Government increases supply of land for private housing; sites at Handy Road and Hillview Rise on confirmed list

SINGAPORE – The Government has raised the supply of land for private housing in the second half of 2017 in response to stronger demand from home buyers and declining unsold stock in the pipeline.

The six sites on the confirmed list of  Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme for the second half of 2017 include four private residential sites, one of which is an executive condominium site in Sumang Walk, the Ministry of National Development said on Thursday (June 29). The other two sites on the confirmed list are commercial and residential sites.

In all, the confirmed list yields 2,840 private housing units, 510 units or about 20 per cent more than the supply of 2,330 units in the first half-year.

This arises from a need to ensure “an adequate pipeline supply of new private housing units to meet the needs of our population”, the ministry said, adding: “As the demand for new private housing from home buyers continued to rise in the first half of 2017, the number of unsold private housing units in the pipeline has declined.

The residential sites on the confirmed list are in Chong Kuo Road, Handy Road and Hillview Rise, while the commercial and residential sites, which can provide about 1,370 housing units and 26,800 square metres of commercial space, are in Holland Road and Sengkang Central.

The Holland Road site, which has a gross floor area (GFA) of 13,500 sq m, was originally to have a cap of 6,800 sq m of retail space. But this will be raised to the full available floor area following market feedback on the need to flexibly make use of public spaces in the Holland Village extension, said the ministry.

There are also nine private residential sites and one commercial site on the reserve list, for another 5,285 private residential units and 56,790 sq m of commercial space. The maximum retail GFA for the Woodlands Square site on this list was cut to 3,000 sq m from 8,000 sq m after consideration of the development plans and provision of commercial amenities in the area, said the ministry.

Government land sales for future residential developments have garnered strong interest of late.

Earlier this month (June), bids topped S$1.1 billion for a a 99-year-leasehold mixed commercial and residential site in Bidadari estate. Meanwhile, two China-based developers crossed the billion-dollar mark for a wholly residential site in May, with their bid for a plot in Queenstown.

This comes amid a decline in both supply and vacancies in the private residential market. Pipeline supply (including ECs) dropped to 46,016 units in the first three months of this year from 50,548 units in the final quarter of last year, Urban Redevelopment Authority’s data showed.

Excluding ECs, incoming supply declined  to 36,942 units in the first quarter this year from 40,913 units in the previous quarter. Over the same period, the vacancy rate for the same stable of residential units dipped by 0.3 percentage points, to 8.1 per cent from 8.4 per cent.

In an update on the GLS sites from the first half-year, the ministry also said on Thursday that tenders have been awarded for three of the five sites on the confirmed list, with the other two tenders still ongoing.

Of the 10 sites on the reserve list for that period, the residential site in Stirling Road has been sold and the sale of the commercial site in Beach Road is expected to go through by September.

Another residential site, in Owen Road, was taken off the reserve list so the area’s development plans could be reviewed. The site was supposed to have been made available for sale this month.