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MTI releases fewer industrial sites for sale this year

TWO industrial sites that can be used to build strata-titled units have been put on the confirmed list for sale in the first half of next year – one fewer than the allocation in this six-month period.

The move is part of an ongoing government strategy to taper the supply of industrial space.

The two sites listed yesterday under the Industrial Government Land Sales Programme can be sub-divided so the winning bidder can sell smaller units or custom-build its own facilities.

Consultants applauded the move to cut the number of such sites, citing a looming supply of strata units in the pipeline. There are about 10 large industrial projects under construction, with a total gross floor area of 5.39 million sq ft from sites sold this year.

About 44.2 million sq ft of factory space is slated for completion by the end of next year, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

“This should bring some relief to developers of industrial projects with a significant number of unsold strata units,” said Mr Nicholas Mak, research head at property firm SLP International.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) rolled out nine confirmed list sites yesterday with a total area of 6.46ha. They will go on sale in the first half of next year regardless of interest from developers. This is down from the 12.06ha placed on the industrial land sales programme in the second half of this year. Demand in this segment slowed after stamp duties were slapped on sellers last year to discourage speculative trading of industrial properties.

Eight of the nine confirmed sites are zoned Business-2, which allows heavy industrial use, and have leases of 20 years, the shortest for such sites. These parcels are likely to draw industrialists who have been calling for more space to expand and develop their production facilities, said experts.

The ninth site is earmarked for light and clean industrial use.

A 1.37ha plot in Woodlands Avenue 10 and a 0.6ha parcel in Ubi Avenue 1 – both on the confirmed list – are targeted for a possible “multiple-user development”.

The 20-year leasehold Woodlands site is the second parcel with a sizeable area and short lease to be released, following a 1.63ha site in Penjuru Road snapped up by logistics and warehousing firm UBTS for $9.3 million last Wednesday.

The confirmed list also includes three plots in Tampines Industrial Drive. Construction firm Lian Beng’s successful bid for a nearby site at $64.4 million – or $87.34 per sq ft per plot ratio – last month indicates the demand in the area.

Mr Mak said industrialists from the wafer fabrication and semiconductor industries are likely to be drawn to the area. Each site can yield 71,042 to 87,188 sq ft of gross floor area.

If the five plots from the reserve list announced yesterday are included, 14.04ha of industrial land are potentially up for grabs. Sites on the reserve list go on sale only if an acceptable minimum bid is submitted.

Separately, the MTI said buyers of industrial sites launched from Jan 1 will not have to build a goods lift and loading bay if the site is a “full ramp-up development” – industrial buildings that allow vehicles direct access to units on each floor. But other multi-storey industrial buildings with four storeys or more must have a service lift designated for goods.

MTI industrial sites for sale 2015


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