodged for HDB and private properties during the year. By contrast, some 380,400 instruments and caveats were lodged in FY2006.

    SLA also said that on the back of the property boom and strong demand for state properties, its operating income achieved an all-time high, increasing by 14 per cent to $100.9 million from $88.6 million a year ago.

    SLA's total operating surplus for the year ending March 31, 2008 was $17.1 million - slightly under the surplus of $17.2 million reported for the previous financial year.

    SLA also said that it managed some four million sq m in total estimated gross floor area of state properties as at March 31, 2008, which is a new high. This translated into an occupancy rate of 87 per cent.

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    Sep 24, 2008 Wednesday

    SLA's land sales double to $12 billion

    10-year high comes in year marked by mega deals, strong demand

    By Jessica Cheam

    This Beach Road site, bought by a City Developments-led group at $1.69 billion, is one of the deals that helped SLA to its bumper result. -- PHOTO: URA

    THE property market's bull run might have stopped but not before sending land sale revenue at the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) to a 10-year high of $12.4 billion.

    Its bumper result for the 12 months ended March 31 was a twofold increase from the $6.2 billion in 2006 and is just shy of the 1997 record of $14 billion.

    Some of the mega sales that added to the stellar figures included a plum site at Beach Road, bought by a City Developments-led consortium for $1.69 billion, and a 1.7ha site on Irrawaddy Road sold to Parkway Novena for $1.2 billion to build a private hospital.

    SLA's annual report, released yesterday, showed that land sale proceeds from the private sector hit a record high of $10.4 billion - well up on the $3.5 billion for 2006 and the $6.9 billion posted in the 1997 property boom.

    Land sales to the public sector dropped slightly to $2 billion, from $2.7 billion in 2006.

    The financial year was marked by strong demand for land for offices, hostels, international schools and other commercial uses.

    The agency rolled out 78 tenders for such interim uses - about one every 4.5 days and 8 per cent up on 2006.

    SLA's operating income hit a record at $100.9 million - a 14 per cent increase from a year ago. Its total operating surplus was $17.1 million.

    The gross floor area (GFA) of SLA- managed state properties also hit a record of 4.02 million sq m, translating into an 87 per cent occupancy rate of all existing state properties.

    SLA said the largest use - at 1.7 million sq m GFA - of its state properties is by social and civil institutions, including voluntary welfare organisations, and for the arts and recreation purposes.

    It also injected about 122,000 sq m of space to ease the office crunch and awarded more than 40 properties for educational uses.

    'The potential for good rental yield has drawn many new and experienced investors to bid for state properties,' said SLA chief executive Lam Joon Khoi.

    Mr Lam added that SLA has developed an integrated registration system for private and HDB properties.

    This will extend search facilities, currently available only for private properties, to HDB flats.

    For the coming year, SLA said it will focus on a new initiative: Establishing a national spatial data infrastructure.

    It will develop a geographic information system that will coordinate and manage land data and data exchange across all the public agencies.

    SLA chairman Greg Seow said the initiative is 'significant as it aids in both strategic planning and operations for the appropriate agencies'.

    'It will also demonstrate a government-wide approach to problem-solving and resource-sharing,' he added.

    More details on this initiative will be released later.

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    Year of records

    # Land sales jumped to $12.4 billion, from $6.2 billion in 2006

    # Land sales to private sector at a record $10.4 billion, eclipsing 1997 property peak of $6.9 billion

    # Operating income rose 14 per cent to $100.9 million from a year ago

    # Operating surplus at $17.1 million

    # Agency fees from SLA's land business group contributed $61.6 million, from last year's $54.8 million

    # Rental collections for state land and properties rose to $550.5 million - $36 million higher than last year.

    # Title registration grew 17 per cent to a record $4.3 million

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