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  • Writer's pictureDelvin Goh

Unveiling Singapore's Real Estate: Three Pathways for New Developments

Singapore's vibrant real estate scene pulsates with new developments sprouting across its skyline. Central to the creation of new architectural marvels is the availability of vacant land, a pivotal catalyst propelling Singapore's real estate landscape forward. Within this context, developers navigate three primary avenues, each a unique route to acquire land and unveil transformative developments.

1. Government Land Sales (GLS)

A cornerstone of Singapore's urban planning, the Government Land Sales (GLS) program offers 99-year leasehold land every six months. These lands fall into either the confirmed or reserve lists, beckoning developers to bid via a closed tender system.

On the confirmed list, each site boasts a tender submission date, culminating in the announcement of the winning bid. This initiates a development timeline of approximately 9-12 months, during which the show flat materializes, offering a preview of the upcoming project to prospective buyers.

2. En-blocs: The Collective Transformation

En-bloc sales involve a collective agreement by at least 80% of ownership within a development to sell at a minimum agreed-upon price. This triggers a public tender process for interested developers.

However, the en-bloc route is often arduous, marked by friction. Successive attempts are rare, compounded by regulations like a mandatory 2-year cooling period after unsuccessful bids. It could take years before an en-bloc attempt succeeds. Both leasehold and freehold developments have en-bloc potential, with leasehold properties demanding developers to top up a lease premium to reset the tenure to a fresh 99 years.

3. Redevelopment: Crafting New Vistas

Redevelopment transpires when developers repurpose existing assets to birth novel structures. A prime example is the transformation of the former Fuji Xerox Towers, owned by City Developments Limited (CDL), into Newport Residences.

Google Maps location pin for Newport Residences:

Typically pursued by larger developers, this avenue leverages government incentives like the CBD Incentive Scheme. These schemes encourage developers to reimagine residential landscapes within the Central Business District (CBD) of Singapore, tapping into the potential of existing assets for innovative residential ventures.

Link to CBD Incentive Scheme circular by URA:

Conclusion: A Tapestry of Urban Innovation

Singapore's real estate evolution unfolds through the convergence of these three distinct pathways, each contributing to the ever-changing cityscape. From the structured releases of GLS sites to the collective aspirations of en-blocs and the transformative energy of redevelopment, developers sculpt the city's future.

Navigating the intricacies of these pathways underscores the dynamism and resilience of Singapore's property market. As each avenue presents its challenges and opportunities, they collectively weave a tapestry of urban innovation, shaping the landscape where residents and investors alike find their place in Singapore's bustling real estate sphere.

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