SEARCH FOR PROPERTY IN SINGAPORE

The white site, which will mainly be an office development, comes nearly 10 years after the last office sites in the Marina Bay area – those of Asia Square – were sold in 2007.

“From the interest we have seen, there could be more than 10 bids from a mix of local players – mid-sized to large developers – and probably in joint ventures with foreign developers. There could even be interest from sovereign wealth funds looking to acquire such prime development sites,” said Ms Christine Li, Cushman & Wakefield director of research.

Grade A office assets in the Central Business District (CBD) are usually tightly held by real estate investment trusts and developers. Property that is readily available for buying and selling was just 7 per cent of overall Grade A stock in the area over the past 10 years, she added.

Search through much of this tradeable stock also ends up in third or related party transactions, such as CapitaGreen being sold by CapitaLand and their joint venture partners to CapitaLand Commercial Trust.

“So, in order for a fund to acquire something in the heart of Marina Bay, and if does not want to buy existing assets at exorbitant prices, it would have to take on development risks,” Ms Li noted.

Developers may also have increasing confidence in the stability of the office market, given pre-commitment levels at some of the buildings completing this year.

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