Singapore Land Frenzy Slows to a Trickle After Property Curbs

(Bloomberg) -- The bidding frenzy for Singapore land has slowed to a trickle, going by the results of the first auctions since property curbs were tightened.

Just three bids were submitted for the Jalan Jurong Kechil site in the island’s northwest, compared to 24 received in April last year for the nearby Toh Tuck Road plot. Only five offers were tendered for The Dairy Farm plot, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said in a statement late Tuesday, while a public housing site was priced lower than a similar project sold in February, according to brokers.

The government stepped up property curbs in July after home prices rose for a second straight quarter, saying it wanted to avoid a sharp correction that could damage the economy. The moves included increased stamp duties and tougher loan-to-value limits for buyers.

“The latest round of cooling measures has reduced the participation rate of developers,” said Nicholas Mak, an executive director at SLP International Property Consultants in Singapore. “Interestingly, the top bids of all the three tenders were submitted by companies involved in construction, which may be able to economize on their costs for the developments.”

The top offer for the Dairy Farm Road site in the city’s west, was submitted by UED Residential Pte., at a price of S$830 ($603) per square foot. That was 22 percent lower than the nearby Hillview Rise plot, according to property broker JLL.

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