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14,000 new private homes in pipeline for first half of 2013

The Government will sell land that can be developed to more than 14,000 new private homes, including about 3,100 Executive Condominiums (EC), in the first half of next year. The sale keeps the Government’s strong and steady supply pipeline as it seeks to keep housing prices stable after they hit a record high in the third quarter this year.

The Confirmed List for 1H2013 of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme will comprise 12 private residential sites, including five land parcels set aside for ECs, and a mixed commercial-cum- residential site, yielding a total of more than 14,000 new private homes, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said yesterday.

These sites can yield about 6,900 homes and more than 355,000 sq ft of gross floor area for commercial use. Most of the residential sites in this programme, including the five EC sites, are located in Outside Central Region or the Rest of Central Region, where more affordable private housing is expected to be built.

The Government has also put 19 sites on the Reserve List in the 1H2013 GLS programme, the MND said. These include 11 private residential sites, one commercial-cum-residential site, two commercial sites, four hotel sites and one white site that gives developers more development options. These sites can yield about 7,100 private homes, more than 3 million sq ft of commercial space and about 1,740 hotel rooms.

Under the Reserve List, a tender will only be launched when a developer submits an application committing to bid at a minimum price acceptable to the Government.

Ms Chia Siew Chuin, Director of Research and Advisory at Colliers International noted that the total pipeline supply of 14,000 new private homes under the 1H 2013 GLS programme almost matches the total supply of 14,185 units made available under the 2H2012 GLS and the 14,140 units under the 1H2012 GLS.

“Evidently, the Government is not going to ease off on land supply for private residential development until private housing prices movements are stable,” she said.

She added that some of the sites have attractive attributes that will lure developers, singling out a 409,000 sq ft site at Coronation Road / Victoria Park Road for landed housing.

Coronation road landed site

“Surrounded by mostly low-rise housing and good schools, and given the premier address, this site will be very sought after by developers. It has been more than a year since a landed residential site was made available on the Confirmed List,” she said.

Other sites at Mount Sophia, Kim Tian Road and Faber Road are also expected to draw much interest.

On the Reserve List, the sites with strong potential to be triggered could include those located near MRT stations, such as the ones at Toa Payoh Lorong 6/Toa Payoh Lorong 4, Prince Charles Crescent and Geylang East Ave 1, she added.

Mr Lee Sze Teck, Senior Manager of Training, Research and Consultancy at DWG, noted that the Government continued with the strong supply of EC sites to satisfy demand for the hybrid housing type and partly to moderate any increase in private home prices.

“Most of the EC sites are in the north and north-east. Both these regions already have a steady supply of EC sites this year. In the north-east, a number of HDB flats, particularly in Punggol have reached or are going to reach the five-year minimum occupation period,” he said.

“At the same time, the Government is stepping up development plans for Punggol. Rather than re-channel upgraders’ demand to other estates, the Government is providing another alternative to the upgraders,” he added.

Of the 3,111 EC units, 30 per cent or 933 units will be allocated to second-timers. Together with the large supply of Build-To-Order HDB flats and ECs launched for sale from 2010, this means that the resale market will see an influx of supply starting next year, Mr Lee noted.

“There could be an imbalance in the resale market if there is no growth in demand,” he said.