Supply of private home sites in Singapore to go up

The Singapore government is boosting the supply of private residential sites in the first half of next year.

It has announced new sites for sale, which could yield over 10,500 homes – the highest number of units since the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme started in the second half of 2001.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Friday that in deciding supply, it looks at market conditions and medium-term demand.

Demand has been buoyant, with over 5,700 units sold in the third quarter of this year alone – more than the total number in 2008.

While demand has cooled off slightly, following high prices and moves by the government to curb a speculative bubble, observers believe the property market is on the mend.

For the whole of 2009, regular land sales through the confirmed list were suspended due to poor market conditions. But scheduled sales will resume next year, with a site in Buangkok being one of the largest on offer.

The land parcel, located along Buangkok Drive, can be turned into a 520-unit executive condominium.

In total, eight residential sites are on the confirmed list of the GLS Programme for the first half of next year.

Located at Buangkok, Yishun, Choa Chu Kang, Tampines, Boon Lay, Simei, Sembawang and Upper Serangoon, these sites could see nearly 3,000 new homes built, all aimed at the mass market.

Choy Chan Pong, senior group director, Land Sales & Administration, URA, said: “They are all in suburban areas, so there’s a limit to what prices can be. Some may be near MRT station, some may be further from MRT station, so we’re really giving a very broad spread of choice for development.”

Donald Han, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield, said: “A lot of these are mainly to tackle the concern if prices get out of synch in terms of market fundamentals, and if they get out of reach of the common people.

“In terms of the buyers, you won’t have to panic… If you find that today’s prices are not affordable, you can afford to wait. There are always alternatives.

“If you are getting married, if you need a place, you could rent first because rentals are still affordable. It has been softening over the last 12 months and it will continue to soften in the next six months.”

The remaining 16 residential sites will be sold through the reserve list, which is triggered only when a developer makes a bid that the government considers acceptable.

The list includes a site at Ten Mile Junction at Bukit Panjang, which could see a 200-unit condominium built on top of existing developments. The site will be open for tender in January 2010.

More sites will also be released for hotel use under the GLS Programme, which will have 42 sites in all.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 6 Nov 2009

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