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Govt offering fewer residential sites to balance supply
Confirmed list has a commercial site to kick-start Woodlands development
By: Melissa Tan
THE Government will roll out fewer residential land sites to developers in the next six months, as it strikes a balance between ensuring adequate supply while preventing a glut.
A total of 24 sites able to yield 14,155 homes are on the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for the second half of the year, released yesterday.
That is well down from 32 sites on the first half-year's list, though the number of potential homes is similar at 14,035.
Still, the confirmed list has just 10 sites, down from 13 sites. Confirmed sites go on sale, while reserve list sites are put up for tender only if developers make an acceptable initial offer.
The reserve list allows the Government to tweak supply according to changing conditions.
Aside from housing sites, one highlight in the latest confirmed list is a commercial site at Woodlands Avenue 5 and Woodlands Square. This site will "kick-start the development of Woodlands Regional Centre", the Ministry of National Development (MND) said.
Woodlands Regional Centre is meant to anchor the North Coast Innovation Corridor, designed to add more jobs near homes in Singapore's north, it said.
The 1.97ha site is expected to provide 66,000 sq m in gross floor area of office space and 3,500 sq m of retail space.
Property industry consultants said the latest GLS residential site programme was on the cautious side and likely took into account a potential oversupply of homes.
"MND is trying to balance developers' desire to build their residential land and potential oversupply, as a high number of homes come onstream in the next few years," said ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim.
Jones Lang LaSalle national director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui said uncertainty over interest rates and the availability of credit in the months ahead probably played a part.
The 10 confirmed list sites include five executive condominium (EC) sites, and could yield nearly 6,000 homes.
This comes on top of the record high supply of 100,600 units, including ECs, in the pipeline, of which 39,000 units still remain unsold as of the first quarter of this year, MND said yesterday.
This is fewer than the approximately 6,900 homes released on the confirmed list in the first half of the year, which Colliers International research and advisory director Chia Siew Chuin said was "a sign that the Government wants the market to tell it what it wants, rather than feeding it with sites regardless of market conditions".
Excluding ECs, the supply of private homes on the confirmed list for the full year is 7,000 units, well down from 8,060 units last year and a bumper 13,255 units in 2011, Mr Ong said.
MND also said yesterday that it will continue to put similar residential sites up for sale with the same tender closing date, to curb overly ambitious bids.
It said two pairs of sites on the confirmed list will have their tender closing dates "batched". The first pair consists of two adjacent private residential plots at Upper Serangoon View. The second pair is made up of two adjacent EC sites at Choa Chu Kang Grove.
There are 14 sites on the reserve list, including one EC site, which could yield about 7,500 homes.