SINGAPORE (Sept 6): The majority of large property developers in Singapore have sat out the latest round of government land sales (GLS) tenders, after the introduction of new property cooling measures in July to curb rising home prices.

Tenders of three sites under the GLS programme – Dairy Farm, Jalan Jurong Kechil, and Canberra Link Executive Condominium – closed on Wednesday.

“Biddings were noticeably subdued, except for the executive condo land site,” says DBS Group Research’s lead analyst Rachel Tan in a Thursday report. She notes that this was the first batch of GLS tenders to close after the government announced its cooling measures.

Except for a consortium led by City Developments that had bid for the Canberra Link EC site, all the other large Singapore developers did not participate in the tenders, Tan says.

First-time winner United Engineers edged out four other bidders to win the Dairy Farm site for $369 million.

“This is United Engineers’ first GLS landbank in a long while,” says Tan. “The winning land price was 22% lower than the Hillview Rise GLS site in May 2018 (won by Hong Leong Group), implying that developers are now more cautious about land prices at selective land parcels.”

Meanwhile, CSC Land Group won the Jalan Jurong Kechil site, which only saw a total of three bidders, for $215 million.

However, Tan notes that EC sites continue to be well-received. “EC sites continue to attract strong interest with a total of nine bidders this time, as new supply of ECs remains scarce,” she says.

Hoi Hup and Sunway scooped the Caberra Link EC site with a bid of $271 million.

“Foreign developers (largely from China and Malaysia) continue to participate in land tenders, while we saw less interest from Singapore developers,” Tan says.

According to Tan, the three sites will add a total of around 1,200 units to the upcoming supply by end-2019.