Authorities raise supply of private homes


The 10 confirmed list sites for the first half of 2024 can yield 5,450 private residential units. — The Straits Times

SINGAPORE: Land supply for private housing will be bumped up for the first half of 2024, and will include a pilot site for long-stay serviced apartments in one-north as well as the first private housing site in Bayshore precinct.

In all, the 10 sites on the confirmed list and nine sites on the reserve list of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme announced on Dec 6 will yield 8,910 private residential units, 107,750 sq m gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space and 530 hotel rooms.

The 10 confirmed list sites – which include one executive condominium (EC) site, the third long-stay serviced apartments site, and one commercial and residential site – can collectively yield 5,450 private residential units including 710 EC units and 515 long-stay serviced apartments, as well as 13,900 sq m GFA of commercial space. This is a rise of 5.6% from 5,160 residential units in the second half of 2023.The confirmed list supply injection will bring the total pipeline supply of private housing including ECs to about 59,100 units, said the National Development Ministry.

This comprises 41,900 units with planning approval and 17,200 units from GLS sites and awarded collective sale sites that have not been granted planning approval.

ERA Singapore chief executive Marcus Chu expects a further dilution of bids from developers with 10 confirmed list sites slated for release in the first half of 2024.

“Some developers may have lower appetite for land now, as they have already replenished their land bank in earlier land sales.

“Excluding ECs, residential sites received an average of 5.2 bids per site in the first half of 2022, and this has moderated to 3.7 bids per site in the second half of 2023,” he said.

PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor said the increase in land supply should help moderate bids.

He noted the restrained appetite from developers for GLS sites, amid higher interest rates and market uncertainty.

Several plum sites being offered could appeal to developers that would otherwise have to tap the collective sale market for prime plots, he added.

Cushman & Wakefield head of research for Singapore and South-East Asia Wong Xian Yang said developers may focus on small to medium sites with less future market competition as buyers remain price-sensitive.

The Media Circle site in one-north, which yields 515 serviced apartments, is the first full long-stay serviced apartments only site on the confirmed list for the first half of 2024, analysts noted.

Two such sites in Upper Thomson Road and Zion Road were launched under the second-half 2023 GLS programme on Dec 4, but these comprised a mix of residential and long-stay units.

Leonard Tay, head of research with Knight Frank, pointed out that as the Media Circle site is stipulated for long-stay serviced apartments only, developers need not sell out the project within five years to obtain additional buyer’s stamp duty remission.

The government will also make available nine sites on the reserve list that can yield an additional 3,460 units for developers to initiate for development if they assess there is demand. The list comprises six private residential sites, including two EC sites with 855 units and one site in River Valley Green that can yield 220 long-stay serviced apartments, as well as one commercial site, one white site – which allows for a mix of uses – and one hotel site with 530 hotel rooms.

The release of the first private housing sale site in Bayshore Road on the reserve list will kick-start the development of Bayshore estate, the ministry noted.

This new 60ha estate will comprise 10,000 homes – around 3,000 private homes and 7,000 housing and development board flats – that sit on reclaimed land bounded by Upper East Coast Road and East Coast Parkway.

Most intriguing

Knight Frank’s Tay said the two Bayshore Road and River Valley Green Parcel B sites on the reserve list are the “most intriguing” and have the highest chance of being triggered.

As the last two GLS tenders in Bayshore – now The Bayshore and Costa Del Sol – were more than two decades ago, the Bayshore Road site will pique developers’ interest, given the Long Island reclamation and development along Singapore’s eastern coast, he said.

A portion of the GFA for the River Valley Green site will be for long-stay serviced apartments, mitigating developers’ risk of incurring ABSD, Tay added.

Cushman’s Wong said developers will likely try to get a first-mover advantage in the Bayshore precinct, given the site’s location and proximity to the upcoming Bayshore mass rail transit (MRT).

But market competition could be stiff in future with about 3,000 private homes to be built in the precinct, he added.

Affordable hybrid homes

Turning to the confirmed list sites, analysts expect many bids for the only EC site in Jalan Loyang Besar in Pasir Ris, as such hybrid private homes are more affordable and attract upgraders and first-home buyers.

Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, said there should be pent-up demand in Pasir Ris as the last EC launch – Sea Horizon – was in 2013.

ERA’s Chu said the sites in Holland Drive and De Souza Avenue, which were moved to the first-half 2024 confirmed list from the second-half 2023 reserve list, should also receive strong interest.

“Based on the land size and plot ratio, the land value of Holland Drive will likely cross the S$1bil mark, and could draw consortiums to put in joint bids,” he said.

Wong anticipates demand for the Margaret Drive and Tampines Street 94 plots as they are located in popular residential precincts Queenstown and Tampines.

“The previous Margaret Drive site (Margaret Ville) sold in 2016 was hotly contested and drew 14 bids. The Tampines site will be a future mixed-use development next to the Tampines West MRT and the future mall will likely be well supported by a growing residential population,” he said. — The Straits Times/ANN

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