Developers expected to vie keenly for Lentor, Tampines housing sites launched for sale

The Lentor Central parcel is located next to the upcoming Lentor MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line. PHOTO: URA

SINGAPORE - Market experts are expecting keen competition for two government land sale (GLS) sites for private housing launched on Thursday (April 15), given their location, the strong state of the housing market and developers' need to build up their land banks.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) called the tender for a site in Lentor Central, while the Housing Board is tendering a parcel in Tampines.

The Lentor Central site is earmarked for a private residential development and commercial space on the first storey, while the Tampines Street 62 parcel is slated for an executive condominium (EC). Together, they can yield about 1,195 residential units.

The 99-year leasehold parcels are confirmed list sites under the first half of the 2021 GLS programme - which means they were launched according to schedule regardless of demand. Reserve list sites, on the other hand, are put up for tender when a developer makes an offer acceptable to the Government.

Both the Lentor Central plot and the EC site in Tampines were carried over from the GLS reserve list for the second half of 2020.

Being confirmed list sites, their launch is not a reaction to recent good developer sales or talks of more curbs, said Colliers International research head Tricia Song. "Any change in housing supply policy will come in the next GLS programme for the second half of 2021," she said.

The supply of private residential housing from confirmed GLS sites was modestly increased for the first half of this year, after being sharply reduced in the second half of 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Supply from confirmed GLS sites was cut from 4,335 units in 2018 to 2,875 units in 2019 and 1,930 units in 2020, according to JLL Singapore's Mr Tan Hong Boon, executive director (capital markets), and Mr Ong Teck Hui, senior director (research and consultancy).

With unsold inventory declining, developers whose projects are gradually selling down have begun sourcing to replenish their land banks.

The Lentor Central parcel within the new Lentor Hills Estate has a site area of 17,279.9 sq m and a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 60,480 sq m. The 99-year leasehold site, which is located next to the upcoming Lentor MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line, is expected to yield about 605 units.

The Lentor Central site is probably the best site under the first-half 2021 GLS programme, said Mr Lee Sze Teck, director of research at Huttons Asia.

"There will be pent-up demand as the last launch in the area was The Calrose in 2005. The commercial component will provide much-needed amenities to the area and future developments," he said.

"With more than 3,000 new private sales in the first quarter of 2021, the stock of unsold uncompleted units is dwindling fast. The Lentor Central site will offer land-starved developers an opportunity to shore up their land bank. We expect more than 10 bidders and a top bid between $1,000 and $1,050 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr)," he added.

The land parcel in Tampines Street 62 has a site area of 23,799.2 sq m and a GFA of 59,498 sq m. The site is estimated to yield around 590 EC units.

Mr Lee noted that Tampines has had a number of HDB Build-To-Order launches in the past few years, providing a large pool of potential upgraders to ECs.

"The successful launch of Parc Central Residences bears testament to the pool of demand. We expect up to 10 bidders and a top bid between $550 and $600 psf ppr," he said.

Tender for the two land parcels will close at noon on July 22.

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