Published June 14, 2007

IRAS puts River Valley house up for auction

Row of six restored conservation shophouses also up for grabs tomorrow


THE taxman is auctioning 8 Tong Watt Road, off River Valley Road, tomorrow to recover outstanding property taxes. The 999-year leasehold, three-storey intermediate terrace house stands on a plot with a land area of about 2,751 sq ft.

On the auction block: The owner of the six refurbished shophouses along South Bridge Road has indicated a selling price of $20-22 million

The site is zoned for residential use with a 3.8 plot ratio (ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area) within the River Valley Conservation Area.

Only the facade of the shophouses needs to be preserved while the rear portion could be redeveloped, a property consultant reckons.

BT understands that IRAS, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, has yet to provide the reserve price for the property but the indicative pricing is about $6 million-8 million.

According to a BT report in March this year, IRAS is owed $58,035 in tax arrears for 8 Tong Watt Road. The authority auctions off properties only as a last resort to recover property tax - after the owner repeatedly fails to pay or defaults on his payment, despite many reminders.

IRAS will return any balance on the sum received to the owner, after recovering outstanding tax, penalty payment, interest, and the cost of recovery.

The auction is to be conducted by Knight Frank at 2.30 pm at Empress Room, Carlton Hotel.

Another property that is being put up at the auction is a row of six restored conservation shophouses at Nos 252 to 262 South Bridge Road, near the junction with Temple Street. The indicative pricing for the freehold properties being sold by their owner, a local investment company, is about $20 million-22 million.

The six shophouses, which have two storeys with attics, have a total land area of nearly 8,500 sq ft and a floor area of around 16,600 sq ft. The units are currently leased to a total of 10 tenants, generating rental income of $41,000 per month. The leases come up for renewal at various times, ranging from the end of this month to late 2009. Knight Frank auctioneer Mary Sai reckons that the six shophouses could be converted into a boutique hotel with about 55 rooms, subject to approval from Urban Redevelopment Authority.

BT understands that No 20 Trengganu Street nearby was recently sold for $18 million to Asok Kumar of Royal Brothers group. The property has a remaining lease of about 65 years, with a total land area of about 10,450 sq ft and total lettable area of nearly 24,000 sq ft.

On June 29, Knight Frank is auctioning a freehold conservation bungalow at 781 Mountbatten Road. The indicative price is about $10 million. This is one of 15 large conservation bungalows along the road, according to Knight Frank. It has a land area of 20,222 sq ft and a floor area of 3,444 sq ft. The site is zoned for residential use. It is being offered on vacant possession by the administrator for the estate of a Teo family.