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Thread: Buffet-table spread of sites for developers

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    Default Buffet-table spread of sites for developers

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...23940,00.html?

    Published November 7, 2009

    Buffet-table spread of sites for developers

    But the jury is out on whether the govt's release of plots will tame land bids, which have soared wildly at state tenders

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    THE government is offering developers a platter of residential sites through the confirmed and reserve lists for the next half - including several plots in the vicinities of hot-selling condo launches this year, such as Caspian near Jurong Lake and Alexis near Queenstown MRT Station.

    However, the jury is out on how much this will tame land bids, which have soared wildly at recent state tenders.

    Four of the eight sites on the confirmed list and at least four reserve list sites are near MRT stations - but there are also many sites not in the vicinity of train stations where more affordable private housing could be built.

    A few plots are close to the city while the majority are in typical suburban locations where private condos catering to HDB upgraders are located.

    Peter Ow, Knight Frank executive director (residential), said: 'The government's main message is that it is taking care of the upgraders' market. The current release is to tackle and try to moderate prices in the upgraders market which concerns most Singaporeans.'

    For new private homes, prices in the mass-market segment have surpassed their 2007 peak levels; whereas for high-end homes, prices have yet to recover to their 2007-highs, he added.

    'Thus, there are no sites in the Core Central Region, which includes the prime districts. The government recognises the fact that not all sectors of the residential market are doing well, especially high-end homes.'

    Chua Chor Hoon, DTZ's South-east Asia research head, said that with so many choices, developers are unlikely to put in aggressive land bids in future tenders.

    Leonard Tay, CB Richard Ellis director (research), said that the latest supply may moderate slightly some of the exuberance at recent state tenders but prime sites near MRT stations would still be well contested and developers may put in a premium.

    Putting the latest supply numbers in perspective, Knight Frank chairman Tan Tiong Cheng suggested that the 2,925 private homes that can be developed on the eight confirmed list plots for H1 2010 would not significantly bring down land bids as the reintroduction of supply on this list is long overdue after an absence of one year.

    'So it's more like catching up. Plus, there's no alternative supply of mass market sites from the private sector through collective sales, for instance,' he added.

    Of the 10 new housing sites on the latest confirmed and reserve lists, Knight Frank's Mr Ow picks out the confirmed list plot next to Potong Pasir MRT Station, which can yield about 150 private homes, and the reserve list site at Stirling Road near Queenstown MRT Station as the ones likely to fetch the highest bids - about $500 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) and above $500 psf ppr respectively, because of their proximity to the city.

    DTZ's Ms Chua pointed out that the Stirling Road site, which can be be turned into a condo with about 405 units, is quite near the CBD and very close to HDB flats. A new condo on the site would generate demand from both owner occupiers and investors. 'There's good rental demand for Queens and Anchorage condos nearby,' she said.

    Agreeing, Mr Ow said that the Stirling plot, with a 4.2 plot ratio (ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area) could probably be built up to 40 storeys, in line with Queens condo just in front of it as well as HDB blocks in the Dawson estate nearby.

    Property consultants said that other new sites that are likely to be popular include plots near Simei and Lakeside MRT stations as well as a plot in Pasir Ris near Downtown East and Pasir Ris Park.

    The land parcel near Lakeside MRT Station, which is under the confirmed list, can produce some 525 private homes. It is next to Caspian, which sold like hot cakes in February and helped revive private homes sales after last year's global financial crash. Another plot on the confirmed list, diagonally opposite Simei MRT, can produce 250 units. It is also near UOL Group's Double Bay Residences which was released this year. The confirmed list site at Pheng Geck Avenue near Potong Pasir MRT is close to another 2009 hot seller, [email protected]

    Among the new reserve list sites, the Stirling Road plot is in the vicinity of Alexis condo, which was also among the earlier hot projects this year.

    The Ministry of National Development has also injected two plots in Hougang into the latest reserve list - one at Hougang Avenue 2 designated for a low-rise development near Rosyth School, and the other, at Hougang Avenue 7.

    Another new reserve list plot is at Miltonia Close in Yishun, next to The Shaughnessy, a completed condo. It may be far from town and not next to an MRT station but a new low-rise development on the site will be attractively located, next to Orchid Golf Course and near Lower Seletar Reservoir.

    Developers more familiar with the Eunos area may consider a plot at Foo Kim Lin Road which can generate about 535 units. It is a new plot on the reserve list.

    'Developers now have a whole buffet-table spread of sites to choose from,' summed up CBRE's Mr Tay.


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    http://www.straitstimes.com/PrimeNew...ry_451238.html

    November 7, 2009 Saturday

    Govt to offer slew of sites for homes

    Eight confirmed sites and as many as 26 to allay fears of shortage

    By Joyce Teo, Property Correspondent


    THE Government acted ahead of schedule yesterday in following through on its pledge to release plenty of land sites to meet strong demand for mass market homes outside the city centre.

    In the first half of next year, at least eight residential sites - and as many as 26 sites - will be offered to developers.

    The move is being seen as a bid to allay fears of a shortage of these homes - often bought by HDB upgraders - which may have sent prices surging.

    The 26 sites could produce 10,550 private homes - the highest number from any half-yearly government land sales since the second half of 2001, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

    In an announcement that came a few weeks earlier than usual, the Government said it would put eight residential sites, including two executive condominium (EC) sites, on the confirmed list. This is where sites are put up for sale regardless of developers' prior expressions of interest.

    These sites could boast about 2,925 new homes, close to the boom time 3,000 in the second half of 2007.

    'There's some anxiety about housing supply, so its better to tell people that there will be adequate supply,' said URA senior group director of land sales and administration Choy Chan Pong.

    'The private residential market has seen very strong demand in the past eight months, so we want to ensure there is enough supply to meet demand, so that prices can move more in sync with economic fundamentals,' he said.

    To calm the market, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan, in mid-September, flagged the move to reinstate the confirmed list after it was suspended for about a year.

    Sales of new private homes this year are now above 12,828 units and could hit 2007's record of 14,811 units. Developers have thus been bidding for land at much higher than expected prices.

    The high-end homes market has not fully recovered, but mass market prices are now similar to levels seen in the previous boom, sparking fears of runaway mass market prices, experts said.

    'The programme will ensure the property market stays stable and price increases are kept to moderate levels,' said Knight Frank's executive director of residential, Mr Peter Ow.

    Aggressive bids by developers could also become a thing of the past.

    The Government is trying to calm panicky buyers as well as developers who have been tendering for sites at record prices, said Cushman & Wakefield managing director Donald Han.

    Of the 26 sites for residential use on the land sales programme, 10 are new sites, not rolled out previously.

    In January, the Government will push out three confirmed sites, including a new EC site in Buangkok Drive.

    The five EC sites, one new, will mean the largest EC supply since 2000.

    'Putting two ECs on the confirmed list reflects the Government's concern about the widening gap between HDB resale prices and private housing prices,' said DTZ head of South-east Asia research Chua Chor Hoon.

    Two of the 26 residential sites are mixed-use, whereby private homes can be built. Another 16 are on the reserve list, whereby sites are offered for sale after a developer commits to a minimum bid.

    Two confirmed list sites near MRT stations - in Pheng Geck Avenue and Simei Street 3 - are very attractive, and could fetch $400 to $500 per sq ft of gross floor area, Mr Ow estimated.

    Units on the sites may then sell for close to $1,000 psf, he added.

    On the reserve list, the sites likely to be triggered for tender are in Bishan Street14, Bartley Road and Stirling Road, said CBRE Research.

    In all, 42 sites are available for sale in the first half of next year, comprising 24 purely residential sites, two mixed use sites that must include residential use, five commercial sites, 10 hotel sites and one site permitting a range of uses.

    [email protected]

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    http://www.straitstimes.com/News/Hom...ry_451697.html

    November 8, 2009 Sunday

    More land for homes soon, so don't rush

    Private developers will have a variety of sites to choose from by first half of 2010, says Mah

    By Goh Chin Lian


    There is no need to rush to buy homes, now that a slew of land parcels will be released to private developers in the first half of next year.

    That was the assurance given yesterday by National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan.

    Similarly, he assured developers that they will have a variety of sites to choose from, with some up for grabs as early as January.

    He was speaking to reporters a day after the Government announced that at least eight residential sites - and as many as 26 - will be offered to developers.

    It made the move to allay fears of a shortage of homes in the private property market that may have sent prices surging to levels seen in the previous boom.

    Five of the 26 sites are for executive condominiums, to cater to the 'sandwiched group', Mr Mah said.

    These are people who do not qualify for new HDB flats because they earn more than the $8,000 monthly income cap, but who may find private property too expensive.

    The 26 sites could yield 10,550 private homes, the most from half-yearly government land sales since the second half of 2001.

    Mr Mah said: 'It sends a signal that there is ample supply, and if the demand is high, we are able to meet this demand by releasing more land.'

    Another 60,000 units are also in the pipeline and have yet to be sold, he pointed out.

    'So no need to panic, no need to rush. Just take your time, look around, and you will find a home that's suitable for you and that is within your budget,' he said.

    Earlier, Mr Mah presented certificates to 41 newly registered professional engineers, at an annual event to recognise the contributions of such professionals.

    In his speech, he identified two challenges facing engineers.

    One is to find ways to make buildings environmentally friendly and adopt sustainable construction practices, such as using more recycled materials.

    Another challenge is to advance the construction industry through innovation, such as the prefabrication technology used to build the 50-storey residential towers at [email protected]

    Mr Mah also recognised the Professional Engineers Board's efforts to promote the profession as a lifelong career.

    New blood is needed, he pointed out, as six in 10 professional engineers with practising certificates are aged 50 or above.

    [email protected]

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