Every six months, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announces a list of land sites for sale, known as the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme. When this happens, developers’ eyes widen, their breathing intensifies and they will stop whatever they’re doing to pay attention.
But it’s not just developers who should listen up. If you’re a potential private home buyer, you should also pay good attention whenever URA announces GLS sites. That’s because like the URA caveat and URA Masterplan, the GLS Programme provides great insight into upcoming real estate developments, which are likely to come in handy.
Here’s an overview of the latest GLS sites announced for the second half of 2022, as well as a beginner-friendly guide to the GLS Programme and why it is meaningful for homebuyers in Singapore.
Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme: What Is It and How Does It Work?
As you probably already know, Singapore is a small country with limited land. Of the land we have, over three-quarters is owned by the Government (State Land).
In order to better utilise the land for urban planning, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) plans and designs land usage for purposes including residential land-dwelling, township designs and zoning of land. Put simply, the URA plans where new buildings go, be it for new condos, sports complexes, shopping malls and even hotels.
For us, the most relevant are the GLS sites allocated for residential developments. Before private property developers (e.g. CapitaLand, Keppel Land, Oxley Holdings, etc.) can develop houses, they will first need to buy land from the Government.
That’s where the GLS Programme come in, where the Government sells usable land to private developers through a tendering process.
Long story short, developers will purchase land from the Government in a land-bidding war.
Government Land Sales (GLS) Sites Are Released Twice a Year
Prior to the start of each half of the year, the Government will release State Land for tender through the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) sites. Upcoming URA GLS sites can be viewed on the URA website.
As mentioned, interested developers who wish to acquire the State Land for residential development (e.g. to build new condominiums) will then bid for the land through an open tender. The land will (usually) be awarded to the developer that puts in the highest bid in the open tender.
Upon closing of the tender, URA will release a media statement on the GLS sites and the developers who were awarded the site. Then, a separate media statement will be released to show the public the list of developers that have tendered for the site and the price quoted in their tender.
Here’s what the media statement looks like, which includes the top bidders :
Government Land Sales (GLS) For 2H2022
Now that we’ve explained the GLS in a nutshell, let’s take a look at the latest release of GLS sites.
On 7 June 2022, URA and HDB announced fourteen sites, six on the Confirmed List and eight on the Reserve List for the GLS Programme for 2H2022. Together, the sites can yield an estimated “7,310 private residential units, 94,750 sqm gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space and 530 hotel rooms”.
On the 1H2022 Reserve List, five residential sites, one White site and one hotel site remain. These sites will be brought forward and included in the 2H2022 GLS Programme. On the other hand, four of the 1H2022 Confirmed List sites have been put out to tender while the last site which is Bukit Batok West Avenue 5 (EC) is set to open in late June 2022.
According to Mr Lam Chern Woon from EDMUND TIE, “the carrying over of three sites (Bukit Timah Link, Hillview Rise, Lentor Gardens) from the 1H2022 Reserve List to the 2H2022 Confirmed List reflects the Government’s targeted approach to guide the growth of active residential communities in various neighbourhoods.”
Hence, here’s an overview of the Confirmed List sites for 2H2022, according to the Ministry of National Development (MND):
Site area (ha) / estimated number of units
Gross plot ratio
Status / estimated launch date
Bukit Timah Link
Marina Gardens Lane
1.23 (795 residential units, 750m2 of commercial space)
Tengah Plantation Loop (EC)
Tampines Avenue 11
5.07 (1,190 residential units, 14,000m2 of commercial space)
1. Bukit Timah Link
The Bukit Timah Link site can yield about 160 units and has a site area of 0.46ha.
Zoned as residential, the closest MRT stations to the site are Beauty World and King Albert Park on the Downtown Line. Residents will be happy to note that the nearby amenities such as Beauty World Plaza, Beauty World Centre and Bukit Timah Shopping Centre are a short walk away.
Additionally, Beauty World Integrated Transport Hub and the Bukit Timah Community Building are upcoming projects residents can look forward to in the future. As a result, land parcels at the Bukit Timah Link site, which allow for the development of under 400 units, will likely be in high demand.
Browse properties for sale near Bukit Timah Link on PropertyGuru.
2. Hillview Rise
The Hillview Rise site can yield around 335 units with a site area of 1.03ha. It is right next to Hillview MRT station, giving residents access to the Downtown Line. Many schools are nearby including CHIJ Our Lady Queen Of Peace, Assumption English School, Assumption Pathway School, Bukit Panjang Primary School, Fajar Secondary School and St. Francis Methodist School.
Browse properties for sale near Hillview MRT station on PropertyGuru.
3. Lentor Gardens
The site at Lentor Gardens can yield about 530 units and has a site area of 2.18ha. It is right next to several Lentor Central GLS sites released in 2021 as well as the Lentor MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL). Residents will be two stops away from the Cross Island Line (CRL), four stops from the Circle Line (CCL), and six from the Downtown Line (DTL).
Browse properties for sale near Lentor MRT station on PropertyGuru.
4. Marina Gardens Lane
The Government has launched the first sale site in the Marina South precinct which is Marina Gardens Lane. The site can yield about 793 units with a site area of 1.23ha. The Marina Gardens Lane site is expected to be popular due to its location overlooking Marina Reservoir and the Straits of Singapore, according to analysts.
Browse properties for sale near Marina Bay MRT station on PropertyGuru.
4. Tengah Plantation Loop (EC site)
The EC site at Tengah Plantation Loop can yield about 495 units with a site area of 1.77ha. The closest MRT station is Chinese Garden on the East West Line (EWL). Tengah is a new up-and-coming residential estate with a lot of environmentally friendly features. Tengah will be developed into Singapore’s first car-free town with green features and smart technology.
Browse properties for sale near Bukit Batok Road on PropertyGuru.
5. Tampines Avenue 11
The Tampines Avenue 11 site can yield around 1,190 units with a site area of 5.07ha. It is between Pasir Ris MRT station on the EWL and Tampines MRT station on the DTL.
In the upcoming BTO 2022 August launch, there will be about 260 4-room and 5-room flats launched around the Tampines area.
Browse properties for sale near Tampines MRT station on PropertyGuru.
GLS Programme Reserve List vs Confirmed List: What Is the Difference?
If, at this point, you’re confused about the Confirmed and Reserve GLS sites, let us explain. There are two types of lists on URA’s website: ‘Confirmed List’ and ‘Reserve List’.
They’re pretty much as their names suggest:
Confirmed Lists are confirmed in that they will definitely go on sale on a pre-determined date listed on the URA website.
This is not the same for the Reserve List sites, which aren’t released for tender immediately. Instead, they are released only when there is a successful developer application or sufficient market demand for it.
Developers who are interested in the sites on the Reserve List have to put in an application for them. When any of the interested developers have indicated a minimum price that is accepted by the Government, the site will then be put up for tender.
Here’s an overview of the Reserve List sites for 2H2022:
Site area (ha) / estimated number of units
Proposed gross plot ratio
Status / estimated launch date
Pine Grove (Parcel B)
2.50 (565 residential units)
Tampines Street 62 (Parcel B (EC)
2.80 (700 residential units)
1.47 (475 residential units)
Clementi Avenue 1
1.33 (500 residential units)
2.01 (825 residential units)
Senja Close (EC)
1.02 (300 residential units)
Woodlands Avenue 2
2.75 (440 residential units and 78,000m2 of commercial space)
River Valley Road
1.02 (530 hotel rooms and 2,000m2 of commercial space)
Previously, there was a white site at Kampong Bugis available on the H1 2022 reserve list. However, it has since been removed due to delays in the completion of soil remediation works. The Singapore government will review the development staging plans for the site.
How Is the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme Relevant to Home Buyers?
You might be thinking, “That’s interesting and all, but how is this relevant to me as a home buyer?”
Well, for starters, the GLS sites indicate the upcoming development areas for residential properties. Thus, it makes sense for those currently shopping for property to know which areas are up for development in the near future.
As they say, knowledge is power.
When it comes to home buying, each decision you make is literally worth a million bucks. That’s why keeping up with data from GLS sites (upcoming, current and past) will provide you with an information advantage that puts you ahead of the curve.
The last thing you want is to make a hasty property purchase, only to find that a more suitable residential project is up for grabs afterwards.
Pro tip: Using the URA Space tool, you can also check out all the GLS sites (upcoming, current and past) on a map.
In conclusion, those shopping for a first (or next) home should definitely check out URA’s GLS sites. You can find the recently launched GLS sites here and the past sites here. Alternatively, you can also check out the URA Space to view GLS sites that have been released and sold in the past.
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