Property developers still on the lookout for land

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Local-bred Singapore real estate developer, Oxley Holdings currently holds the largest land bank for residential development in the sovereign city-state.

In 2017, the firm has made several significant acquisitions via collective sales, which include the likes of Mayfair Gardens, Vista Park, Serangoon Ville and Rio Casa.

Estimated show that these sites owned by Oxley Holdings could possibly yield up to 4,000 private homes – with 2,300 of them are based on the firm’s equity stakes in the acquired sites.

Second on the list goes to the market’s debutant, Logan Property Holdings – a Chinese property firm listed in Hong Kong. It has made an impact Singapore’s real estate market last year as well, with its biggest showing coming from the acquisition of the Stirling Road GLS site from the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for more than S$1 billion.

Logan Property Holdings is expected to yield more than 2,000 homes from their existing land bank.

Other property developers from China (which include some familiar faces such as Kingsford Development, SingHaiYi Group, and Qingjian Realty) are also ranking high in their residential land bank as they ramped up their exposure in the Singapore’s real estate scene last year.

However, some property analysts believe that City Developments Limited (CDL) could be ranked top – in terms of the value of their land bank, although they are only expected to yield 1,770 private homes from their current land bank.

They estimated that CDL’s land bank has a S$4 billion gross development value based on the number of high-end luxury real estate project they have on hand –  such as the latest New Futura and Gramercy Park.

Almost a month into 2018, market watchers have noted that property developers are still sourcing out of sites, however they may remain conservative in their acquisition process due the stipulated timeline (by the government) that they have to finish constructing and selling all their units with a 5-year timeline and the possible competition from the upcoming new supply for residential homes from the recent sites being sold.

Potential New Launch Condo in 2018

It was also noted that several big developers, such as Far East Organisation, CapitaLand, Wheelock Properties and Ho Bee Land have yet to acquire any sites.

As the Singapore property market begins to show signs of recovery, several listed property developers are facing a “confusing and difficult” question. Analysts pointed out that while developers are aware of the recovery and the state of their depleting land bank, most of them are still choosing to be laid-back in their approach on sites zoned for purely residential purposes in view of their restrained single-digit margins and its inability to stand out from potential competing projects.

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