Fierce bidding expected for Fernvale condo site

Developers' offers for the 99-year leasehold plot could hit $272m, given strong sales at nearby project, say analysts

Buyers queuing with their agents to book a unit after getting a ticket in a ballot process for High Park Residences, a condo development in Fernvale in 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

The success of High Park Residences in Fernvale Road is expected to spark keen interest for a nearby site that went on the market yesterday.

Analysts expect the 99-year leasehold plot - also in Fernvale Road - to draw between five and 10 bids from developers, with offers reaching as high as $272 million.

The 17,196.4 sq m plot, which is near Thanggam LRT station and amenities including Sengkang Riverside Park and The Seletar Mall, could yield about 605 private apartments.

It is the first of four confirmed list sites to be put up for sale under the Government Land Sales programme for this half of the year. Three other sites - in Perumal Road, West Coast Vale and Upper Serangoon Road - are also confirmed for sale by the end of the year.

Analysts expect keen competition, given better market sentiment and the blockbuster sales at High Park Residences. The project had sold 1,169 out of 1,186 units when they were released in July last year. As of last month, only 26 out of 1,390 units remained unsold.

"Developers are also likely to take into account the possibility that the residential market is bottoming out so bidding for the site is likely to be firm and competitive," said Mr Ong Teck Hui, national director for research and consultancy at JLL.

Sales of new private homes hit a one-year high last month and more than doubled June's sales at 1,091 units, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) figures on Monday.

"The launch of this tender is timely as it provides a window of opportunity for developers to shore up their land banks... Competition will be keen, especially from developers who have not been awarded any residential sites for the past few tenders," said Mr Desmond Sim, head of CBRE Research for Singapore and South-east Asia.

SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak said: "The top bid in the tender for this site could range from $244 million to $272 million ($440 to $490 per sq ft per plot ratio or psf ppr)."

That projection is slightly higher than the land price for High Park Residences, which sits on two land parcels. CEL Development and Unique Residence secured both plots in August 2014. Parcel A went for $234.9 million or about $438 psf ppr, while parcel B was secured at $252.1 million or about $448 psf ppr.

Mr Mak noted most of the condominium units near the Fernvale Road site were transacted at prices ranging between $970 psf and $1,060 psf, based on sales in the first seven months of the year. Property consultancy Edmund Tie & Company said URA Realis data showed the average unit price at High Park Residences was about $988 psf.

The tender closes at noon on Sept 27.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2016, with the headline Fierce bidding expected for Fernvale condo site. Subscribe