CHINA Construction (South Pacific) Development Co has pipped compatriot MCC Land to place the top bid for a private housing site at a state tender that closed on Thursday.
The tender for the 1.64-hectare site along West Coast Vale, drew nine bids, reflecting developers' continuing appetite for land and confidence that the market will improve.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has stipulated a maximum of 520 residential units for the development on the 99-year leasehold plot.
China Construction's bid of S$291.99 million, or S$591.51 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), was just 0.7 per cent more than the S$289.9 million or S$587.28 psf ppr from MCC Land (Singapore).
The top bid was not only at the upper end of market expectations, but 7.3 per cent more than the S$551.15 psf ppr that EL Development paid for the next-door site in August 2015 and which it is now developing into the Parc Riviera condo.
Sales at the condo have been rather slow since the project's launch in November last year. As at end-December 2016, only 127 of the project's 752 units had been sold.
JLL national director Ong Teck Hui noted that the higher psf ppr price achieved for the latest plot is attributable to its slightly superior location, being further away from the Ayer Rajah Expressway, as well as a more optimistic market outlook today compared with August 2015, when the tender for the Parc Riviera parcel closed. Six bidders participated in that tender.
As sales at Parc Riviera have not been brisk with prices averaging around S$1,200 psf, the development on the latest site may have to be priced more competitively to achieve better sales progress, Mr Ong said.
For both sites, the government has stipulated the use of Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction or PPVC standard - a high-productivity construction method.
The other bidders at Thursday's tender include Robert Kuok's Allgreen Properties, which offered S$581.04 psf ppr for the site, and Sim Lian Land (S$561.15 psf ppr).
Far East Civil Engineering partnered Sekisui House for a S$534.36 psf ppr bid.
Hong Leong Holdings' Intrepid Investments teamed up with Verwood Holdings (part of City Developments) and TID Residential for a S$520.01 psf ppr bid.
Homegrown EL Development priced the site at S$502.80 psf ppr.
Nanshan Group Singapore Co - which also hails from China - offered S$501 psf ppr, while a partnership between ZACD Investments and Maxdin2 was at the bottom of the bids table, at S$451.53 psf ppr.