More sites up for sale

More sites up for sale 

Commercial and residential parcels amounting to 4.3m square feet on sale soon

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THE Government will offer 40 land sites for sale in the next six months, including 27 that were not sold in the first half of this year.

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The sites are capable of accommodating 4.3 million square feet of commercial space, 5,750 hotel rooms and an additional 7,960 homes if all are sold.

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Two of 13 new sites are part of the Ministry of National Development’s (MND) planned makeover for the newly-dubbed “Jurong Lake District” and “Kallang Riverside”, which were :unveiled recently under the ministry’s Draft Masterplan 2008.

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With the property market showing signs of slowing, the Government’s land sales programme is generally more moderate than last year, when home prices hit new highs.

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This is partly because of concerns over a possible looming rush of new supply. As many as 56,500 homes and 11.8 million square feet of office space will be finished by 2011, according to fresh MND data released yesterday.

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As such, just eight of the 40 sites are on the government’s so-called “confirmed list”, which will be put up for tender regardless of developer interest. The others will be on its “reserve list” and only released for bidding if a developer offers a satisfactory price.

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“Given the uncertainty in the wider market and the global economy, the government appears to be responding to feedback by allowing developers to decide on the pace of real estate development through the reserve list,” said Mr Li Hiaw Ho, executive director of CBRE Research.

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The Jurong site is among those on the reserve list. It is in Jurong East Street 13 and slated for mixed development.

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The Kallang River site is also a reserve site and is slated for a hotel to help kick-start commercial and lifestyle activity in the area.

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On the commercial side, the government has three sites on its confirmed list, including two that are for temporary office use in Mountbatten Road and Mohamed Sultan Road. This is to help meet the “needs of businesses that require office space urgently”, before more permanent office developments come on stream. It has sold five similar short-term office sites since August last year.

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Its office sites are also largely outside the Central Business District, where there is already a lot of office construction underway.

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Mr Donald Han, managing director of Cushman and Wakefield, said: “The government is obviously looking at jump-starting its decentralisation policy to move their commercial hub outside the main system.”

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Said :research head at Chesterton International, Mr Colin Tan: “The Government has already moderated its supply, but it probably feels that a little oversupply is good for the market, especially if you need to bring rents down to a more competitive level for the good of Singapore.”

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“The problem is that you have to make sure that the oversupply does not turn into a glut … where an external shock can drastically reduce demand overnight,” he added.

 

Source: Today Newspaper

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