A DEVELOPER owned by three Chinese nationals has lodged the highest bids for two adjacent private residential plots in Upper Serangoon View, which each attracted eight contenders.
Kingsford Development tendered $258.8 million, or $522 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), for Parcel A, which has a site area of 165,141 sq ft - above the expected range of $450 to $480 psf ppr.
For the 128,663 sq ft Parcel B, Kingsford tendered $201.6 million, which is also $522 psf ppr.
Both plots were launched for public tender on Sept 30 under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's new tender batching system.
This is an experiment by the URA to close the tenders of adjacent or similar sites on the same day, in an attempt to moderate bids.
The tender closed yesterday.
Analysts said the move could have succeeded in moderating the bids for these sites, if not for Kingsford's aggressive bids.
Ms Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at Colliers International, said the second-placed to eighth-placed bids showed that developers' tender bids were moderate.
She added: "If they need to replenish their land bank and have the funds to go for both sites, this system may not be effective in stopping them."
CBRE executive director for residential Joseph Tan was not surprised by Kingsford's bids, "given that the top bidder is a fairly new entrant who wants to compete with mainstream developers to shore up its land bank".
Kingsford's bid for Parcel A was 16 per cent higher than second-placed EL Development's, while its bid for Parcel B was 13 per cent higher than that submitted by second-highest bidders Maxdin and SingHaiyi Residences.
This is not the first time Kingsford has topped the bidding in a land tender.
Last year, it beat six other developers and was awarded the tender for a 136,148 sq ft residential site in Hillview Avenue, where the 512-unit Hillview Peak project now sits.
The developer tendered $243.2 million or $638 psf ppr for the site, which is located near the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
The latest sites, overlooking the Sungei Serangoon river and the Serangoon Park Connector, were offered for sale on 99-year lease terms.
The latest tender result also shows that foreign developers continue to outbid local players in state tenders, said OrangeTee research head Christine Li.
She said: "The developer is estimated to sell its projects from $1,050 psf. Currently, transactions in the vicinity are between $950 and $1,000 psf."
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