Steady supply of private housing for 2020 first half

Analysts say this will help stabilise market; 3 sites on confirmed list to yield 1,775 units

The three confirmed-list sites and eight reserve-list plots could yield about 6,490 private homes in all but 4,715 of these are on reserve-list land. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The amount of private residential housing under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme has been kept largely unchanged for the first half of next year.

Analysts say this should help stabilise the property market in the face of slowing economic growth, a supply overhang and moderating bids by developers in the wake of cooling measures.

There are only three sites on the confirmed list for the first half next year, with most plots on the reserve list, which may not be triggered for sale.

The three confirmed-list sites and eight reserve-list plots could yield about 6,490 private homes in all but 4,715 of these are on reserve-list land.

The three confirmed-list sites - the lowest in five years - can accommodate only 1,775 residential units, compared with five such sites with 1,715 units for this half of the year.

The potential total supply also includes 1,070 hotel rooms and 114,000 sq m in gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space, which is 24 per cent higher than the 92,000 sq m for the second half of this year.

"While 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 cooling measures," the Ministry of National Development (MND) said yesterday.

Furthermore, the existing supply pipeline remains high, at around 39,000 units, even though it has declined progressively over the past few quarters, it noted.

This pipeline supply comprises around 34,000 unsold units from Government Land Sales and collective development sites with planning approval, and an additional 5,000 units from sites that are pending planning approval, the MND noted.

The three confirmed-list sites for next year comprise two pure residential plots - one in Tanah Merah Kechil Link and one executive condominium (EC) site in Yishun Avenue 9 - and one commercial and residential parcel in Jalan Anak Bukit in Bukit Timah. They could yield 1,775 dwelling units and 22,000 sq m of commercial space.

Many analysts expect the Tanah Merah Kechil Link site to garner the most interest because of its proximity to Tanah Merah MRT station and its "palatable housing size" of 310 residential units.

The Jalan Anak Bukit site is near Beauty World MRT station. Ms Tay Huey Ying, JLL's head of research and consultancy in Singapore, 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.

But Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE's head of research for South-east Asia, sees mixed developments remaining a big feature of Urban Redevelopment Authority's plans.

The Jalan Anak Bukit site could "kick-start the urban transformation of the Beauty World area as there will be more land parcels released in the area as reflected in the URA Master Plan 2019," he said.

The Yishun site is the first EC plot in the area to be offered for the GLS since 2014, after The Criterion and Signature at Yishun, so there could be some pent-up demand, said Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International.

The reserve list comprises four private residential sites (including one for EC), three white sites - where a range of uses is allowed - and one hotel plot.

These sites can yield about 4,715 private residential units, 92,000 sq m in GFA of commercial space and 1,070 hotel rooms.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2019, with the headline Steady supply of private housing for 2020 first half. Subscribe