Competition for land intensifies

SINGAPORE — The total value of en bloc deals this year has crossed the S$1 billion mark, after the 175-unit Raintree Gardens in Potong Pasir was sold to an associate company of UOL Group for S$334.2 million, said marketing agent JLL on Thursday.

Reflecting the turnaround in the property market, the value of the successful deals so far this year — totalling slightly above S$1 billion — is the highest since 2012, when 19 deals were transacted for S$1.2 billion, showed figures by Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and OrangeTee. The total value of en bloc deals reached S$2 billion and S$3.3 billion in 2010 and 2011, respectively, in the midst of a property bull run.

TODAY understands that the keenly-watched sale tender of the river fronting housing development attracted between five and 10 bids. A deal was sealed early on Thursday between the Sale Committee and UVD (Projects), a joint venture between UOL Venture Investments and Singland Homes, a subsidiary of developer United Industrial Corporation (UIC). Recent executive condo launches include Treasure Crest and Northwave EC while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Vales EC, Parc Life EC , Sol Acres EC, The Visionaire EC,  Bellewoods EC, Signature at Yishun, The Criterion EC, Waterwoods EC, Skypark Residences, Wandervale EC, The Amore EC,  Bellewaters EC.

The purchase price is about 6 per cent higher than the minimum asking price of S$315 million, and works out to about S$1.9 million per unit, subject to several conditions being met, including an order of sale by the Strata Titles Board or High Court.

More than 80 per cent of the owners had consented to the sale.

“It’s a good price for the sellers. For the buyers, if they’re taking a bet on the excitement and new amenities coming up at Bidadari, which is nearby, then it wouldn’t be a wrong calculation as well,” said Mr Ku Swee Yong, chief executive of International Property Advisor.

He added that competition for land has intensified as more developers need to replenish their land bank.

The sale of Raintree Gardens, a privatised Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) estate, is the third successful en bloc sale this year.

Qingjian Realty had in May bought the 358-unit privatised HUDC estate Shunfu Ville for S$638 million, while Roxy-Pacific Holdings snapped up Harbour View Gardens, a 14-unit condominium in Pasir Panjang, for S$33.25 million in August.

Mr Karamjit Singh, international director and head of residential at JLL, said: “The collective sale market is slowly turning a corner … The pick-up in collective sale activity is due to a combination of three factors: The switch in the outlook of the residential market from negative to neutral-positive, the shortage of development sites — whether from the government or private sector — and the strong
attributes and realistic pricing of the developments that were sold this year.

“This year’s S$1 billion worth of successful collective sales, while comparing strongly with the past two years, still pales in comparison with 2010 to 2013, when the average annual value of successful deals was S$1.875 billion.”

Raintree Gardens’ sale price translates into a land cost of approximately S$797 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) on the potential gross floor area, inclusive of an estimated differential premium payable to the State to top up the lease to a fresh 99 years and for redevelopment of the site to a gross plot ratio of 2.8, said JLL.

Built in the late 1980s, the estate comprises two 12-storey mansionette blocks and one seven-storey mansionette block, with land area of approximately 201,405sqf.

The site could potentially be rebuilt into a waterfront condominium with 600 to 748 units.

signature at yishun ec executive condo site pic 1