Housing site near Serangoon MRT station up for tender soon

A residential development site within a 10-minute walk of Serangoon MRT station will be put up for tender next month.

The 1.4ha, 99-year-leasehold site in Lorong Lew Lian is close to Serangoon town centre, Nex shopping mall and various schools.

The public tender, lasting four to six weeks, will start next month on a date yet to be announced.

The site was on the Govern-ment's reserve list and has been triggered for sale after a developer committed to bid at least $250 million, or $552.90 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio (ppr), the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a statement yesterday. It did not name the developer.

Land parcels on the reserve list are put up for tender only if a developer makes an acceptable initial offer, while confirmed-list sites go on sale regardless of interest.

Some experts said they were surprised that a reserve-list site has been triggered for sale, given the weak demand in the private residential market.

"The developer who triggered the sale may not win the bid after all," SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak said.

"But this shows that attractively located sites in the north-east region are getting rather scarce," he added. He expects at least eight to 12 bidders to participate in this tender.

Cushman & Wakefield research director Christine Li said property developers have recently renewed calls for the Government to tweak or even remove the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty for Singaporeans buying a second property.

"As General Election 2015 is over, it could be an opportune time for developers to get ready their ammunition in the event that the cooling measures are tweaked," she said.

Some may want to boost their land bank in anticipation of the tweaks, she added.

Given that the site is located in a quiet neighbourhood lined with private houses and yet not far away from amenities and major transport nodes - it is served by two MRT stations, Bartley and Serangoon - Ms Li expects the tender prices for the Lorong Lew Lian land parcel to range between $670 and $720 psf ppr.

"The Botanique at Bartley near Bartley MRT station had been sold at a median price of $1,282psf since its launch in the second quarter.

I think that's the price the developer will be benchmarking against," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2015, with the headline 'Housing site near Serangoon MRT station up for tender soon'. Print Edition | Subscribe