Toa Payoh private residential site draws 14 bids

Top offer of $345.86m by Evia and partners just pips next highest bid

AN ATTRACTIVE private residential site in the mature estate of Toa Payoh has attracted keen interest from 14 bidders - in line with market expectations.

The top bid came from Evia Real Estate, the developer behind Jurong's Lake Life executive condominium, and two partners, Maxdin and Gamuda.

This bid was just 1.1 per cent higher than second-placed Sing Holdings, at $342.1 million.

Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE research head for Singapore and South-east Asia, said the level of interest was unsurprising.

He said only a few sites remained available on the Government Land Sales programme for the first six months of the year. He noted the planned cutback in the programme over the next six months.

The Toa Payoh plot was launched on April 29, with the tender closing yesterday.

Evia, Maxdin and Gamuda tendered $345.86 million, or $755.30 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), for the parcel with a site area of 130,830 sq ft - close to an expected range of $670 to $750 psf ppr.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said: "The top land tender price and the close winning margin show that developers remain keen in choice sites in mature housing estates."

The results suggest that developers are hopeful the weak buying sentiment in residential property will turn around, he added.

Dr Chua Yang Liang, JLL head of research and consultancy, noted: "The tightness of these recent bids could reflect a more consistent view among the developers regarding the market conditions."

The new Toa Payoh site, a five- to 10-minute walk to Braddell MRT station, was offered for sale on a 99-year lease term.

Mr Vincent Ong, Evia's managing partner, said: "Similar to Jurong, we believe that there is a pent-up demand for private housing in this area as it is one of the most populated public housing estates in Singapore, and is the closest estate to the city."

R'ST's Mr Ong expects the new project's selling price to be $1,450 psf to $1,550 psf.

He cautioned that there may have been some overbidding as the high land price means the selling prices have to be quite high to achieve "notable profits".

"While Toa Payoh is a very centrally located, major housing estate, it is predominantly public housing - with only Trevista as the main newer condominium project in the estate. There is little that a developer can achieve out of developing private homes in Toa Payoh - as home-buying interest here is stronger for Housing Board flats."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2015, with the headline 'Toa Payoh private residential site draws 14 bids'. Print Edition | Subscribe