Government keeps steady supply of private housing for first half of 2020 land sales programme

The total potential supply of private homes from the confirmed and reserve list sites is 6,490, close to the 6,430 previously. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Government has kept largely unchanged the amount of private residential housing under the government land sales (GLS) programme for the first half of 2020, in view of the supply overhang and as developers' bids for land moderated after property cooling measures.

"The Government will continue to monitor the property market closely and adjust the supply for future GLS programmes, as necessary," the Ministry of National Development (MND) said in an announcement on Tuesday morning (Dec 3).

The new supply consists of three confirmed list sites and eight reserve list sites that can yield about 6,490 private homes, 114,000 sq m gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space and 1,070 hotel rooms.

Of the 6,490 proposed units, 1,775 units are in the confirmed list and 4,715 units on the reserve list, which may not be triggered for sale. The 1,775 units from the confirmed list sites is 60 units or 3.5 per cent more than the 1,715 units under the second half of 2019 GLS programme.

The three confirmed list comprises two private residential sites - including one executive condominium (EC) site in Yishun - and one commercial and residential site in Jalan Anak Bukit in Bukit Timah which can yield about 1,775 private homes (including 600 EC units) and 22,000 sqm GFA of commercial space.

Ms Christine Li, head of research, Singapore and Southeast Asia, Cushman & Wakefield, noted that the Government was prudent by "pushing out a limited number of sites in the confirmed list while leaving the bulk of supply in the reserve list."

The three sites on the confirmed list is the lowest over the last 5 years, she said. Furthermore, the bulk of units are from the site at Jalan Anak Bukit which will supply 865 units and 20,000 sqm of commercial space.

Excluding EC units, there will only be around 1,175 private residential units released in the confirmed list, the lowest since first half 2016 when only 925 private residential units were released.

"While the demand for private housing units has increased in the past two quarters, the overall transaction volume has remained modest relative to the period leading up to the introduction of the property market cooling measures," MND said.

Meanwhile, developers' demand for residential land remains moderate and there continues to be bidding interest for GLS tenders, it added.

Furthermore, the supply of private housing units in the pipeline remains high, at around 39,000 units currently, even though it has declined progressively over the past few quarters, MND noted.

This pipeline supply comprises around 34,000 unsold units from GLS and collective sale sites with planning approval, and an additional 5,000 units from sites that are pending planning approval. it added.

Therefore, the Government has decided to keep the supply of private residential units on the confirmed list for the 1H2020 GLS programme broadly similar to that for the 2H2019 GLS programme, MND said.

Ms Tay Huey Ying, JLL's head of research and consultancy in Singapore, expects the residential site at Tanah Merah Kechil Link to garner the most interest because of its proximity to Tanah Merah MRT Station and its "palatable housing size" of 310 residential units.

While the Jalan Anak Bukit site is near the Beauty World MRT station, she believes this parcel is the most risky of the three confirmed list sites because of its size. Coupled with the expected high investment outlay, we see this parcel attracting moderate competition from developers with deeper pockets," she added.

The reserve list comprises four private residential sites (including one EC site), three white sites and one hotel site. These sites can yield about 4,715 private residential units (including 595 EC units), 92,000 sq m GFA of commercial space and 1,070 hotel rooms.

The total amount of commercial space available from both confirmed and reserve sites at 114,000 sq m is 24 per cent higher than the 92,000 sq m for the GLS programme in the second half of 2019. The bulk of new commercial space comes from the 78,000 sq m from a reserve list, multi-use white site in Woodlands Regional Centre.

It is one of four residential sites, three white sites and one hotel site that have been carried over to the first-half 2020 GLS programme from the previous half-year.

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