Billionaire cousins ​​show confidence in Singapore property market with $1bn housing site deals

Singaporean tycoon Kwek Leng Beng’s City Developments and his Malaysian billionaire cousin Quek Leng Chan’s GuocoLand have submitted the best bids totaling S$1.35 billion ($1 billion) for two hotly contested residential sites in Singapore, showing confidence that housing demand in the city-state will remain resilient despite a real estate crisis.

City developments has offered S$768 million for the 19,567 square meter site on Jalan Tembusu in one of the city’s most exclusive enclaves in the Eastern Region. The company plans to build four blocks of up to 21 floors each, with a total of 640 residential units on the 99-year lease site, if the government accepts its best offer.

GuocoTerre, in partnership with Intrepid Investments and TID Residential, which are linked to Kwek’s Hong Leong Group, submitted the highest bid of S$586.6 million for a 17,136 square meter plot of land at Lentor Hills Road in the northern part of Singapore. In July, GuocoLand won the bid for a residential site near Lentor Central, beating nine other bidders.

The first two state land auctions of the year have drawn a total of 14 bids (including eight contesting the Jalan Tembusu site and four bidding for Lentor Hill) as developers continue to rebuild their land reserves despite lockdown measures. property cooling introduced by the government in December as housing costs reached record levels. New home sales fell 58% to 650 units last month, compared to November, government says Data show.

“While there are headwinds following the housing cooling measures, we believe the market remains well supported by resilient fundamentals such as an improving labor market and strong household balance sheets. “, said Sherman Kwek, Group CEO of City Developments. in a report. “There remains real demand from first-time buyers and valuers, who are relatively less affected by the cooling measures.”

His optimism stems from strong demand for some of the group’s projects. City Developments has developed several projects in the eastern region, including Amber Park, which is nearly 90% sold, Kwek said.

The acquisition of the land at Jalan Tembusu provides City Developments with the opportunity to construct another landmark development, which will provide stunning views of the CBD skyline and the Singapore Sports Hub, as well as sea views to the south, the company said. The site is close to the upcoming Tanjong Katong MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast line which is currently under construction and approximately 15 minutes drive from the central business district.

“In addition to the local homebuyer market, Singapore remains an attractive destination for foreign investors due to many factors such as its political stability, financial condition, healthcare facilities and educational institutions,” Kwek said. .

Reflecting strong demand for quality housing in the city-state, City Developments said its partner CapitaLand had sold 83% of the 696 units Canning Hill Pier, which would be the tallest residential structure along the Singapore River when completed, since the project launched in November. Average sale prices for the development in the Raffles Place CBD remained firm despite the cooling measures, City Developments said.

Sherman’s father, Kwek Leng Beng, is the chairman of the Hong Leong Group of Singapore, founded by his father in 1941. His uncle Quek Leng Chan, also a billionaire, runs a separate group in Malaysia, also called Hong Leong.

With a net worth of $8.5 billion which he shares with his family, Kwek, 80, was ranked as the eighth richest person in Singapore on Singapore’s 50 richest list released in August. His cousin Quek has a net worth of $9.6 billion and is the second richest person in Malaysia.

Penny D. Jackson