Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Project May Add To Charms Of Seletar Hills

Source : The Business Times, August 8, 2009

URA to put commercial and residential site up for tender later this month.

LOOKING for a new condominium project nestled in the quiet Seletar Hills Estate and in close proximity to roti prata outlets in the Jalan Kayu area, fish farms and The Animal Resort? A new condo with about 225 units could be ready for launch in about a year.


The 2.1 hectare site at the corner of Seletar and Yio Chu Kang roads is the third site in three weeks to be triggered for launch from the reserve lis

It will come up on a 99-year leasehold plot on the government's reserve list that will be launched for tender by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in about a fortnight.

The 2.1 hectare site will also have a commercial component of up to 48,438 square feet gross floor area. Analysts say the commercial component, which could take the form of a small mall, would provide much needed shopping amenities in the vicinity.

The site at the corner of Seletar and Yio Chu Kang roads was once occupied by a wet market and HDB shops and was a convenient shopping haunt of Seletar Hills residents.

This is the third time in three weeks that a site on the government's reserve list which can be developed into private homes has been triggered for launch after a successful application by a developer - reflecting developers' hunger for land for mass-market condominium development in the face of a strong pick-up in home sales.

The identity of the developer that made the successful application for the launch of the latest site in Seletar was not revealed by the URA yesterday. However, the developer's minimum bid price was made public - $40.5 million or $128 per square foot per plot ratio.

CB Richard Ellis executive director Li Hiaw Ho predicts strong interest in the plot with about six to eight bids likely, given the current pace of sales of suburban condominiums.

Top bids are expected to be in the $250-$300 psf ppr range - some 95 per cent to 134 per cent above the trigger price, he reckons.

'Based on this land price, as well as the current resale prices of some of the newer condominium units in the Yio Chu Kang area which are between $600 psf and $700 psf, new apartments at this site should fetch prices of between $700 and $750 psf,' he said.

However, Colliers International's research and advisory director Tay Huey Ying expects just a handful of bids for the site, citing the lack of amenities in the vicinity and the fact that the site is not in close proximity to an MRT station. She also noted that older condos in the vicinity, such as Seletar Springs Condo, Serenity Park, Sunrise Gardens and Nim Gardens, fetched median prices of $480 psf to $520 psf in the first half of this year.

The site first appeared in the Government Land Sales Programme in the reserve list for second-half 2004.

At the time, it was much smaller, at 0.5 hectare. The plot was later expanded and in the second half of 2008 was moved to the confirmed list and slated for launch in November last year.

However, before that could happen, the government suspended confirmed list land sales in October last year during the global financial crisis. That was when the plot was moved to the reserve list where it had remained until it was triggered for launch.

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