No takers for executive condo site in Punggol

IT was the only executive condominium site up for confirmed sale this year. But when the tender closed yesterday at noon, there were no bids received.

The 99-year lease site in Punggol – with a land area of 22,497 sqm that can accommodate a 16-storey development – was the fourth EC site put on the market this year by the Government.

The other three were on the reserve list, to be launched for tender only if a minimum bid was received.

Given the poor market sentiment and construction crunch, PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail said it was “understandable” why the site did not attract any bids.

Moreover, developers are trotting out their new projects at “very attractive” prices.

“Whoever bids still has to pay a high construction cost to complete the development. Therefore their break-even cost will be high. If there are developers willing to sell private properties at almost $800 per square foot, the EC cannot sell.”

But, he also thought the response might have been different had the location been more central.

“Punggol already has a good supply of Built-To-Order flats, I don’t think a private developer would want to compete in these conditions.”

The HDB last year tried making ECs more attractive to home-buyers by relaxing the rules for applications. First-time buyers are eligible if they have household incomes of up to $10,000.

The last time an EC site was sold was in June 2004 at Woodlands Drive 16.

Source : Today – 12 Nov 2008

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