April 5, 2007

Home sellers hope for bigger profits via auctions

By Fiona Chan

BIDDING WAR: Auctions are gradually shredding
the stigma of being associated with morgtgagee sales, says
property agency CKS. It is arranging an auction next week
for eight homes in high-end projects such as Icon. -- THE NEW PAPER

A SMALL group of home owners are putting their luxury apartments up for auction, but not because they cannot afford them.

These sellers are hoping a bidding war will yield higher profits for their homes than if they go down the normal sales routes.

Eight homes go under the hammer next Thursday. All are in popular projects - The Sail @ Marina Bay, The Oceanfront and The Coast at Sentosa Cove, Caribbean at Keppel Bay and Icon at Tanjong Pagar - where several units have already changed hands.

All the condos are 99-year leasehold and are not yet ready for occupation.

These home sellers are the clients of property agency CKS Property Consultants, which hit on the idea of using an auction as a sales channel.

CKS said yesterday that this would be one of the first auctions in Singapore comprising only owners' properties.

Usually, property auctions here are conducted regularly by bigger property firms and include both owners' properties as well as repossessed assets.

But CKS believes that auctions are gradually shedding the stigma of being associated with mortgagee sales.

'More Singaporeans are eager to utilise the mode of auction to fetch lucrative prices for their properties,' it said in a statement.

Its clients see this auction as the best way to take advantage of the booming demand for high-end property, the agency added.

'Though many of them have already attracted offers via open listings, they want to generate wider exposure for their properties so as to capture the highest, most competitive price possible,' CKS told The Straits Times.

The agency will absorb the administrative fees of the auction, which amounts to $1,000 for each property.

The auction, which will be called 'hot spots', will be held next Thursday at 2.30pm on Level 6 of Raffles City Tower.

CKS is not the first to jump on the auction bandwagon.

Property auctioneers have been seeing an increasing number of owners' sales, as more sellers turn to auctions as an alternative sales method for luxury homes.

Last weekend, developer Tuan Sing Holdings held the first auction of uncompleted condo units in Singapore.

It put 12 units at its high-end Botanika in Holland Road on offer and sold them all at prices within its expectations.

While the units fetched benchmark prices of up to $2,400 per sq ft, reports said the bidding was slow-going, partly because of the high value of the properties.

But while the Botanika auction was open only to invited bidders, the 'hot spots' auction is welcoming all interested buyers and investors.