URA launches West Coast Vale site for sale

A residential site at West Coast Vale that could yield up to 520 units was launched for sale by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday.

Analysts expect it will receive “warm interest” from developers but not the sort of aggressive bidding seen for better located plots recently.

“In some land tenders this year, we have seen 13 to 14 bids for sites… For this plot, I think there’ll be… six to eight,” said PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor.

A residential site in Margaret Drive, for instance, drew bullish bids from 14 developers, while another in Martin Place attracted 13 bids.

Other analysts estimate that the 99-year leasehold plot in West Coast Vale could attract five to 10 offers in view of improved market sentiment and developers’ desire to build their land banks.

Mr Wong Xian Yang, OrangeTee’s head of research and consultancy, noted: “Though the site is not near an MRT station, it is relatively near the Jurong Lake District, which has many commercial amenities such as Jem and Westgate.”

The 16,378 sq m plot has a maximum gross floor area of 45,860 sq m and it is being offered under the confirmed list of the Government Land Sales programme.

Ms Christine Li, research director at Cushman and Wakefield, estimates that the top bid could range from $222.1 million to $246.8 million ($450 to $500 psf per plot ratio), while OrangeTee puts it at around $271 million to $296 million ($550 to $600 psf ppr).

Analysts noted that prospective bidders would also consider sales momentum at the adjacent 752- unit Parc Riviera project, which went on the market last month.

Demand at Parc Riviera has been muted so the West Coast Vale site “is not expected to attract keen interest from most developers”, said Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants.

Parc Riviera developer EL Development told The Straits Times yesterday that over 130 units have been sold since Nov 5 at an average price of about $1,175 psf.

Ms Li noted that “EL Development may also consider placing a slightly more aggressive bid to secure the site in order to maintain pricing power in the area”.

The developer declined to comment on whether it would lodge a bid.

“We will continue to market Parc Riviera. I think the potential project on the new site will probably be ready for sale only in 2018, so there is still a big time gap,” said EL Development managing director Lim Yew Soon.

The tender closes at 12 noon on Feb 9.