SINGAPORE (July 12): A Chip Eng Seng consortium announced on Tuesday night it had put in the record winning bid of $1,110 psf ppr for a piece of land at Woodleigh Lane.

The Woodleigh Lane, the second land site at the new Bidadari Estate, closed with at a record price of $701 million by CEL Unique Development, a consortium made up of local developers and builders Chip Eng Seng, Heeton and KSH.

Coming in second was a Keppel Land-Wing Tai JV at just $6 million -- or $9 psf ppr -- short of the winning bid.

The winning margin of 0.8% and the large number of bidders -- 15 participants, the second highest YTD to the Toh Tuck land site -- indicate that competition for land sites is still strong.

In a Wednesday report by DBS Group Research, lead analyst Rachel Tan noticed three key interesting trends in the bids.

Firstly, local developers are getting more aggressive in their bids; Secondly, there were fewer foreign developers bidding for the site and lastly, JVs were formed to bid for the land with City Developments bidding twice.

Tan says the Woodleigh Lane land parcel has the potential to ride on the rejuvenation of the neighbourhood.

The land parcel is located opposite to the Upper Serangoon Road land site next to Woodleigh MRT station. A tender for a mixed-use development closed in June at $1,181 psf. The estimated number of residential units for the site is 735.

The other is the development prospects of the former cemetery site at Bidadari Estate, spearheaded by close to 11,000 new public housing units and a potential new “Junction 8” on the Upper Serangoon Road site.

DBS estimates the breakeven cost of Woodleigh Lane at $1,600 psf, implying that the launch price could be above $1,700 psf. Recent new launches around the area were priced at $1,400 to $1,500 psf.

“We understand that The Poiz Residences' prices were recently raised by 3% with only 61 units left , or 8% of total, as at May,” says Tan.

The strong bids also show that developers remain optimistic and are keen to replenish their land banks, adds Tan.

The next tender closing soon would be for the nearby Serangoon North Avenue 1 site, on July 27.