CapitaLand tops record 19 bids for Bishan site

A 99-year leasehold land site for condominium housing in Bishan attracted a record 19 bids at the close of its tender by the Housing and Development Board yesterday – the highest number of bids in 12 years.

This is one bid higher than the Simei Street 3 tender in May last year. That site has since been developed into the My Manhattan by CEL Development.

The highest bid for the Bishan site came from CapitaLand at S$550.1 million, or S$869 per sq ft per plot ratio, submitted through its wholly-owned subsidiary Bishan Residential Development.

CapitaLand’s bid is 27 per cent higher than the second-highest bidder Keppel Land Realty, which submitted a bid of S$432.3 million.

“This indicates the developer’s very bullish outlook for the residential market in Bishan,” said Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of research at SLP International.

The land parcel is on the Reserve List of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme and is considered one of the programme’s most attractive for the first half of this year. Located at Bishan Street 14, the site is a short walk to Bishan MRT Station and Junction 8 shopping mall. Nearby schools include Catholic High School and Raffles Institution.

The site has an area of 11,997 sq m and a maximum gross floor area of 58,800 sq m with a gross plot ratio of 4.9.

CapitaLand plans to build a condominium which is at least 36 storeys high with 600 units.

CBRE Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho said: “Based on caveats lodged from Oct 10 to Jan 11, units in Centro Residences at Ang Mo Kio Central were sold at S$1,200 psf to S$1,400 psf. The winning bid for the Bishan site suggests that the developer is looking to sell the units at around S$1,400 psf.”.

Mr Mak added that the breakeven cost for the project will be about S$1,290 to S$1,320 psf, which is about 30 per cent more than the resale prices of existing condominiums in Bishan.

He added that the high number of bidders indicated that many developers share the same land acquisition strategy – to buy prime development sites near MRT stations or to have an iconic product.

“They do this in the hope to hedge against the risk of oversupply of non-landed units that could be developed from other GLS sites,” said Mr Mak.

Source : Today – 25 Feb 2011

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