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Few bids for site in Queenstown

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A plum, 99-year leasehold private housing site opposite the Queenstown MRT Station drew just three bidders, surprising property consultants who had expected between five and 10 contestants for the plot.

The top bid was, however, within expectations at $562.8 million, or $883 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). This came from a consortium backed by Hong Leong Holdings and City Developments. Predictions for the top bid had ranged from $700 psf ppr to $1,100 psf ppr.

Some market watchers whom BT had earlier spoken to had expected the plot to be keenly contested because strata landed homes could be built on it with prior written approval from the Housing & Development Board (HDB). They say that such sites are getting harder to come by.

Two tenders for 99-year leasehold residential plots at Lakeside and Ang Mo Kio after the latest property-cooling measures were announced had attracted more than 10 bidders.

The plot is also located in an area known for its highly sought-after homes.

A five-room HDB Strathmore unit is observed to be asking for up to $100,000 cash-over-valuation, one of the highest transactions recorded.

One reason the tender fell short of expectations could be the large sum of over $500 million that developers had to cough up for the plot.

The effect of the cooling measures, rolled out in January, may be starting to set in, too.

Located along Commonwealth Avenue and just next to Queenstown MRT Station, the 1.2-hectare plot can potentially yield about 700 homes, according to the HDB.

It has a 4.9 plot ratio (ratio of maximum gross floor area to land area), which means it can accommodate a high-rise condo of over 40 storeys, said consultants.

Credit from Business Times - 6 February 2013
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