Singapore News

Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 07 June 2006 2152 hrs

Govt H2 land sales could supply 3,500 to 4,000 residential units
By Matthias Chan, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : The government land sales for the second half of this year, due anytime this month, could put some 3,500 to 4,000 residential units into the market.

And property consultants say some unsold sites earmarked for sale in the first half could be replaced by newer sites.

The government identified 12 residential sites for the reserve list in the government land sales in the first half of this year.

And midway into June, only one site has been sold.

According to analysts, the lukewarm response was due to more attractive alternatives.

Donald Han, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield, said: "We not only saw the high end collective sales picking up, we also saw the mass market, those located in the suburban town centres, for example the Waterfront Condominium which is fronting Bedok Reservoir was sold a few months back. It was jointly bought by Far East Organisation and Centrepoint. That would have easily contributed about 1,000 to 1,500 units into the market."

The sites chosen for the first half could yield some 4,320 units but there could be changes for the second half.

Donald Han said: "I suspect one or two or even three of these 11 sites remaining may drop off by virtue that the response has been fairly weak and some of these might become stale over a period of time. The government may reposition some of these sites.

As a result, analysts say there may be another set of three or four residential sites introduced into the reserve list.

Under the policy, a site in the reserve list is release for sale by tender only if a developer undertakes to bid a minimum price for the land acceptable to the government.

In all, about 3,500 to 4,000 units could be supplied into the market in the second half.

But the expected supply is not likely to have a major impact on the property market because the number is similar to the units available in the first six months.

Consultants expect the bidding for the new parcels to be lively.

Likely participants in the government land sales include developers looking to replenish their 99-year leasehold landbank and those focused on the mass market like NTUC Choice Homes.

Construction companies involved in property development for example Chip Eng Seng could also join in the bids. - CNA/ch