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En bloc sale sites could add about 9,300 homes to supply: URA

The redevelopment of en bloc sale sites will add a significant number of housing units to the existing supply pipeline, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) noted on Friday in its third quarter private housing data release.

Noting that en bloc sales have been very active over the past one to two years, Singapore's planning authority estimated a potential supply of about 9,300 new private housing units that could be generated from en bloc sale sites sold or awarded in 2016 and up to mid-October 2017. This figure is based on the land areas of the en bloc sale sites and allowable plot ratios under Master Plan 2014.

"For each site, the number of units proposed by the developer will be subject to detailed evaluation to determine if it can be supported," URA highlighted.

The en bloc sales of existing developments are subject to regulatory conditions, such as the issuance of the collective sale order by the Strata Titles Board under the Land Titles (Strata) Act, it added.

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The 9,300 units will be part of a potential supply of about 16,700 units (including executive condo or EC units) that have not been granted planning approvals yet. The balance 7,400 units will come from awarded Government Land Sales (GLS) sites, reserve-list sites that have been triggered for sale but not awarded yet, and confirmed-list sites that have yet to be awarded.

"A large part of this new supply of 16,700 units could be made available for sale in the next one to two years, and will be completed by 2021 onwards," URA said in its release.

This figure is in addition to the 17,178 unsold, uncompleted units with planning approvals; this figure comprises 16,031 private homes and 1,147 EC units.

Commenting on the potential supply from en bloc and GLS sites, Edmund Tie & Co's research head Lee Nai Jia said: "The impact of supply tends to be lagged, and it should have marginal impact on prices in 2018.

"Separately, concerns over the large supply is substantiated if we assume our population continues to contract. However, as our economy restructures, there will be increased demand for overseas talent, especially if the local population is not growing fast enough. The influx of talent could help to offset the larger supply."