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Government raises modestly private housing supply from confirmed list of land sites

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SINGAPORE – The supply of private residential housing from confirmed sites under the government land sales (GLS) programme for the first half of next year has been modestly increased after being sharply reduced in the second half of this year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The private home supply of 1,605 units from four confirmed list sites is 235 units or about 17 per cent more than the 1,370 units from such sites under the second half of the 2020 GLS programme, according to the figures released by the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Thursday (Dec 3).

It is still below the 1,775 units from such sites under the first half of the 2020 GLS programme.

The confirmed list includes one executive condominium (EC) site which can yield about 590 units. The other three sites also offer up 9,200 square metres gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space.

On the reserve list are five private residential sites (including one EC site), three white sites and one hotel site. These sites can yield about 5,440 private residential units (including 700 EC units), 92,000 sq m GFA of commercial space and 1,070 hotel rooms.

A total number of 7,045 private homes can thus be potentially developed on the confirmed and reserve list sites. This is 5.6 per cent more than the 6,670 units under the GLS programme for the second half of this year.

The land supply was “carefully calibrated to take into account the Covid-19 and macroeconomic situation,” said MND.

“Given the continued uncertainties in economic and labour market conditions, the Government has decided to maintain a moderate supply of private residential units on the Confirmed List.

“Nonetheless, there is a good selection of sites with additional supply in the Reserve List that developers can initiate for development if they assess that there is demand.”

As with the second half of this year, no new sites for predominantly commercial or hotel use will be launched for sale in the first half of 2021.

A total of five residential sites, three white sites and one hotel site was carried over to the first half of next year.

The GLS private housing supply from confirmed list sites in the second half of this year was cut by 23 per cent to the lowest since the second half of 2009, during the global financial crisis when no confirmed list sites were released.

But the Singapore private housing market has remained resilient despite the economic downturn. Private home prices edged up 0.1 per cent in the first nine months this year compared with 2.1 per cent growth last year, and minus 5.2 per cent during the global financial crisis. New home sales from project launches were up for five straight months this year, while developers have been actively if cautiously bidding for GLS sites.

“The increase in supply is a response to healthy demand in the market,” said Mr Lee Sze Teck,  research director at property agency Huttons Asia.

“Perhaps in cognizant that the effects of the pandemic may continued to be felt in the next few quarters, the land supply has not been bumped up more,” he added.

He also noted signs of more activity in the property market: The number of uncompleted unsold units has declined since the first quarter of 2019 to 26,483 units, the recent GLS tender  saw a large number of bidders and the en-bloc market witnessed  two collective sales in the span of two weeks.

MND on Thursday said the Government will continue to monitor economic and property market conditions closely and “adjust the supply of future GLS programmes, as necessary.”

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