Government to release land for up to 7,550 private homes in second half of 2016

The Government will release land for up to 7,550 private homes in the second half of 2016.
The Government will release land for up to 7,550 private homes in the second half of 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Government on Wednesday (June 8) announced the second half of 2016 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme, which comprises four Confirmed List sites and 11 Reserve List sites.

These sites can yield up to 7,550 private residential units and 277,100 square metres (sqm) gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space.

The total supply of 7,550 private homes units for second half of 2016 is close to the 7,420 units in the GLS for the first-half year, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said.

Of the 10 private residential sites identified by MND, three are Confirmed List sites, which mean they will go on sale regardless of demand from developers. The other seven sites are on the Reserve List, meaning they go on sale only when a developer makes an acceptable offer.

Another site on the Confirmed List is a commercial and residential site in Upper Serangoon Road.

The four Confirmed List sites will yield a combined 2,170 private residential units, higher than the 1,560 units in the Confirmed List for the first half of the year. This is however close to the actual total supply of 2,130 units for the period because a Reserve List site was triggered for sale in February.

In a blog post on the GLS announcement titled "Finding the right balance", Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said the Government has increased the supply of new private homes on the Confirmed List over the next six months "to match the actual committed supply in the first half of the year."

"If we were to include the sites on the Reserve List, we will have a total potential supply in the second half of the year that is similar to what was provided previously in 1H2016.

"All this will help to meet the current demand for new housing sites from developers, and add to private housing supply over the medium term," he said.

The minister also outlined the factors the Government considered in the setting the land quantum.

First, the decline in the number of remaining unsold private homes, as well as the corresponding pick-up in new private home sales at a monthly average rate of 600 units over the last 12 months.

Second, the actual supply of private homes committed to in the first half of the year which worked out to 2,130 homes.

Said Mr Wong: "We are mindful that excessive supply in a weak market can exacerbate a decline in prices. At the same time, insufficient supply can result in a future shortage and an unwarranted spike in housing prices when demand picks up.

"So we will continue to monitor the market closely, and find the right balance to ensure sustainable housing prices and a stable property market."

Besides the overall quantum, Mr Wong said the Government has "taken a closer look" at the location of the sale sites.

"In particular, we have continued to focus on sites in suburban areas, as these are the preferred locations for most first-timers and upgraders," he said.

"In line with this, two of the sites from the latest GLS programme are in areas outside the Central Region - at Fernvale Road in Sengkang and West Coast Vale in Clementi - which can provide approximately 1,150 new homes.

"We are also offering a site at Upper Serangoon Road, close to the upcoming HDB estate at Bidadari, for a mixed-use development comprising residences and a commercial complex. This complex will house retail and food outlets, offering many conveniences to the future residents of Bidadari Estate."

The new private homes from these sites should be completed around 2020, said Mr Wong.

Over the coming years, MND will continue to provide a steady supply of land for private housing, he added.

MND said the Confirmed List sites will also provide 15,500 sqm GFA of commercial space. This is mainly from the predominantly residential site at Upper Serangoon Road,near the Bidadari HDB estate.

On the Reserve List for the second half year, seven are residential sites, including one Executive Condominium site.

There is also a commercial and residential site in Holland Road, two commercial sites in Beach Road and Woodlands, and one white site in Central Boulevard. These have been carried over from the Reserve List of the GLS programme for the first half year.

Together, they can yield about 5,375 residential units and 261,580 sqm of commercial space.