SingHaiyi Group—controlled by Chinese tycoon Gordon Tang and his wife Celine—and banking and real estate billionaire Wee Cho Yaw’s UOL Group submitted top bids for two Singapore state-owned residential plots amid surging housing demand in the city-state.
Developers have been actively replenishing their land banks as demand for residential properties in the Asian financial hub remains robust. While cooling measures imposed by the government in December tempered sales in the first quarter, new launches in recent weeks saw a revival in demand with billionaire Kwek Leng Beng’s City Developments and partner MCL Land selling 77% of its 407-unit Piccadilly Grand condominium project just outside the central business district last month.
SingHaiyi, which was delisted in January after Tang took it private, submitted the highest bid for the largest residential plot auctioned by the Singapore government in four years. The company offered S$1.28 billion ($932 million) for the site that can be developed into a residential condominium with 1,000 homes along Dunman Road in eastern Singapore, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said in statement on Thursday.
A joint venture between UOL Group and its unit Singapore Land also submitted the top bid of S$671.5 million for another site at Pine Grove in the western part of the country, according to the statement. The duo plans to develop the plot into a 520-unit residential development in a neighborhood that’s near popular schools, the One North business park as well as the expatriate enclave of Holland Village.
“Given the site’s strong attributes, we expect to see keen interest from both homebuyers and investors.” Jesline Goh, UOL Group chief investment and asset officer, said in a statement.
UOL has been actively replenishing its landbank, having won the auctions for residential sites in the western Singapore district of Bukit Timah and Ang Mo Kio in the north last year.
SingHaiyi has also been stepping up its property investments. In April, SingHaiyi Group, Haiyi Holdings and Chip Eng Seng—all controlled by Tang—agreed to buy a 21% stake in the AXA Tower project, a 50-story office skyscraper partly owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. In December, SingHaiyi agreed to buy Peace Centre/Peace Mansion near the Orchard Road shopping district for S$650 million and plans to redevelop the property into a mixed-use commercial and residential complex.