A UNIT of Chip Eng Seng Corporation has placed the top bid for a mixed commercial and residential development site at the corner of Yishun Ring Road and Yishun Avenue 9.
The property and construction group's bid of $212.1 million, translating to $794.44 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), was the highest of 13 bids received at the state tender yesterday.
This was 9.5 per cent more than the second highest offer of $193.777 million, or $725.81 psf ppr, from a joint venture between Far East Organization and its listed vehicle, Far East Orchard Limited.
Amara Holdings' unit Creative Investments placed the lowest bid of $208.03 psf ppr.
However, market watchers looking for a gauge of the impact of the Jan 12 property-cooling measures on residential land bids may not have had a clear answer from yesterday's tender closing. This is because bids would be masked by the project's commercial component, which would be valued higher and thus form the bulk of the development value for the project on site, as Jones Lang LaSalle's national director (research and consultancy) Ong Teck Hui pointed out.
In contrast, the development's residential component would yield a relatively modest project of about 160 homes, going by the government's estimate.
Said Chip Eng Seng's spokesman: "Hopefully, we will be able to sell the residential units at below $1,000 psf on average, assuming current market conditions prevail."
In crafting its bid, the group was "of course more sensitive about residential selling prices (following the recent cooling measures)", he added.
The group has yet to decide whether it will keep the entire commercial (retail) component or sell some or all of the retail space, he added.
CBRE Research associate director Desmond Sim said: "Based on the land bid of $794 psf ppr, the developer could sell the retail portion on a strata-titled basis at $3,000-$4,000 psf and the residential units at around $900 psf."
Mr Ong noted that yesterday's top bid compares favourably with the $805 psf ppr achieved in November 2011 for a commercial and residential site at Jelebu Road, next to the future Bukit Panjang MRT station.
DWG's senior manager Lee Sze Teck reckons the top bid could have been even higher if not for the latest property cooling measures.
As for the Yishun site, JLL's Mr Ong said the "absence of new retail facilities in that part of Yishun assures the developer of success in building a new retail centre catering to residents in the vicinity".
Mr Sim said the sale of the site is a precursor of the launch in June of the next mixed-used site in the Yishun location, which will be at the existing Yishun Bus Interchange. The plot will be next to Yishun MRT station and Northpoint Shopping Centre.
Other bidders at yesterday's tender included a tie-up between Ho Lee Group, Evia Real Estate (3) Pte Ltd and CNH Investment, which bid $684 psf ppr; Top Global unit Cerapure Pte Ltd (around $626 psf ppr); and a City Developments-Hong Leong Group tie-up ($611 psf ppr). Guthrie partnered Santarli Venture for a $606 psf ppr bid, while Sim Lian offered $603 psf ppr for the site.
Offering a price of $498 psf ppr was Frasers Centrepoint. Koh Brothers' unit Changi Properties bid $466 psf ppr. Roxy-Pacific Holdings unit RP North was the second-lowest bidder, at $456.21 psf ppr.
All eyes in the market are now on next Tuesday's tender closing for a 99-year private condo site in Jurong West for a clearer indication of developers' reading of the private housing market.
Pending Approval For Sale
Seeking Indication of Interest