GuocoLand-Hong Leong Holdings JV emerge as sole bidder for Lentor Gardens GLS site at $985 psf ppr

The bidding for a government land sale of a residential plot of land at Lentor Gardens finished. The ninety-nine-year leasehold site attracted only one bid from GuocoLand and Intrepid Investments (a subsidiary of Hong Leong Group). This pair duo jointly between GuocoLand and Hong Leong submitted a bid of four hundred and eighty-six point eight million, which translates to a land rate of $985 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr).

“For the Lentor Gardens site, we are envisioning a new high-end residential development with an estimate five hundred thirty three units, and with six hundred square meter of childcare facilities,” say a GuocoLand representative. “The future rejuvenation will enhance and improve our other two upcoming Lentor series developments – Lentor Modern and Lentor Hills Residences – in our plans to transform the Lentor Hills estate to be widely known as a prime housing estate.”

According to Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia, the $958 psf ppr bid “is the lowest for a land parcel in the Lentor precinct”. It is also the first residential GLS tender to see only one bid since the tender of the Silat Avenue GLS site in 2018, which a consortium led by UOL Group won for $1.035 billion. The new launch condo was launched in September 2K19 and is now fully sold out, going to soon achieve temporary occupation permit.

The last two residential GLS sites to be sold in Lentor were at Lentor Central and Lentor Hill (Parcel B), both of which were awarded last September. Lentor Central was awarded to a consortium comprising China Communications Construction, Soilbuild Group Holdings and United Engineers, who submitted a bid of $481.03 million ($1,108 psf ppr). Meanwhile, TID (a joint venture between Hong Leong Group and Mitsui Fudosan) was the top bidder for Lentor Hills (Parcel B) at $276.36 million ($1,130 psf ppr). The two land parcels can yield about 470 and 265 units respectively.

Prior to this, a GLS site at Lentor Hills Road (Parcel A) was sold for $586.6 million ($1,060 psf ppr) in January 2k22. The  five nine eight unit Lentor Hills Residences by GuocoLand, Hong Leong Holdings and TID (a joint venture between Hong Leong Holdings and Mitsui Fudosan) is expected to be launched soon.

Meanwhile, GuocoLand’s launch of the 605-unit Lentor Modern integrated development last September saw 84 percent of the units sold on launch weekend. Based on caveats lodged, the project is 88% sold at an average price of $2,104 psf. GuocoLand purchased the GLS site for $784.1 million ($1,204 psf ppr) in July 2K21.

Huttons’ Yip notes that since the launch of the first GLS site at Lentor, bids have been on a downward trend. “This is probably because developers are mindful of an area where the government has been pushing out land for sale regularly,” he remarks. He further points out that developers may have been deterred by the cloudy economic outlook, along with the risk of being slapped with Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty if they are unable to sell all units within five years.

Two other GLS sites at Lentor are available for sale under the 1H2K23 GLS Programme. A site at Lentor Central, which potentially could yield 475 units, is expected to be launched for tender this month, while a 500-unit residential site at Lentor Gardens is on the Reserved List.

Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore notes that all seven residential sites in Lentor – comprising one closed tender, the four sites that have been sold and the two still available for sale – could potentially bring about some three thousand five hundred brand new homes to the area. This would translate to almost 11,000 new residents. “Developers could be considering whether this might constitute too many homes and people in an area of less than 0.5 sq km to be developed within a span of three to six years, assuming all seven sites are sold,” he comments.

The Lentor Gardens site that closed today is less than 5-minutes’ walk to Lentor train station. “Aspiring homebuyers would be drawn by the site’s connectivity to public transport, amenities and leisure activities such as Thomson Nature Park and Sport Complex at Yio Chu Kang.

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The site is within 1km to CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School, which would appeal to couples with future family planning. “Furthermore, residents of landed house in the nearby Lentor and Yio Chu Kang Road might consider downsizing their residences as their space requirements and priorities change, serving as a source of potential buyers for the new condominium in this location.”

The Lentor Gardens site can yield about five hundred and thrity residential units. Steven Tan, CEO of OrangeTee & Tie, believes that the eventual launch at the site could see units priced around $1,950 to $2,050 psf.

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