Chip Eng Seng’s $700.7 million top bid for Woodleigh site

/ The Edge Property
July 11, 2017 9:29 PM SGT
Updated, July 13, 2017, 10:16 AM, to reflect changes as shown in print edition of the article in The Edge Property Pullout, Issue 788 (July 17, 2017) of The Edge Singapore..
At the close of the URA tender for the 1.95ha residential site on Woodleigh Lane on July 11, CEL Unique Development — a 60:20:20 joint venture (JV) between Chip Eng Seng Corp, Heeton Holdings and KSH Holdings — won with a top bid of $700.7 million, or $1,110 psf per plot ratio (ppr), beating 14 others.
The JV partners have announced that they plan to build a condominium, comprising 16- storey blocks, with more than 800 units, on the site.
The second-highest bid of $695 million ($1,101 psf ppr) came from a JV between Keppel Land and Wing Tai Holdings, and was just 0.8% below the top bid. The top five bidders submitted tenders above $1,000 psf ppr, reflecting the confidence in and appetite for the site, according to Desmond Sim, CBRE head of research for Singapore and Southeast Asia.
The third-highest bid came from City Developments (CDL), in a JV with Hong Kong-listed Chinese developer Logan Property Holdings. In May, Logan Property, together with Chinese conglomerate Nanshan Group, won a large 99-year leasehold residential site on Stirling Road with a bid of over $1 billion, or $1,051 psf ppr.
Source: URA
The Woodleigh Lane site saw 15 bids, with the JV led by Chip Eng Seng winning at the close of the tender on July 11
CDL’s parent company, Hong Leong Holdings, and its subsidiary Hong Realty, were in eighth place with a bid of $603 million ($955 psf ppr) (see table).
The Woodleigh Lane site, within the upcoming Bidadari precinct, is also the second put up for tender and closed this year, CBRE’s Sim points out. Last month, the mixed-use site next to the Woodleigh MRT station was awarded to a JV between Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Kajima Overseas Asia, which submitted a bid of $1.13 billion, or $1,181 psf ppr.
The 99-year leasehold site on Woodleigh Lane has a gross floor area of 631,212 sq ft and plot ratio of 3.0, and it is estimated that 735 housing units can be developed on the site, according to URA. The site is adjacent to the Woodleigh MRT station and across the road from the mixed-use site won by SPH and Kajima.
Like the other Bidadari site, the top three bids for the Woodleigh Lane parcel were dominated by Singapore players, notes Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy for ZACD Group. “It looks like the big boys are reacting to the aggressive bids from the Chinese and Hong Kong developers,” he says.
Based on the top bid of $1,110 psf ppr, the developer’s break-even price is likely to be $1,650 to $1,730 psf, which means the new residential units will have to be priced above $1,800 psf, says Mak. Market expectation is that the SPH-Kajima residential units are also likely to be priced above $1,800 psf.
“While developers are bidding for sites at these prices, the question is: Will there be sufficient demand for the homes at these elevated prices?” he comments.
CBRE’s Sim reckons the market is able to absorb the new units at the elevated prices, based on the take-up rate at existing launches.
Tenderers for land parcel at Woodleigh Lane
Tendered Sale Price
Tendered Sale Price (price psf per plot ratio)
Chip Eng Seng Corporation, Heeton Holdings and KSH Holdings
$700.7 million
Keppel Land and Wing Tai Holdings
$695 million
City Developments Ltd and Logan Property Holdings
$688.09 million
$676.21 million
Kingsford Development
$632 million
CSC Land Group (property development arm of China Construction)
$615.43 million
Sim Lian Group
$608 million
Hong Leong Holdings and Hong Realty
$603 million
Frasers Centrepoint
$595 million
Far East Organization and Sekisui House
$589.78 million
Source: URA, ZACD Group, The Edge Property