SINGAPORE - The tender for an executive condominium (EC) site in Choa Chu Kang Drive surprised the market with top bids that were higher than expected, in a well-contested tussle among eight bidders on Thursday.
Industry watchers said the "optimistic" bids for the 205,138 sq ft parcel were a result of its location near the Choa Chu Kang MRT station and Lot One Shoppers' Mall.
The top offer of $207.4 million was from Sim Lian Land, which works out to $361 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio (ppr).
When the site was put up for sale in June, experts had predicted that it would garner five offers, with a winning bid of between $320 and $350 psf ppr.
"The number of bids and close winning margin indicate the healthy interest in the EC market, despite current market conditions," said Mr Desmond Sim, research head at CBRE.
In February, two EC parcels in Choa Chu Kang Grove were sold for $375 psf ppr and $339 psf ppr.
Yet, the average of these two parcels comes close to the top bid lodged for the Choa Chu Kang Drive site on Wednesday, despite its "superior location", noted Mr Ong Teck Hui, national director of research and consultancy at Jones Lang LaSalle.
Sim Lian's bid edged out the offer of $202.9 million - or $353 psf ppr - from a consortium comprising Hoi Hup Realty, Sunway Developments and Oriental Worldwide.
City Developments unit Verwood Holdings and its partner TID Residential came in third with a bid of $197 million - or $343 psf ppr.
Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty, said that developers are still optimistic about ECs because of their popularity with Housing Board upgraders.