A Chinese-based group out-sprinted 10 other bidders for a private landed housing site in Lorong 1 Realty Park in Hougang.
The consortium of Fantasia Investment (Singapore), Sun Renwang and Yang Xinping tabled the highest bid of $75.8 million for the 99-year leasehold site.
Its bid, which translates to about $525.58 per sq ft per plot ratio, was 22 per cent ahead of the second-highest offer of $62.02 million put up jointly by Singhaiyi Investments and Haiyi Wealth, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said yesterday.
"The gap between the top two bids was a surprise. The top bidder has probably done its feasibility studies using different metrics from other developers," noted International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong.
Fantasia Investment, a unit of Hong Kong-listed Chinese developer Fantasia Holdings, has only one project here: the 168-unit 6 Derbyshire in Novena.
Analysts said the 10 other bids were fairly conservative or moderate, ranging from $29.88 million to $62.02 million.
The Lorong 1 Realty Park plot spans nearly 13,400 sq m and is within an established residential area in Hougang. About 50 landed homes of up to three storeys could be built on the site. Nearby amenities include Hougang Mall, Hougang Polyclinic, Serangoon Junior College, Hougang Stadium and Holy Innocents' Primary School.
Consultancy JLL attributed the less than robust bidding partly to the site attributes that may "pose some challenges", being located along busy Hougang Avenue 2.
"This will not be appealing to many buyers so demand may be more hesitant and this would be reflected in less optimistic sale prices," said Mr Ong Teck Hui, national director of research and consultancy at JLL.
Based on the aggressive top bid, the developer could price the new landed homes at over $1,445 psf, with a sales launch from the end of next year, said SLP International Property Consultants.
"It's a bullish bid. The break-even price alone is probably around $2 million for each house," SLP International research head Nicholas Mak told The Straits Times.
The Lorong 1 Realty Park site was on the confirmed list of the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme for the first half of the year.