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Which sites under the 2H23 GLS programme will attract the most developers?

The programme comprises 8 Confirmed List and 9 Reserve List sites.

The four prime sites under the 2H23 GLS programme are most likely to attract developers, according to real estate experts.

These four prime sites include Orchard Boulevard, two on Zion Road, and Holland Drive. 

According to Tricia Song, CBRE’s head of Research for Southeast Asia, the prime sites account for 24% or 1,225 units of the total units that can be built on the Confirmed List. Including the Reserve List, these four prime sites make up about 29% of the total residential supply.

The prime sites under the Confirmed List are Parcel A - Zion Road and Orchard Road, whilst Parcel B - Zion Road and Holland Drive are under the Reserve List. 

“We have not seen such prime sites since GLS 2H 2019’s Irwell Bank Road site, and not as many prime choices in a single GLS programme in a decade or more. The proportion devoted to prime sites is surprising given the recent cooling measures, which included the 60% ABSD on foreigners and should affect the prime housing market the most,” Song commented.

Meanwhile, the four sites can also potentially inject over 2,500 units into the Core Central Region (CCR), according to Leonard Tay, Knight Frank Singapore’s head of research.

“It does appear that with the commissioning of new MRT lines in recent years, such as the Thomson-East Coast Line, the government is also starting to populate residential catchments along some of these new mass transit stations, such as at the Orchard Boulevard, Zion Road and Upper Thomson Road plots,” Tay commented.

Orchard Boulevard

What makes this site attractive is its location, said Tay, adding that it is sitting next to Orchard Boulevard MRT station and close to the premier shopping belt at Orchard Road.

“The embassies in the vicinity and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The last time a GLS site was sold in the Orchard Road area was in May 2018, where Cuscaden Reserve is now being developed,” Tay said.

Data from OrangeTee showed that Cuscaden Reserve attracted nine bidders. The winning bid for the site was $2,377.2psf ppr and was awarded on 17 May 2018.

Christine Sun, OrangTee’s senior vice president of research and analytics, said Orchard Road may be viewed as a “trophy project” by developers.

 “It is a plum site situated beside the Orchard Boulevard MRT station and nestled within the Orchard shopping belt, which is very rare in the market. The MRT station is along the Thomson East Coast Line opened recently. Moreover, few new developments in the Orchard area are directly linked to an MRT station,” Sun said.

“There has not been a GLS released for sale in the vicinity in the past five years ago. Therefore, developer and buying interest may be healthy for this plot…The future condominium may be marketed as a super-luxury project which may draw keen interest from high-net-worth individuals,” she added.

Lee Sze Teck, Huttons’ head of research, said the top bid for the site could be more than $1,500 psf ppr.

Zion Road

The two Zion Road land parcels will be attractive to developers due to the accessibility to public transport nodes, said Tay, adding that the sites are a short drive from the Central Business District (CBD) and shopping amenities.

Lam Chern Woon, EDMUND TIE’s head of research and consulting, expects strong end-user demand for theZion Road parcels “given its choice location and proximity to the Great World City, the Tiong Bahru food centre, quaint and hip neighbourhood of cafes and the Great World MRT station.”

Sun had a similar sentiment, saying the future development in the site may be popular among buyers as it is within walking distance of an MRT station.

"However, future condominium units may not enjoy river views as they could be blocked by nearby developments,” said Sun.

Still, Sun expects strong interest from developers on this site, given that other GLS in the vicinity attracted many bidders.

 Lee expects the top bid for Zion Road (Parcel A) to reach more than $1,300 psf ppr.

Holland Drive

“The Holland Drive site introduced in H2 2023 can be an interesting one for developers, as it is located next to One Holland Village Residences,” Tay said, adding that the site is also close to Holland Village MRT station and the bustling Holland Village.

According to the May 2023 developer sales data, One Holland Village Residences has sold 96% of its units.

Lam had a similar sentiment saying that the Holland Drive site will “ride on the success and rejuvenation of the Holland Village precinct by the One Holland Village project.

“This site is likely to draw strong interest from developers given its proximity to town, the range of amenities and F&B options, as well as connectivity provided by the Holland Village MRT station on the Circle Line,” Lam added.

Other attractive sites

Other sites which experts believe will be attractive to developers include De Souza Avenue, Upper Thomson Road, Clementi Avenue 1, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, and Tampines Street 95 (Executive Condo).

De Souza Avenue, which is under the Reserve List, is expected to draw in developers due to its proximity to the  Bukit Batok Nature Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Tay said the site will attract buyers that prefer to live close to greenery and recreational options.

Lam added that the site could also gain interest from “residents looking to right-size from the landed housing estates in the Toh Tuck and Upper Bukit Timah precincts.”

“Its proximity to the popular Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School would also find favour with families with young children,” said Lam.

The Upper Thomson Road land parcels, meanwhile, will be attractive due to its proximity to the Thomson-East Coast Line.

“Parcel A has immediate MRT access while Parcel B is within quick walking distance. The two sites combined can generate over 1,500 new homes in what is presently a low-density landed housing area, bringing forth new human activity along quieter parts of the new MRT line,” Tay said.

Sun, for her part, said the site should be “quite popular as high-floor units facing the landed properties will have good, panoramic views.”

“There is ample greenery in the vicinity which will draw nature lovers and units facing the greenery may have good views. However, some units at Parcel B which faces the expressway may be noisy and dusty,” Sun commented. 

Clementi Avenue 1 Site and the Lorong 1 Toa Payoh sites will gain interest as both these projects are located in popular residential precincts namely Clementi and Toa Payoh, said Wong Xian Yang, Cushman & Wakefield’s head of research for Singapore & SEA.

“The sites [are] underpinned by strong underlying buying demand,” Wong said.

“For example, the Clavon, which was the latest new launch, in the vicinity of the Clementi Avenue 1 site, is fully sold. Likewise, the Gem Residences, which is just across the road from the Lorong 1 Toa Payoh site is fully sold as well. In the current landscape where developers face heightened development risks, they are likely to prefer markets with a strong demand track record,” he added.

 Clementi Avenue 1, will be particularly popular amongst families and locals as well as investors, said Sun.

“The site is near many popular, top schools like the Nan-Hua High School, NUS high school of Mathematics and Science and Yale-NUS College…the site is near a few international schools which will draw strong rental demand,” she commented. 

The top bid for Clementi Avenue 1 could be more than $1,100 psf ppr, said Lee.

Meanwhile, the Lorong 1 Toa Payoh site will be popular given that the supply of private homes in the area is quite limited.

“The future development may be popular among buyers. The site is also conveniently located in a mature estate with ample amenities and within walking distance of an MRT station. There are currently many HDB flats in Toa Payoh, therefore there should be pent-up demand for private housing in the area,” Sun said.

The top bid for Lorong 1 Toa Payoh could be more than $1,200 psf ppr, said Lee.

Under the Reserve List, Wong said Tampines Street 95 (Executive Condo) site could see the highest probability of being triggered from the reserve list.

Lam added that Tampines Street 95 EC site also “enjoys proximity to the upcoming Tampines West MRT station on the Downtown line,” making it attractive to developers.

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