Woodleigh Lane By CEL

SINGAPORE — A private housing land parcel at Woodleigh Lane has attracted a top bid of more than S$700 million in a hotly contested tender under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

The 99-year-leasehold site next to the Woodleigh MRT station sits on 210,402 sq ft with a maximum allowable gross floor area of 631,206 sq ft that can be developed into about 735 homes, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said.

The tender, which closed on Tuesday (July 11), drew a total of 15 bids, with CEL Unique Development, a unit of mainboard-listed builder Chip Eng Seng, submitting the highest bid of S$700.7 million, URA data showed.

That narrowly beat the second-highest joint bid of S$695 million from Corson and Wingjoy Investment, and the third-highest joint bid of S$688.1 million from Verwood Holdings and Logan Property.

The top bid translated into S$1,110.10 per sq ft per plot ratio (psfppr), with the top five bids in the tender exceeding S$1,000 psfppr, underlining the keen competition for the plot.

“The stiff competition from developers is also reflected in the top bid. Even though this is not a mixed-use site which typically commands a premium, the top bidder seems to be taking the cue from the winning bid of the Upper Serangoon Road site which was already above market expectation,” said Ms Christine Li, director of research at property firm Cushman & Wakefield.

In June, a mixed commercial and residential GLS site along Upper Serangoon Road drew a winning bid of S$1.132 billion from Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Kajima Development, translating into S$1,181.07 psfppr.

The top bid submitted in the latest tender means the developer will have to price the property close to the future selling price of units built on the Upper Serangoon Road site — in the S$1,700 to S$1,800 psf range, Ms Li said.

“Such selling prices are currently not supported in the vicinity. Based on URA Realis data, the median transacted price in 2017 for Blossoms@Woodleigh and 8@Woodleigh were at S$1,260 psf and S$1,241 psf, respectively. Even uncompleted new launches such as Poiz Residences and Forest Woods were transacted at median prices of S$1,377 psf and S$1,385 psf, respectively,” she noted.

“As the incumbents (i.e. SPH and Kajima) did not contest in the latest tender, this could pose some competition to each other’s project should they be launched around the same time. Given that SPH and Kajima are aiming to build 600 large condo units for the Upper Serangoon Road project, the developer could probably consider planning something of a more compact size so as not to compete head on with the adjacent project,” she added.

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