Two GLS sites in Holland Drive and Upper Bukit Timah released on reserve list

Most analysts believe that the GLS sites in Holland Drive (left) and De Souza Avenue will likely not be triggered for sale soon. PHOTOS: URA

SINGAPORE – Two Government Land Sales (GLS) sites in Holland Drive and De Souza Avenue in Upper Bukit Timah have been released under the reserve list of the GLS for the second half of 2023.

But many analysts see little chance of developers biting any time soon.

Reserve-list sites are made available for application, and will be put up for tender only when a developer has indicated a minimum price that is accepted by the Government.

Most analysts believe that both sites – which can potentially yield a total of 1,035 private homes and are part of four new sites on the reserve list for the second half of 2023 – will likely not be triggered for sale soon.

With its attractive location and proximity to Holland Village MRT station and commercial amenities in Holland Village, the Holland Drive site, which can yield about 680 units, will likely command a high land price quantum, possibly exceeding $1 billion.

Therefore, it will not be triggered for sale yet, said PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying.

The nearby mixed-use development One Holland Village site drew 15 bids and was awarded for $1.21 billion, reflecting a land rate of $1,888 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). The 296-unit One Holland Village Residences has been fully sold at an overall average price of $2,764 psf.

Mr Lee Sze Teck, Huttons’ senior director of data analytics, also believes the $1 billion-plus potential bid price for the Holland Drive site, which has more than 600,000 sq ft of gross floor area, may put off most bidders except consortiums.

“With cooling measures crimping demand from foreigners, the unit mix, size and quantum will have to cater more to the local market,” he added.

As for the De Souza Avenue site, which can offer 355 new homes, some analysts also do not expect it to be triggered soon because it is not near an MRT station.

Ms Wong pointed out that there are better-located new launch projects nearby, such as the Bukit Timah Link GLS site near Beauty World MRT station, and Hillhaven in Hillview Rise, which is near the Hillview MRT station.

The last GLS residential plot to be awarded in the vicinity is the Jalan Jurong Kechil site where the 258-unit Verdale now sits. This plot was awarded in September 2018 for $215 million, which works out to a land rate of $1,002 psf ppr.

Huttons’ Mr Lee, however, sees a slight possibility of the De Souza site being triggered for sale because of limited new supply in the area and because the quantum may be below $500 million.

“If triggered, the site may attract a top bid of between $1,200 and $1,300 psf ppr, which translates to between $397.74 million and $430.88 million,” he said.

Apart from the Holland Drive and De Souza Avenue sites, the other two new second-half of 2023 reserve-list sites are an executive condo parcel in Tampines Street 95 for 560 homes, and Zion Road (Parcel B), a 605-unit plot spanning 0.92ha.

Ms Tricia Song, CBRE head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia, believes that there is a “low probability” of the four sites being triggered for tender in the next six months, given “ample supply” on the confirmed list, as well as a lack of attractive suburban sites on the reserve list.

Nonetheless, recent GLS tenders indicate that developers are still very keen to acquire land, as evidenced by relatively bullish bids received, ERA Singapore key executive officer Eugene Lim said.

He added that robust sales at J’den in Jurong East “attest that residential projects with a compelling growth story will continue to see strong demand”.

Mr Nicholas Mak, chief research officer of property search portal, said it is “prudent to put high-end and mid-tier GLS residential sites in the reserve list, just in case housing demand in these two segments picks up”.

“Otherwise, a sudden pick-up in demand will trigger another round of en bloc fever,” he added.

“Source:[Two GLS sites in Holland Drive and Upper Bukit Timah released on reserve list] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction”

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