The Government Land Sales tender for three sites - Club Street, Kampong Java Road, and Tampines Avenue 10 EC - closed on 15 January 2019.
Broadly, the outcome of this batch of public land tenders reflects the impact of the new cooling measures that were introduced in July 2018, as developers shift their focus to the hotel and executive condo (ECs) segments amid brighter outlook for the tourism industry and continued appeal of the ECs among middle class households in Singapore. Meanwhile, the relatively tight bidding – especially among the top and second highest bids with a difference of 0.27% – for the District 9 Kampong Java Road site shows that developers are more cautious about the residential market.
What stood out in this latest batch of land tenders is the fairly aggressive bid for the Club Street plot - the first hotel site to feature in the GLS Confirmed List since the Bukit Chermin Road plot in H2 2008 land sales programme.
Club Street (Hotel)
While the SGD562.2 million bid (SGD2148.5 psf per plot ratio) may seem particularly bold, we think the bidder Midtown Development – which has developed hotels including Hotel 81 – would be working on a basic economy model, potentially build up to 800 rooms on the site, assuming thereby making more efficient use of the plot. This could bring the breakeven cost to SGD800,000 per key and still generate decent yield. In addition, there is a 4,800 sqm commercial space component that could support income.
The wide price gap of 12.4% between Midtown and the second top bidder - United Venture Investments (No. 1) Pte. Ltd or UOL, reflects the confidence of the former in the location amidst a general return of interest in the hotel sector.
Kampong Java (Private Residential)
The Kampong Java site, the first private residential land tender to be launched on the Confirmed List since the minimum average unit size guidelines, saw a good turnout of seven bidders. However, the top bid was below our expectations, a testament to the cautious mood of the developers.
The top bidder is Chip Eng Seng, who has been rather successful with its Park Colonial launch since July 2018 and is ready to replenish its landbank. At SGD1,192 psf ppr, we expect a breakeven price of SGD1,700 psf and a selling price of SGD1,900-2,000 psf.
Tampines Avenue 10 (Executive Condominium)
The top bid of SGD578 psf ppr for the Tampines Avenue 10 EC plot is the second highest on record for EC land, after Sumang Walk’s SGD583 psf ppr in March 2018. ECs have remained popular with developers post-measures given the limited supply. The new minimum average unit size of 85 sq m should also have minimum impact for ECs as ECs are targeted at families in the first place and the average unit size suggested by the development cap of 700 units is well above the 85 sq m.
Nearby, new private condo project The Tapestry has sold 561 units or 65% as of end-December 2018 at an average price of SGD1,350 psf since its launch in March 2018.
We expect a breakeven price of SGD920 psf ppr and a selling price of SGD1,050 psf.