An overwhelming 24 bids were submitted for the tender of a residential plot in Toh Tuck Road — the second highest number of bids submitted in a residential government land sales (GLS) tender since 2009, when the tender for a parcel in Westwood Avenue attracted 32 bids.
Malaysian property developer SP Setia International put in the highest bid at S$265 million — S$939 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). In second place was Singhaiyi Investments with a bid of S$260.2 million (or S$922 psf ppr); and in third place, Centrex Developments with a bid of S$250.9 million (or S$889 psf ppr).
In November 2012, World Class Developments, a unit of Aspial Corporation, won the tender with the highest price of 23 bids for an Upper Bukit Timah plot. The 60-year leasehold was developed into the “retirement resort”, The Hillford.
The 18,721.4 square metre (sq m) site can yield a maximum gross floor area of 26,210 sq m, or about 325 units — a manageable size for property developers. SP Setia plans to build a five-storey 320-unit development on the plot.
The top bid translates to a break-even price of about S$1,450 psf, and launch price of about S$1,600 psf.
Hunger for sites among developers and an expectation of a turnaround in the market are possibly the key factors that intensified the bidding, besides the attractiveness of the site and the affordable capital outlay. The recent easing of cooling measures and the positive reading of the Q1 2017 flash estimates are possible underlying contributory factors.