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News: Fewer residential land sites sold in 2013

Apr 1, 2014

Despite its property cooling measures, the government sold 338.1ha of land in 2013 compared to 303.9ha the year before, boosting its funds by about $17 billion from $15.5 billion in 2012, media reports said.

The private sector accounted for $9.1 billion, while public agencies contributed $7.9 billion.

A spokesman from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) explained that the government sells state land to public agencies for the construction of industrial and public housing estates, while land sold to private firms are used for residential, commercial, and industrial projects.

The SLA is the national land registration authority for property transactions, which oversees about 5,000 properties and more than 14,000ha of state land.

Only 16 residential land parcels were sold last year, down from 36 in 2012. As a result, sales plummeted to about $5.1 billion from around $8.9 billion previously.

Christine Li, Research Head at OrangeTee, said: “The fall in the number of land sales could mean that the government is aware of the high incoming supply, and is slowly tapering off land sales in order to prevent a major correction in property prices in the future.”

Nevertheless, the biggest residential GLS sale in 2013 was a 130,101 sq ft site at Commonwealth Avenue, which drew a top bid of $563 million from a joint venture between Hong Leong Holdings and City Developments.

Frasers Centrepoint was awarded the largest deals for mixed-use and commercial sites. It paid $1.4 billion for a 442,235 sq ft plot at Yishun Central 1, which will be used for an integrated project, and $924 million for an 81,840 sq ft commercial site at Cecil Street.

However, these robust figures are unlikely to be repeated in 2014.

“Given the reduction in the number of GLS sites this year, we reckon the total sales volume would be weaker, but interest will remain strong as developers continue to bank up on their supply,” noted Chua Yang Liang, Research Head at JLL, Southeast Asia.

Specifically, sales to the private sector could drop by 15 to 20 percent, but sales to public agencies should remain healthy, added Alice Tan, Research Head at Knight Frank Singapore.


Muneerah Bee, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email


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Shandy Tong
Senior Associate Director
CEA Licence No.:
L3009250K / R006026J
(+65) 8288 8078
(+65) 9029 6282

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