There was a huge turnout for the last executive condominium (EC) site on offer this year, with 16 developers casting bids for an Anchorvale Lane plot that could yield about 630 units.
It was the highest number of bidders for an EC site since the tender for a Yuan Ching Road site, now Lake Life, in July 2013.
Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments submitted the top bid of $240.95 million or $355 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). It was just 2.5 per cent above Wee Hur Development's bid of $235 million or $346.30 psf ppr.
"Since so many parties were bidding competitively, their outlook on the EC market would be fairly optimistic, probably expecting a pick-up in demand and improvement in prices when the project is launched in late 2017 or early 2018," noted Mr Ong Teck Hui, JLL national research director.
"The potential bottoming of the private home market would also have a positive effect on the EC market, as stable or recovering prices of private homes would augur well for EC prices as well."
While the tender results showed many seasoned players, a surprise bidder was a joint venture between Treasure View and Raimon Land Development.
Mr Lionel Lee, chief executive of listed offshore support provider Ezra Holdings, and his brother, Adrian - non-executive director at upstream energy group Loyz Energy - are directors of Raimon Land.
Singaporeans Low Yuen Theng and Leong Suet Wah are behind Treasure View.
The area has several ECs with unsold stock, including Bellewaters, The Vales and Treasure Crest, noted Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP International executive director and research head.
About 296 units are unsold across these three projects, about the same number of flats you would find in a small EC project, he said.
However, given the top bid of $355 psf ppr, the developer would probably have to sell at over $820 psf ppr, above levels at the other projects and "a rather aggressive price", Mr Mak added.
But despite an unprecedented quantity of unsold stock, the EC market has seen some traction in the last few months, said Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE research head for Singapore and South-east Asia.
The number of unsold EC units has been decreasing since the first quarter of this year.
The stock had dropped to 5,471 unsold units as at the end of June, from 6,520 units in the first quarter, he noted.
Developer interest was also fanned by the recent sales performance of the Treasure Crest EC in Anchorvale Crescent, which sold 72 per cent of units at its launch weekend last month, Mr Sim added.