Record S$1b bid for Stirling Road GLS housing site

Record S$1b bid for Stirling Road GLS housing site

SINGAPORE — A plum private housing land parcel near Queenstown MRT Station has attracted a top bid of more than S$1 billion, the first time that a purely residential site on the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme has exceeded that price quantum.

The large 99-year leasehold site at Stirling Road, first made available on the Reserve List of the GLS programme in March 2010, was launched for sale by public tender last month.

The site, which sits on 227,221 sq ft of land, has a gross plot ratio of 4.2, translating into a maximum permissible gross floor area of 954,327 sq ft. This can be developed into about
1,110 homes.

The top bid of S$1.003 billion, which translates into S$1,050.71 per sq ft (psf) of gross floor area, was submitted jointly by units of China’s Nanshan Group and Hong Kong’s Logan Property, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data showed on Thursday (May 18).

Ms Christine Li, director of research at property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield, said: “It is the first time that a purely residential site in the GLS has crossed the S$1 billion mark. The S$1.003 billion price tag is also almost 50 per cent (46.7 per cent) higher than the previous record — a site that has been developed into Costa Del Sol condominium, which was sold at S$682.8 million or S$457 psf per plot ratio (ppr) in January 1997.”

“The sheer amount of the liquidity in the market, despite the capital controls put in place by the Chinese government, has not seemed to temper the appetite of aggressive Chinese players, as a total of S$11 billion went after this plum site,” she added.

In all, there were 13 bids, many of them from large developers or consortiums, the URA data showed, due to the site’s large size and the heavy financial commitment required to bid in this tender.

While Nanshan is a well-known player in the market, being an active participant in recent GLS tenders, it is Logan’s first foray into the Singapore market, Ms Li said. The joint bid from Nanshan and Logan of S$1,050.71 psfppr was 8.3 per cent more than the second highest bid of S$970 psfppr by MCL Land, which recently secured the nearby Margaret Road site at S$998 psfppr in December last year, she noted.

“The strong top bid in excess of S$1,000 psfppr, despite the Stirling Road site being four times as large as the Margaret Road site, signals developers’ strong confidence in the Singapore residential market and their belief that prices could return to growth soon,” she said.

Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director and head of research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants, said: “It is quite uncommon for GLS bids for residential land to exceed S$1,000 psfppr … The good sales performance from nearby condo projects, such as Queens Peak, as well as the recent easing of the Seller’s Stamp Duty have lifted the confidence of bidders when they were bidding for the site.”

Besides being near the Queenstown MRT Station, the Stirling Road site boasts positive attributes such as its close proximity to the Mei Ling wet market, Queenstown Polyclinic, Queenstown Swimming Complex, Queensway Shopping Centre and Ikea.

The future development on the site is ideal for families with school-going children as numerous schools including Queenstown Primary and Secondary School, Gan Eng Seng Primary School and Crescent Girls’ School are located nearby.

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