Singaporean developer Ho Bee Land continues to mine housing opportunities in suburban Australia, announcing Wednesday that local units of the firm had paid A$103.73 million ($81.2 million) to acquire three residential development sites.
The two sites in Victoria and one in Queensland will yield a total of 1,197 residential lots when completed, Ho Bee said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange.
The projects, to be financed by internal funds and bank borrowings, are in line with Ho Bee’s objective to focus on developing master-planned communities in the two Australian states, the company said.
The latest acquisition comes nine months after Ho Bee bought two residential development sites in Queensland for a total of A$23.5 million.
Happy in Suburbia
In the Victoria transactions disclosed Wednesday, local unit HBL VIC secured a 59.73 hectare (147.6 acre) site in Tarneit, 28 kilometres (17.4 miles) west of central Melbourne, and a 8.31 hectare site in Officer, 50 kilometres southeast of the city centre.
At the A$73.2 million site in Tarneit, a former farm community experiencing residential growth, the project will create 755 residential lots, a 3.5 hectare school, a 5.67 hectare regional sports reserve and a 8.2 hectare parcel reserved for future development. The property sits near established residential estates and the Riverdale Shopping Centre.
The A$16.23 million Officer site, within a jurisdiction known as the Shire of Cardinia, is expected to furnish 119 residential lots when completed.
In Queensland’s Collingwood Park, a bedroom community of the city of Ipswich in the Brisbane metro area, the A$14.3 million site near Springfield Town Centre is expected to yield 323 residential lots. The buyer was local unit HBL QLD.
Ho Bee’s previous Queensland deals last June garnered a 47.41 hectare site in Ripley for the development of 570 residential lots, a regional sports facility and associated community facilities for A$14.5 million, as well as a 8.98 hectare site in Bli Bli for the development of 95 residential lots in the Parklakes 2 project for A$9 million.
SGX-listed Ho Bee, controlled by billionaire Chua Thian Poh, has pursued a double-sided foreign investment strategy of residential development in Aussie suburbs and trophy acquisitions in London’s commercial property market.
In 2017, the developer bought 67 Lombard Street, a 1930s structure in the City of London near the Bank of England, for £129.3 million ($172 million). Ho Bee was also reported to have bid on 70 Mark Lane that year.
In 2018, Ho Bee’s biggest London deal yet, the £650 million acquisition of Ropemaker Place, a 21-storey office building, brought the firm’s total investment in London property to S$2.4 billion ($1.7 billion).
Ho Bee is well known on its home turf for developing luxury residential projects on Singapore’s Sentosa island.