A unit of Chip Eng Seng Corp and Unique Real Estate has put in the top bid for a plum site in Woodleigh Lane.
The Government land sales site tender attracted 15 bidders - close to what analysts had predicted - with offer amounts exceeding expectations.
The 99-year leasehold site launched on May 30 under the confirmed list for the first half of this year drew a top bid of $700.7 million from CEL Unique Development, which is 60 per cent owned by Chip Eng Seng Corp, and 40 per cent by Unique Real Estate.
Unique Real Estate is a joint venture of Heeton Holdings and KSH Holdings units.
The land is next to Woodleigh MRT station, adjacent to Bidadari New Town and near amenities such as Nex shopping mall. The 19,547 sq m site has a maximum gross floor area of 58,641 sq m.
Mr Ong Teck Hui, national director of research and consultancy at JLL, said: "The bidding war for residential sites has escalated further in this tender, driven by bidders' determination to secure this attractive site in a market that is potentially recovering." He noted that about half the bids were above expectations, with the top four within a tight 3.6 per cent margin.
Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ZACD Group, said many bids were aggressive, "despite the large size of the site and the heavy financial commitment required". About one-third of the 15 bids were above $1,000 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).
Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at consultancy Edmund Tie & Company, was not surprised, given that the parcel is in a highly attractive location. "Depending on how the development orientates itself, residents will enjoy unblocked views as the site is adjacent to the landed housing area," he added.
Based on the land bid, he expects the selling price of the proposed development to range from $1,720 psf to $1,800 psf.
However, Ms Christine Li, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield, noted that such selling prices are not supported in the vicinity, and the plot could face some competition from the mixed-use site in Bidadari estate secured by entities linked to Singapore Press Holdings and Kajima Development.