GuocoLand and Hong Leong could consolidate their hold on the area if they can secure Upper Thomson.

The single bid of S$780m or S$905 per square foot per person (ppr) is a little below expectations and 8 percent lower than the most recent sold Lentor plot

The recent state tender that closed in Upper Thomson showed developers avoiding land sales because of the current market caution.

Site attracted only one bidder – a joint project between GuocoLand Holdings and Hong Leong Holdings with an offer around S$780,000,000 or S$904.60 psf per plot ratio.

The only bid was just below the expectations of The Business Times, who surveyed respondents before the tender ended on Thursday (4 Apr). The consultants had predicted that the plot would attract three to five offers, with the highest offer ranging from S$1,000 to S$1,100 per square foot per person.

Land rates are also 8 percent lower than those of Lentor Central. In September 2023, the site was awarded to a joint-venture consisting of Hong Leong Holdings (HHL), GuocoLand (CSC) and China Construction Development Co. The price for this award was S$435.2 Million or S$982 per square foot ppr.

The site-specific requirements might have discouraged some, but winning the Upper Thomson plot could give you a head start on a new area that’s primarily a land-based housing precinct.

It is possible that the consortium’s participation in the tender was driven by its defensive strategies to maintain a firm foothold beyond the neighbourhood of Lentor. They can better manage the sales and pricing for their projects. GuocoLand has 2,211 units under construction in the Lentor area, excluding this site.

The number of units that are still unsold in the various projects at Lentor Hills Estate is approximately 1,200. Six plots and five projects have already been launched.

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A second site is available on Upper Thomson Road. Parcel A a state land parcel adjacent to the one currently for sale can produce 640 units including 100 serviced long-stay apartments.

Analysts expect that the Upper Thomson project (Parcel B), given the bid of S$905 per square foot, per parcel per year for the site will be launched between S$2,000 to S$2,200.

This project may be attractive to homebuyers who are looking to upgrade from landed properties in the Springleaf area, or HDB upgraders coming from the Ang Mo Kio estate and Yio Chu Kang.

The Upper Thomson Road parcel B (32,023.7 sq m) is a plot that will yield 940 apartments.

The Essence condo in Chong Kuo Road, a 99-year leasehold condominium located nearby, was launched in March 2019 The Essence’s median price for new sales since its launch is S$1,376 per square foot. The development was constructed on a site that was awarded in 2018 at S$43.95m or S$681psfppr.

Sub-sale of an 818-square-foot unit for S$1.3m or S$1,638 per square foot was the most recent deal.

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