Only six offers were lodged for a condominium site in Clementi, a sign that developers are holding back for a Siglap plot coming up in January.
A joint venture between UOL and Singapore Land unit Singland Homes topped the bids with an offer of $615 psf ppr, 9.4 per cent ahead of one lodged by a joint venture between Oxley and Lian Beng.
The top bid for the tender, which closed yesterday, was higher than initial expectations. While the 1.3ha site in Clementi Avenue 1 is near amenities such as West Coast Plaza, a wet market and several reputable schools, there are also quite a number of unsold units in the area.
The Trilinq condo in Jalan Lempeng, which is less than 2km away, has about 550 unsold units despite launching in 2013.
Mr Liam Wee Sin, deputy group chief executive officer of UOL, said the project should attract home buyers and upgraders.
"Its proximity to Science Park, National University Hospital, National University of Singapore and other prestigious schools will draw interest from investors. There is a scarcity of sites with such attributes," he said.
Two 40-storey towers with about 500 units in all, capitalising on the extensive views to the south, are planned for the site, he said.
Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP International executive director, noted that the number of bids was much lower than usual of late, with the other eight residential tenders this year receiving an average of 11 bids.
"Some developers may be reserving their resources to bid for the residential sites that would be announced in the new Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for the first half of next year," he said.
Developers could also be holding their fire for a rare Siglap condo site, which closes its tender next month, noted Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE research head for South-east Asia.
That said, a better variety of sites seems to have been offered via the GLS programme this year, including the Clementi site.
"Previously, many GLS sites were in the North-East region... A project on this site in the West Coast area will be a breath of fresh air," Mr Sim said. It is also encouraging to see many big developers still focusing on Singapore, he added. Oxley notably showed up in this latest site tender after its various international forays recently.