Sat, May 20, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Singapore land receives record bid from Chinese group

BOUNCING BACK:Cushman & Wakefiled said real-estate developers have become more aggressive at auctions, paying a five-year high average premium of 29 percent

Bloomberg

A residential plot in Singapore might fetch a record price for a government land sale, with a Chinese consortium putting in the highest bid at S$1 billion (US$718 million).

Logan Property (Singapore) Co (龍光地產新加坡) and Nanshan Group Singapore Co (南山集團新加坡) submitted the highest bid in the Stirling Road land auction that closed on Thursday, according to a statement from the Singaporean Urban Redevelopment Authority.

The winning bid is to be decided once the offers have been evaluated.

The price would be equivalent to S$11,302 per square meter of gross floor area, translating into the highest absolute price paid for a residential plot, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

The plot can house about 1,110 units, authority estimates showed.

“It’s the first time for a pure residential site to cross the S$1 billion mark,” said Christine Li (李敏雯), director of research for Singapore at Cushman & Wakefield. “The participation from 13 local and foreign developers shows the sheer amount of liquidity in the market, as S$11 billion is going after a plum site.”

Hunger for land in Singapore is adding to signs the city-state’s housing market is making a comeback after three years of declining prices.

With new home sales surging after an easing of property restrictions in March, developers are becoming more aggressive in bidding at land auctions. On average, they have paid a 29 percent premium, the highest level in at least five years, Cushman & Wakefield said.

“The strong bid and healthy local participation reflects developers’ optimism on Singapore residential property,” UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd (大華繼顯) analysts Vikrant Pandey and Derek Chang said in a note.

They expect housing prices to move in line with GDP growth of 2 percent to 4 percent next year, after bottoming out this year at about 15 percent to 20 percent below the peak set in the third quarter of 2013.

The top bid came from a joint venture between Logan Property Holdings Co (龍光地產控股), a Hong Kong-listed developer that has developments in Shenzhen, China, and the Pearl River Delta region, and China’s Nanshan Group (南山集團).

Nanshan has been active in Singapore’s government land auctions, participating in eight of 11 tenders in the past 12 months, Cushman & Wakefield said.

“The winning bid is an anticipatory one — looking forward to a possible tweak of measures in the pipeline or some form of market recovery,” said Desmond Sim, head of research for Singapore and South East Asia at CBRE Group Inc.

MCL Land (Everbright) Pte Ltd was the second-highest bidder at S$925.7 million.

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