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Thread: Some HDB sellers asking for up to $150K above valuation

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    Default Some HDB sellers asking for up to $150K above valuation

    June 19, 2007

    Some HDB sellers asking for up to $150K above valuation

    But there won't be many deals at such high prices, say agents

    By Joyce Teo, Property Correspondent

    COMPANY executive Ronald Lee had many a Housing Board flat owner excited when news broke last weekend that he had sold his Tiong Bahru flat for a record $720,000.

    It was reported right after another HDB owner in the same area had sold his flat for $675,000.

    These are prices not seen since the 1996 property peak, when a high-floor executive maisonette in Bishan was sold for $840,000, said C&H Realty.

    Yesterday, housing agents said that hopeful sellers across Singapore had hiked their asking prices overnight, with the most optimistic asking for up to $150,000 above valuation.

    But most are unlikely to land a deal like Mr Lee's. Such high-priced deals are limited to fairly new, well-renovated, high-floor resale flats in coveted estates such as Tiong Bahru and Queenstown, property experts said.

    'We received a few calls from sellers asking if we can help them sell their units at record prices,' said Mr Eric Cheng, senior division director at PropNex.

    One owner asked if the agency could sell his sixth floor unit in Telok Blangah for $150,000 above valuation, he said. But, he added: 'Those selling at record prices have to have an X-factor.'

    Still, it has not stopped sellers from trying. In central estates such as Tiong Bahru and Lavender, homeowners of the newer flats are asking for as much as $100,000 to $150,000 above valuation, agents said.

    In Bishan and Toa Payoh, some are asking for between $70,000 and $120,000 above valuation.

    Even in outlying Clementi, owners of ageing executive flats, who once had trouble finding keen buyers, had upped prices at the weekend by up to $150,000 above valuation, said ERA assistant vice-president Eugene Lim.

    They are hoping for a windfall due to spillover demand from the private market as some sellers in en bloc sales downgrade. These cash-rich buyers are mostly retirees and typically need a place fast.

    'We have had sellers say: 'Find me a buyer like the one in Tiong Bahru who has a lot of cash',' said Dennis Wee Properties director Chris Koh. He said about 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the recent HDB deals handled by his agency were settled in cash, when 'almost everyone' needed a loan in the past.

    In Serangoon and Hougang, prices have risen on demand from owners of en bloc estate Minton Rise, and some are asking for $70,000 to $100,000 above valuation, said an agent.

    The higher asking prices have, however, driven away two of his Minton Rise clients. Minton Rise owners reportedly reaped just $611,000 on average from their en bloc sale.

    'We have had many enquiries,' said ERA's Mr Lim. 'But because of the current euphoria, which has raised sellers' expectations, it's a moving goalpost situation.'

    Besides, not all estates are able to command high prices. Sellers in outlying estates such as Bedok and Tampines are asking for $20,000 to $50,000 above valuation, but others in Jurong West, Sengkang, Ponggol and Woodlands are asking to sell at valuation or just $5,000 above it.

    Agents say there is a limit to price rises. 'It's initial euphoria. We believe it will tone down,' said Mr Lim.

    PropNex's chief executive Mohamad Ismail said new HDB records could be set if more private estates are sold en bloc. But this is unlikely to push HDB prices up by more than the 5-7 per cent that he expects to see this year, up from about 2 per cent last year.

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    Default Re: Some HDB sellers asking for up to $150K above valuation

    June 19, 2007

    They're not selling

    STAYING PUT: Mr See is among the Kim Tian Place flat-owners who will not sell, despite being heavily courted. -- DESMOND WEE

    MOST residents in Kim Tian Place are staying put, despite having been courted by real estate agents and eager buyers since the start of the year.

    Flyers, phone calls and strangers who show up at their doors with offers - residents have fobbed off all of these.

    Going by interviews with about 30 residents in the neighbourhood, location - just off Tiong Bahru Road and minutes from Orchard Road - is the main reason.

    Said Mr A. See, a 49-year-old who has his own business: 'No matter where I want to go, it's convenient.'

    Ms Yu Chieh Mei, 29, will not entertain offers for her 28th floor unit for much the same reason.

    Residents further down the road at Jalan Membina, where a unit went for $675,000 earlier this month, are also reluctant to move.

    Housewife Ang Gek Tin, 60, said: 'Every night, I get calls asking me if I want to sell. But moving house is very troublesome.'


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