A developer run by property tycoon Robert Kuok has scooped up two collective sale sites in the upscale Bukit Timah area.
Allgreen Properties acquired Royalville for $477.94 million or $1,960 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), well above the $368 million asking price, perhaps because the site is near the Sixth Avenue MRT station.
It also won Crystal Tower for $180.65 million or $1,840 psf ppr.
The bullish bids for the freehold sites came even as the central bank joined National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday in warning developers and home buyers to proceed with caution.
Edmund Tie & Company, which marketed the estates, said competition for both was intense, with Royalville attracting nine bids from local and foreign developers, and Crystal Tower drawing 12.
Allgreen is not new to the Bukit Timah precinct, having developed freehold condominiums The Cascadia, which was launched in 2007, and Bukit Regency, which was released in 1998.
The last time Allgreen won a site in Singapore was in 2011, when it bought a 99-year leasehold plot in Upper Serangoon Crescent under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for $270.28 million, or $291.39 psf ppr.
It developed this into the 928-unit Riversails condominium.
It has participated in GLS tenders lately, but has not secured a site.
Allgreen's bids this time could translate to an estimated break-even price of $2,500 to $2,600 psf for Royalville, and $2,400 to $2,500 psf for the Crystal Tower site.
These could mean selling prices of up to $2,900 psf for new units on the Royalville site and $2,800 psf for those on the Crystal Tower plot, say consultants.
Some analysts reckon that Allgreen's bid for Royalville will now set the tone for the GLS tender closing at a Fourth Avenue site on Tuesday, which means that earlier forecasts have been thrown out of the window.
Analysts were earlier expecting eight to 15 bidders for the Fourth Avenue site, with the winning offer at $1,392 to $1,580 psf ppr.
"Allgreen's bid for Royalville becomes the new benchmark for the Fourth Avenue site," said Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong.
But developers would have to price in the 99-year leasehold tenure of the Fourth Avenue site and their own urgency for land.
About 25 residential sites sold en bloc since last year have clocked up a total value of $8.4 billion.
Colliers International head of research Tricia Song noted that this is 38.5 per cent of the $21.8 billion transacted for all sites in the last collective sale wave of 2005 to 2007. "Barring any unforeseen events, there is probably room for more collective sales going into 2018," she said.