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SLA puts up six residential sites for auction

THE Singapore Land Authority (SLA) will release six residential sites for sale by auction.

Two are in the Eng Neo Avenue good class bungalow (GCB) area in District 11 – the first GCB sites released by SLA for development. The other four are in Moonbeam Walk, Jalan Insaf, Bedok Close and Somme Road.

The plots are essentially in-fill sites – pockets of state land within established areas.

The assistant chief executive of SLA’s land operations group, Simon Ong, said the sale of the sites ‘will help meet current demand for high-quality residential property and allow individuals to build their dream homes’.

The auction will be conducted by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) on Nov 29, and the firm’s director and head of auctions and sales Mok Sze Sze reckons demand will be strong.

A total of 79 GCBs worth $959.4 million changed hands in the first half of the year, compared with 61 GCBs worth $627.9 million transacted in the same period a year earlier. ‘This translates to a 29.5 per cent increase in the number of units transacted and a 52.8 per cent increase in absolute value,’ Mr Mok said.

The GCB sites in Eng Neo Avenue are 29,201 sq ft and 16,689 sq ft. The other four sites are between 3,547 sq ft and 6,971 sq ft.

Douglas Wong, director of PropNex’s luxury home division, Grandeur Homes, thinks the GCB sites could fetch between $800 and $900 psf. This means bids for the smaller site could be around $13 million while the larger site could fetch around $23 million.

Mr Wong says that along with the rest of the market, prices of GCBs have been affected by the US subprime crisis. Nevertheless, new benchmarks for GCBs are still being set, with a house in the Nassim area going for over $1,500 psf.

A check of caveats on the SISV-Realink website also shows that a unit at The Residences at Barker has also been sold in the secondary market for almost $1,600 psf.

Still, as Mr Wong notes, prices are still way below those of luxury condos, which now go for $3,500-$4,000 psf. As he says, in a strange way other property is ‘still affordable’.


Source: Business Times 26 Oct 07

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