It was third time lucky for Evia Real Estate and Gamuda after coming up short twice this year in tenders for executive condominium (EC) sites but it was a remarkably close contest.
The two firms emerged as the top bidder for the Anchorvale Crescent EC plot with an offer of $318,888,899.
That edged out the bid by Qingjian Realty's CNQC Realty (Treasure) Investment by 0.0003 per cent or a mere $899 - what analysts say is the narrowest margin ever for a Government Land Sales (GLS) site.
Evia Real Estate and Gamuda have already partnered to develop Gem Residences in Toa Payoh.
And Evia Real Estate built Heron Bay EC in 2012 and Lake Life EC in 2013.
Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, said that apart from the razor-thin difference between the highest and second-highest bidders, there was also a tight margin of just 15 per cent between the top and lowest bidder, which showed the consensus of pricing among the developers in the race.
Amount by which Evia Real Estate and Gamuda's bid for the Anchorvale Crescent EC site beat the offer by Qingjian Realty's CNQC Realty (Treasure) Investment.
Colliers is confident there continues to be relatively stronger demand for EC land. Ms Song said: "Developers appear to think that in light of the latest government curbs, EC units will still enjoy strong demand."
That seems to be evident in the number of bidders. There were seven for the Anchorvale Crescent plot and nine for the Canberra Link EC site that closed on Sept 4. Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments won that with an offer of $271 million or $558.22 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).
In comparison, there were just three bids for a private housing site at Jalan Jurong Kechil and five for a Dairy Farm one. Both closed on Sept 4.
Huttons Asia research head Lee Sze Teck said about the result yesterday: "The strong bids underscore developers' confidence in the EC market and the robust underlying demand from potential buyers in this segment amid limited stock in the market."
The 99-year leasehold Anchorvale Crescent site was triggered for launch from the reserve list of the GLS programme in July by an unnamed developer offering to bid at least $255 million or $461 psf ppr.
A joint venture between City Developments unit CDL Constellation and TID Residential made the top bid in February for the EC tender in Sumang Walk in Punggol, at $509.37 million, or a record $583 psf ppr.