SINGAPORE: An executive condominium (EC) site along Anchorvale Crescent received seven bids at the close of the tender on Friday (Sep 14), with just S$899 separating the two highest offers.
The top bid ofS$318,888,899 was submitted jointly byEvia Real Estate and Gamuda (Singapore), with the second highest offer of S$318,888,000 from CNQC Realty (Treasure) Investment.
The 17,137-sq-m land parcel can yield a maximum of 550 units, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said in a news release.
"The top bid was only a hair's breadth higher than the second-highest bid, reflecting the neck-to-neck tussle to secure the site," said JLL national director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui.
"After tendering for the Sumang Walk and Canberra Link EC sites previously and failing to secure them, Evia Real Estate and Gamuda seems to have redoubled its efforts in today’s tender by bidding more robustly at S$576.24 psf/pr. It is 3.2 per cent higher than the top bid of S$558.22 psf/pr for the Canberra Link EC site whose tender closed recently on Sep 4," he added.
Based on the top bid, Colliers International estimates that the EC will have a break-even price of S$900-950 psf ppr and an average selling price of S$1,100 psf.
The site was initially on the Reserve List of the Government Land Sales Programme, but its launch was triggered on Jul 25 after a developer committed to bid at least S$255 million.
HDB put the land parcel up for sale by public tender on Aug 10.
A decision on the award of the tender will be made after the bids have been evaluated.
EC MARKET REMAINS A BRIGHT SPOT
Analysts noted that the EC primary market remains a bright spot in the residential sector while the rest of the private home market has been cautious since new cooling measures were implemented on Jul 5.
Among the new curbs were a 5 percentage point hike in Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates for citizens and permanent residents (PRs) buying second and subsequent homes, as well as a 5 percentage point tightening for loan-to-value limits for all housing loans granted by financial institutions.
"Developers appear to think that in light of the latest government curbs, EC units would still enjoy strong demand," said Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International.
She noted that the Canberra Link EC site tender saw nine bids, compared with "the subdued" three and five bids for the Jalan Jurong Kechil and Dairy Farm private housing sites, which both closed on Sep 4.
"We believe there continues to be relatively stronger demand for EC land," she said.
Demand from new EC buyers has also been strong, with the 628-unit Rivercove Residences, which was launched in April, nearly sold out at a median price of S$973 psf, noted JLL's Mr Ong.
Mr Ku Swee Yong, CEO of International Property Advisory, added: "The sandwich class has been lapping up ECs to profit from the grant as well as the arbitrage in price they get when the EC is privatised after 10 years.
"But 14 years from today, with the ageing population and downgraders, will prices remain high?"