Landed housing plot gets top bid of $366m

PHOTO: Landed housing plot gets top bid of $366m

A RARE find - a large landed housing plot in upscale Coronation Road - has attracted a top bid of $366 million in a 12-way tussle between developers.

CapitaLand's Athens Residential Development put in the highest bid - $908 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio (ppr) - for the 37,441 sq m site, which could yield 140 landed homes. The next highest bid came from Far East Organisation - 17 per cent lower at $313.3 million or $777 psf ppr.

The tender closed yesterday.

Experts expected the bids to range from $880 to $990 psf ppr, pegging the number of bidders at five to 17. The 99-year leasehold site was released in March as part of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

Other bidders included Chip Eng Seng, City Developments and Wing Tai Holdings. The lowest bid came in at $163.1 million, or nearly $405 psf ppr.

CBRE's executive director of residential services Joseph Tan said the main draw was probably the site's prime location - it sits in District 10, next to a Good Class Bungalow zone.

Experts also said landed housing development sites offered for sale draw a strong response from developers as they are quite rare.

"The last GLS sale for such developments was in December 2011 - a site in Chestnut Avenue went for $70.8 million or $510 psf," said SLP International's executive director of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said another attraction was the site's proximity to popular schools such as Nanyang Primary and Hwa Chong Institution.

Moreover, developers are bullish over demand for landed homes as their prices have outstripped those of non-landed properties.

"Prices of landed properties, as of the first quarter of this year, were 87 per cent above the trough in 2009. In contrast, prices of non-landed homes were only 53 per cent above the trough in 2009," said OrangeTee head of research and consultancy Christine Li.

Mr Mak said recent transactions for freehold and 999-year leasehold landed homes in the area saw prices of $1,280 to $1,830 psf. But he believes that if CapitaLand is awarded the 99-year leasehold site, it will launch its project at $1,600 psf to $2,000 psf.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority will announce the winner of the tender later, though the top bidder generally is well placed.

Plans for the site include building a mix of semi-detached houses and bungalows that will be ready for launch in the second quarter of next year, a CapitaLand spokesman said yesterday.

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