Billionaire Kwek Leng Beng’s CDL Replenishes Landbank As Singapore Defies Global Property Downturn

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View of city skyline w. skyscrapers.

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City Developments Ltd. (CDL)—controlled by billionaire Kwek Leng Beng—has submitted the highest bid for a residential site in the western Singapore town of Bukit Batok as the real estate giant replenishes its landbank amid continuing robust demand for properties in the city despite soaring interest rates and slowing economic growth.

The company’s wholly owned subsidiary CDL Zenith offered to buy the 178,936 square feet (16,623 square meters) plot for S$336 million ($239 million), the highest bid received by the government for the 99-year leasehold property. Should the Housing and Development Board award CDL the site, it plans to build 10 blocks of 12 to 13 story apartment buildings with a total of 510 residential units on the property.

The Bukit Batok site is conveniently located near the existing Bukit Gombak MRT and two upcoming stations on the North-South line due for completion in 2028. City Developments is developing the 639-unit Copen Grand condominium project in nearby Tengah Garden Walk, slated to be launched for sale later this year.

“Given the site’s proximity to the upcoming Tengah New Town and Jurong Lake District, it will benefit from easy access to a wide range of amenities as well as good connectivity to such a key business, lifestyle and tourism hub,” Sherman Kwek, Group CEO of City Developments, said in a statement. “We look forward to transforming this expansive site into a sustainably designed and well-built residential landmark.”

City Developments is adding to its landbank after seeing robust demand for its projects in Singapore, which is defying a global property downturn that has triggered a slump in housing prices across Australia and China as central banks around the world tighten monetary policies to curb runaway inflation.

In May, CDL and partner Hongkong Land unit MCL Land sold 315 of the 407 residential units at Piccadilly Grand on Northumberland Road, about four kilometers east of the central business district.

Suburban projects of rival developers have also seen robust sales. In July, billionaire Wee Cho Yaw’s UOL Group sold almost all of the 372 units at AMO Residence in Ang Mo Kio in central Singapore during the project’s weekend launch. Last week, billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s Frasers Property sold 75% of the 158 residential units at Sky Eden@Bedok in the eastern part of the city-state.