The tender for a rare residential site at Mount Sophia saw a fiercely-fought bidding war between nine developers, with a top bid of $442.3 million at its close on Tuesday.
The top bid came from a consortium comprising Hoi Hup Realty, Sunway Developments and S C Wong Holdings, translating into a price of $1,157 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio (ppr).
This was just 0.1 per cent higher than the next highest bid of $1,156 psf ppr, submitted by a tie-up between Hong Kong-listed group Fantasia Holdings and investment holding company Singhome Re.
A joint bid submitted by Far East Civil Engineering, Tannery Holdings and Sekisui House came in third at $1,127 psf ppr, 2.9 per cent lower than the winning bid.
Experts said that the results were a signal that developers are still bullish on land sites with attractive attributes, and that the close competition was expected owing to the plot's central location and proximity to the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station.
Colliers International director of research and advisory Chia Siew Chuin said that the site is unique as the Government rarely releases residential sites in the prime area of District 9 for sale.
Bids for the 23,771 sq m site were also lodged by the UOL Group, Wing Tai Holdings, and EL Development.
The plot also has historical significance as it once accomodated the Methodist Girls School, Trinity Theological College and the Nan Hwa Girls' School.
Analysts estimate the developer's breakeven price to be between $1,650 to $1,750 psf. Units at the future development are likely to sell at $1,900 psf at their launch.