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Thread: 12 Botanika units sold at weekend auction

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    Default 12 Botanika units sold at weekend auction

    Published April 3, 2007

    12 Botanika units sold at weekend auction

    Prices range from $1,710 to $2,420 psf; but sources say bidding is slow


    TWELVE units at Tuan Sing's freehold Botanika development in Holland Road were sold at a Colliers International and Christie's Great Estates auction during the weekend, at prices ranging from $1,710 per square foot to $2,420 psf. The average price achieved was $2,040 psf.

    In absolute price terms, the units fetched about $3.05 million to $5.63 million.

    While this sounds impressive, sources told BT the bidding was slow and that at times, the auctioneers seemed to be struggling to achieve the reserve prices.

    Contacted yesterday, Colliers auctioneer Grace Ng, who is also the firm's deputy managing director (agency and business services), acknowledged that 'the pace of bidding was slower than usual'.

    'Because of the high value of the properties, bidders hence took a longer time to think,' she said. Each property drew two to four bids.

    The slow pace of bidding may also have been because Tuan Sing tried to weed out potential speculators by stating clearly in the term sheet that no reassignment of options would be allowed.

    'Speculators who make private arrangements to reassign options - although this is against the law - are basically trying to save on the stamp duty payment,' said a market watcher.

    The successful bidders for the apartments were predominantly foreigners, including permanent residents - from Australia, the US, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Only one or two Singaporeans are said to have been buyers. In all, there were 11 buyers for the 12 units on offer. One buyer picked up two units.

    The 12 units include four combined units - that is, two apartments combined into one. Hence in all, Tuan Sing sold 16 strata units at the auction. This, combined with 18 units the listed developer sold through private previews earlier, means the 34-unit project is now fully sold.

    The four-storey development, which has an attic and a basement carpark, is likely to be completed next year. It was designed by Chan Soo Kian of SCDA Architects.

    The auction, at Goodwood Park Hotel on Saturday afternoon, was open only to invited bidders. It drew close to 200 people, according to Colliers, which conducted the auction jointly with Christie's Great Estates exclusive affiliate, Ken Jacobs.

    The lowest per square foot price at the auction - $1,710 psf - was for a 3,294 sq ft combined unit on the ground floor. The highest - $2,420 psf - was for a penthouse.

    'This is the first time an auction has been held for an uncompleted development. The winning bids exceeded our initial price expectations,' said Colliers' Ms Ng.

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    Default Botanika fetches benchmark prices at property auction

    April 3, 2007

    Botanika fetches benchmark prices at property auction

    Buyers paid average prices of $2,040 psf for 12 units in the Holland Road condo

    By Fiona Chan



    STRONG FOREIGN INTEREST: About 75 per cent of the successful bidders for units at Botanika are foreigners, from places such as Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United States.


    TWELVE luxury apartments at Botanika on Holland Road went under the hammer on Saturday - but not for the usual reason.

    The brand-new units were being sold by developer Tuan Sing Holdings in an auction that set benchmark prices for the area.

    All the apartments, which are expected to be completed in 2009, found takers at average prices of $2,040 per sq ft (psf).

    One penthouse unit even fetched $2,420 psf, said Colliers International, which conducted the auction along with Christie's Great Estates' exclusive affiliate Ken Jacobs.

    This compares with prices of between $1,367 psf and $2,000 psf for the rest of the 34-unit freehold Botanika, sold before the auction to invited buyers only.

    While Botanika is the first uncompleted condominium to be sold through an international auction, it may not be the last.

    As the market for luxury homes in Singapore heats up, other developers may well consider this unusual sales channel, said property consultants.

    'When demand gets high and supply runs short, developers may look at this option to get the best market value,' said Mr Ku Swee Yong, the director of marketing and business development at Savills Singapore.

    Ms Grace Ng, Colliers' executive director of auctions, added that developers 'are increasingly recognising auctions as a practical mode of sale to determine the market price for a property'.

    'In this case, it is also a yardstick to set benchmark prices for new prime properties,' she said.

    In all, Tuan Sing reaped $52.92 million in sales at the Botanika private auction, held at the Goodwood Park Hotel and attended by almost 200 people.

    Colliers said that about 75 per cent of the successful bidders were foreigners, from places such as Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United States.

    Tuan Sing said it put Botanika up for auction after being approached by Ken Jacobs, a boutique Australian-based brokerage of luxury homes.

    Ken Jacobs, which joined Colliers last year to auction off 12 bungalow plots at Sentosa Cove, had felt that Botanika would attract international interest.

    'We needed to launch Botanika anyway to the public, and given the interest and few available units, the management felt it was an interesting option,' a Tuan Sing spokesman said.

    But not all developments are suitable for sale through auction, said consultants. 'The apartments must have some unique quality, and some level of scarcity,' said Mr Ku. Such projects would include limited-edition branded homes, he added.

    Botanika itself is designed by award-winning architect Chan Soo Khian, the founder of SCDA Architects, who was behind The Ladyhill development.

    Mr Ku said: 'Also, running an auction is tedious and involves higher risks. If it should fail, it would look bad because an auction is so public.'

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