Govt will continue to release sites via GLS programme

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has said the government will continue to release sites via the Government Land Sales Programme to ensure there is sufficient commercial and industrial space to meet demand over the medium term.

He said this will ensure that prices are not out of line with economic fundamentals.

Mr Khaw said prices of commercial and industrial spaces have risen following the economic recovery from the global financial crisis in 2009.

However, the increases for office and shop space have been moderate.

As at the third quarter of 2011, prices were only slightly higher than their last peak in 2Q 2008.

Rentals for the same period were lower than the last peak in 2008.

However, prices of industrial space have risen faster, with prices in the same period reaching 21 per cent above the last peak in the third quarter of 2008.

For commercial space, there will be about 200,000 square metres of new office space and 90,000 square metres of new shop space per annum over the next five years.

Mr Khaw said this is significantly higher than the historical take-up rate.

He said the government will also continue to develop new growth areas outside the CBD, such as Jurong Gateway and Paya Lebar Central, to provide more affordable commercial space for businesses that do not need to be in the CBD.

For industrial land, close to 40 hectares of industrial land have been made available annually over the last two years.

This is about 30 per cent higher than the average amount of land released in the previous two years.

For the first half of this year, 24 hectares of industrial land will be made available.

More affordable sites with smaller sizes and shorter tenure will be released.

Mr Khaw highlighted these plans in a written parliamentary reply to MP Gan Thiam Poh.

Mr Gan wanted to know whether the government will consider introducing cooling measures to stabilise the prices of industrial and commercial properties to prevent excessive price increases that will drive up business costs and hurt business competitiveness.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 17 Jan 2012

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