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Property players likely to zoom in on central locations

Topping the list is multi-use ‘white site’ not far from Bugis MRT

DEVELOPERS, and eventually homebuyers, can take their pick from 21 plots that the Government will release for private housing between now and June.

Property players, however, are likely to zoom straight in on the handful of land parcels that are more centrally located, industry experts say.

At the top of the list is the multi-use ‘white site’ bounded by Ophir Road, Beach Road and Rochor Road. The property sits next to Parkview Square and is a stone’s throw from Raffles Hospital and the Bugis MRT Station.

The sale of this 2.74ha plot will ‘kick-start the development of the… Rochor Road/ Ophir Road corridor’, linking Marina Centre to the Bugis area, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said yesterday.

The site, which will be launched for sale in June, must have some area set aside for offices and hotels, but the rest of the space can be put to other uses such as residential.

Bids will likely come in at $750 to $850 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) for this site, said Mr Nicholas Mak, the director of research and consultancy at Knight Frank.

Apart from this plum plot, there are a few other attractive residential sites, consultants say.

One is a new site at the corner of Woodleigh Close and Upper Serangoon Road, next to the Blossoms@Woodleigh condominium. It is near the yet-to-be-opened Woodleigh MRT Station on the North-East Line.

About 270 homes can be built on the 1.07ha plot, to be launched for sale in April.

Another choice site is at the junction of Lorong 2 Toa Payoh and Lorong 3 Toa Payoh, within walking distance of the Braddell MRT Station.

This 1.4ha site can host 535 homes and will be put up for sale in February. It was previously on the reserve list for developers to indicate interest, but it saw no takers. It has now been moved to the confirmed list to be launched at a fixed date.

Mr Li Hiaw Ho, the executive director of CB Richard Ellis research, picked out two more sites as being among the ‘best of the crop’.

The first, at Bishan Street 14, has an area of 1.2ha and can host a 535-unit project.

The other is a 1.19ha site at New Upper Changi Road.

These four residential sites may fetch prices in the range of $400 to $600 psf of potential gross floor area, Mr Li estimated.

Mr Mak has noted, however, that apart from the Woodleigh Close site, which is new, the other plots have been available for some time on the Government’s reserve list.

Reserve list plots will not be launched for sale unless a developer comes forward to bid for them. Usually, choice plots on the reserve list will move quickly.

Those that remain to be ‘recycled’ for the next round of land sales are generally less attractive.

This time, however, the ‘recycled’ plots are quite plum, said Mr Mak.

If even these sites cannot find takers, ‘maybe developers already have enough on their plates’, he said.

In that case, perhaps the Government is offering more sites than the market is ready to absorb, he suggested.

For private housing alone, the MND has added 12 new sites to its land sales programme, including the Woodleigh Close plot.

Others include sites at Choa Chu Kang Drive, Tampines Avenue 1, Upper Changi Road North, Chestnut Avenue, Upper Thomson Road, Sengkang West Avenue and Sembawang Road.

There are also three executive condo sites, as well as a plot for landed homes at Sembawang Greenvale Phase 2. This landed parcel will be put up for auction in February to cater to smaller investors.

Outside land sales, the Government will also offer about 110 private housing units, including 90 service apartments at one-north. It will also provide 120,000 sq m of commercial space.


Source: The Straits Times 7 Dec 07

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