Government Land Sales Programme Guide (Updated With GLS Sites for 2H2020!)

Buying a property in Singapore? Here’s what you need to know about Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme to make smarter property buying decisions.

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 2020, as well as a beginner-friendly guide of the GLS Programme and why it is meaningful for home buyers in Singapore. 

Psst: Need help buying a property in Singapore? Find a library of helpful buying tips with our property buying guides.

 

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 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 and make heaps of money, 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 tender 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 (i.e. 1H2020 and 2H2020), 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 :

GLS tender for Canberra Drive

Source: URA

 

Government Land Sales (GLS) for 2H2020: 3 new residential sites for condos 

Now that we've explained the GLS in a nutshell, let's take a look at the latest release of GLS sites. 

On 24 June 2020, Ministry of National Development (MND) released the GLS sites for the second half of the year (2H2020). There are three confirmed GLS residential sites: Northumberland Road (Oct 2020), Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 (Nov 2020) and Tengah Garden Walk (Nov 2020).

Northumberland Road (Oct 2020)

Of these, the site at Northumberland Road seems the closest to the city. It is located near Farrer Park MRT, as well as nearby malls City Square and Mustafa Centre.

northumberland road gls 2h2020

Browse properties for sale near Farrer Park MRT or read our AreaInsider review of Little India.  

Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 (Nov 2020)

The Ang Mo Kio site will be near the upcoming Mayflower MRT, but more notably, also near two 'branded' primary schools that are Ai Tong and CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School. 

Ang mo kio ave 1 gls 2h2020

Browse properties for sale near Mayflower MRT or read our AreaInsider review of Ang Mo Kio

Tengah Garden Walk (Nov 2020)

The last site at Tengah Garden Walk is for executive condo (EC) development. Currently, the Tengah area is still developing. As such, it may be slightly inconvenient for early residents of the area. However, stick it out and you may enjoy an uplift in your property value once Tengah matures. 

tengah garden walk gls 2h2020

Browse properties for sale in Tengah or read our AreaInsider review of Tengah

Private residential housing supply cut due to COVID-19 

In total, these confirmed sites will yield about 1,370 private residential units, which is almost 23% less than the previous half's supply (1,775 units).

According to URA, the reduced residential supply was "calibrated to take into account the global COVID-19 situation". Should there be greater demand, developers can look to the Reserve List for more options. 

Read also: Private Home Sales Up 75.5% in May 2020—See The Top 5 Condos Sold Here

 

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. For example, the Northumberland Road GLS site will be open for tender in October 2020. 

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 Lists 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.

 

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 that 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 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. 

Want to keep up with the latest project launches? Bookmark this page and you'll never miss another project launch again.

 

Looking to buy a home?

Whether if you want to live in a swanky private condo or a large jumbo flat, find your dream home on PropertyGuru. Filter by area, price, size, property type and more on PropertyGuru now

Read Next