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Government releases 23 land sites for sale

The sites can collectively yield up to 10,200 private residential units and 352,000 square metres gross floor area of commercial space, according to the Ministry of National Development.

SINGAPORE: The Government on Tuesday (June 10) announced the launch of nine confirmed list and 14 reserve list sites under the second half of the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme.

These 23 sites can collectively yield up to 10,200 private residential units  - including 1,500 Executive Condominium (EC) units - and 352,000 square metres (sq m) of gross floor area of commercial space, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said in a release.

Confirmed list sites go on sale regardless of interest from developers, while reserve list sites are triggered for a public tender only if a developer makes an acceptable opening offer.

The confirmed list comprises six private residential sites, including three EC sites, two commercial and residential sites, and one commercial site. The sites on the confirmed list can yield about 3,900 private residential units, including 1,500 EC units, and 159,000 sq m gross floor area of commercial space.

The number of residential units is lower compared to the 4,630 units offered in the first half of the year, and some 6,000 units in the second half of 2013.

Donald Han, managing director of Chesterton Singapore, said: "I think the government is sending a very clear signal that they are aware of the the current market being on an oversupply state and they have also noted that generally there has been a paring-down in developers bidding for sites." 

The reserve list comprises 12 private residential sites, one commercial site and a White site. These sites can yield about 6,300 private residential units and 193,000 sq m gross floor area of commercial space.

The MND said that the GLS Programme, together with the “large supply” from projects in the pipeline, is expected to be adequate to meet the demand for private housing and commercial space over the next few years.

RESIDENTIAL SITES

The residential sites to be placed on the confirmed list are located across all regions in Singapore.

MND added a commercial and residential site at Holland Road will be placed on the confirmed list as part of the Holland Village Extension plan unveiled in the Master Plan 2014. It said the site will provide “new housing options within a mixed use development that is well connected via pedestrian linkages to surrounding transport nodes and public spaces”.

COMMERCIAL SITES

MND also said it will be releasing a commercial site at Paya Lebar Road for sale on the confirmed list. The 3.98-hectare (ha) site comprises a commercial site that was on the reserve list for the first half of 2014, and another plot of land immediately south of Paya Lebar MRT station. The two plots of land will be connected via a subterranean space under Sims Avenue. “The sale of the site will facilitate the development of Paya Lebar Central into a commercial node, which is in line with the Government’s objective of decentralising employment centres and bringing jobs closer to homes,” the ministry said.

Nicholas Mak, executive director of research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultant, said: "Some developers may be attracted to it because the developments that can potentially be built on it is going to be the first of its kind in the Paya Lebar area.

"It is going to be an integrated shopping mall, with office space as well as apartments on it."

But analysts said developers may be deterred by the high construction costs and challenges in developing the site -- the plot of land is located directly across the Paya Lebar MRT station. A canal also runs through the site.

Analysts also noted that the 352,000 sq m of commercial sites released in the second half of its land sales programme this year is almost 80 per cent more than what was launched in the first half of this year.

Mr Han said this likely signals the government's intention to keep office rents affordable.

He said: "They are also pre-empting the fact that they should come up with supply to pre-empt a scenario of what we have experienced in 2007, 2008 -- where there was a shortage of office supply and we saw rents shooting up by as much as 40 to 50 per cent per annum.

"So I think it is just prudent for the government to come up with more sites since rents have started to move upwards."

Two sites for office developments will also be placed on the reserve list - a white site at Marina View and a commercial site at Beach Road. These sites will provide opportunities for the market to initiate the development of more office space if there is demand, MND said.

Apart from the GLS Programme, the Government will also make available other supply of land and properties through its various agencies. These include localised retail facilities at HDB estates, industrial estates, MRT stations, sport facilities and community, MND said.

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