Why the 1H18 Government Land Sales announcement can be good for the market

This morning, the Ministry of National Development released the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme for the first half of 2018. There were just 6 confirmed list sites and 9 reserve list sites announced for 1H 2018. These sites could yield about 8,045 new units and 63,960 sqm of commercial space.

GLS CL

GLS RL

Despite the strong demand for development sites by developers, the government decided to keep the total supply of units for 1H2018 at about the same level as the supply of units from the 2H2017 GLS Programme. This is also in contrary to what many analysts had earlier expected.

In SPK’s opinion, there are 2 different possible approaches that the government could have taken in handling the current demand for sites in the property market. One approach is to for the government to be more pro-active and interfere in the market. The government can release more development sites via GLS to developers to meet their demand for land and cool down the collective sales market. Another approach is to be reactive, keep to the existing GLS policy and let the property market and developers to find an equilibrium on their own. Looks like the government has chosen the latter approach to deal with the current collective sales fever.

Could the lack of interference by the government send further positive signals to the property market that it is still not the time for the government to interfere yet?

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Who’s who at GLS Tender?

Two Government Land Sale tenders for sites at Jiak Kim Street and Fourth Avenue were concluded yesterday. Without surprise, the sites saw keen interests from developers, with the site at Jiak Kim Street setting a new benchmark.

 

Jiak Kim Street_Aerial view with boundary_0
Site at Jiak Kim Street

 

Let us look at the different groups of bidders who were present at this round of GLS tender.

1. The Aggressor – Allgreen Properties

After snatching up Royalville and Crystal Tower last week for S$478 mil and S$181 mil, Allgreen Properties is back on the headlines again with the highest tender price of S$553 mil or S$1,540 psf ppr for the site at Fourth Avenue. What a shopping spree! Within 2 weeks, Allgreen Properties has invested S$1.2 billion in 3 development sites!

This is probably not going to be the end of Allgreen Properties’ acquisition spree yet. Allgreen Properties also put in a bid of S$926 mil for the site at Jiak Kim Street, but it lost out to Frasers Centrepoint’s top bid of S$955 mil. Seems like Allgreen Properties still has appetite for more acquisitions and having lost out in the bid for Jiak Kim site, it will now have another S$1 bil to spare for other sites.

2. The Aggressor 2 – CDL/Hong Leong

Hong Leong came close to winning the tender for the site at Jiak Kim Street. Its tender price was only S$5 mil short of the winning tender price from Frasers Centrepoint. Its sister company, City Developments also joined the bidding with Logan Property. For the site at Fourth Avenue, Hong Leong and CDL went in together with a bid that was just 4% short of the winning tender price from Allgreen Properties.

So far, Hong Leong and CDL have only managed to clinch one site this year – Amber Park through collective sales. In these 2 GLS land tender, Hong Leong and CDL were not too far off from the winning tender prices and they appear to have good appetite for further land acquisitions. We might see more actions from Hong Leong and CDL in upcoming GLS and collective sales, particularly in the prime districts.

3. The Conservative Aggressors – Frasers Centrepoint, Bukit Sembawang, UOL/UIC

Frasers Centrepoint, Bukit Sembawang, UOL and UIC seem to have exercised some form of risk management in their aggressive pursuit of land. Frasers Centrepoint came in with the highest tender price for the Jiak Kim site, whilst UOL/UIC was not too far behind Frasers Centrepoint in its tender price. Bukit Sembawang came in second in the tender for the Fourth Avenue sites. All 3 developers were selective in their bidding and only participated in one out of the two available site tenders.

4. The Dreamer – Wheelock Properties

With a tender offer that is 23% below the winning bidder and 13% below Guocoland, the second lowest bidder for the Jiak Kim site, maybe it is time for Wheelock Properties to revisit its bidding strategy and plans?

5. The Absentees – Foreign Developers

Only 3 foreign developers – China Overseas Holdings/CSC Land, Logan Property and Cheung Kong Properties, participated in the tenders for the 2 sites.

Where were the other foreign developers?