HL control of area could be solidified if Upp Thomson is won

The Upper Thomson area has seen the latest state auction close. Developers are hesitant to sell land as the market is cautious.

The site attracted just one bidder: a joint-venture between GuocoLand Holdings (SG) and Hong Leong Holdings (HLD), with an offering of approximately S$780,000,000, or S$904.60 for each square foot on a plot ratio.

The Business Times had polled The Business Times prior to the closing of the tender on Thursday, April 4. The consultants had predicted the plot to attract between three and five bids. The highest bid was expected to be between S$1,000-S$1,100/sf/ppr.

The land rate of Lentor Central has also been reduced by 8 per cent. The site has been awarded to a Hong Leong Holdings joint venture with GuocoLand for S$435.2million or S$982psfppr.

A property expert claims that while site-specific conditions may have deterred certain players, winning the Upper Thomson plot will give you an advantage in an area which is primarily a precinct for landed housing.

The consortium’s participation at the tender is likely to be driven by the defensive strategy it has adopted in order to maintain its strong foothold on the region, which extends beyond the Lentor area. The consortium can then better manage pricing and sales of their project. GuocoLand develops 2,211 homes in the Lentor District, even excluding the site under discussion.

Reseachers noted the existing supply of unsold units at around 1,200 units, in different projects within the new Lentor Hills area where six plots had been sold to date and five projects were launched.

On Upper Thomson Road there is also another site that can be leased. It is an adjacent plot of state land, currently on the market, and it has the potential to yield 640 residential units, 100 of which are long-stay serviced flats.

One Bernam Showflat is open from 10am to 6pm daily with prior appointment.

Analysts predict that Upper Thomson’s (Parcel B), which was bid at S$905/sf/ppr, will be priced between S$2,000 – S$2,200/sf.

Analyst stated that if the price of the project is palatable then it could appeal to local homebuyers in the Springleaf neighbourhood, and HDB upgraders who come from Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang, or other estates.

The Upper Thomson Road, Parcel B plot is 32,023.7 Square metres (sq. m). This will result in 940 units.

The Essence condominium, with a 99-year tenure in Chong Kuo Road near by, was opened in March 2019. The Essence is currently selling at a median price of S$1,376/sf. The site was acquired in 2018 and awarded for S$43.95M or S$681 per square foot per person.

The most recent sub-sale transaction was for an 818 sq. ft. unit that changed hands at S$1.3m, or S$1,638psf in January.

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