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Thread: En-Bloc Achieved (as reported in the media)

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    Exclamation En-Bloc Achieved (as reported in the media)

    Published January 26, 2006

    Hoi Hup bags Kim Yam Mansion in $63m collective sale

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    PROPERTY developer Hoi Hup, part of Straits Construction Group, is understood to have bagged the 877-year leasehold Kim Yam Mansion, off River Valley Road, for about $63 million through a collective sale.

    Windfall: Owners of Kim Yam Mansion's 40 apartments will receive more than $1.5 million each
    The price works out to about $460 per square foot of potential floor area inclusive of a development charge of about $300,000.

    Owners of Kim Yam Mansion's 40 apartments will receive more than $1.5 million each, or up to three times the $500,000-$600,000 the units would have fetched if they were sold individually.

    This premium is one of the highest since en bloc sales began in Singapore in 1994. Sellers in most deals these days see collective premiums of about 30-50 per cent.

    Jones Lang LaSalle brokered Kim Yam Mansion's sale.

    The four-storey development is about 40 years old.

    It has a land area of 49,080 square feet and the site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area).

    Based on its purchase price, Hoi Hup's breakeven cost for a new condo on the site will be about $670-$700 psf, say analysts.

    Kim Yam Mansion is the first collective sale to benefit from a new law that took effect last month, facilitating en bloc sales of estates where the original landowner/developer retains the freehold title despite giving flat owners leases ranging from 850 to just under 999 years.

    In such estates, strata titles were not issued under an old law, so the developer issued long leases instead. In the past, some of these landowners demanded hefty payments - amounting to millions of dollars - before they would consent to an en bloc sale.

    This ate into proceeds for the flat owners, sometimes effectively blocking an en bloc deal.

    Jones Lang LaSalle, Kim Yam's marketing agent, worked with real estate lawyer S K Phang to highlight the anomaly in the law to the authorities.

    This was fixed through an amendment to the Land Titles (Strata) Act that took effect on Dec 1, under which such landowners lose all rights to the land upon an en bloc sale.

    The Singapore Land Authority has said that in all, 24 sites will be affected by the rule change - but did not identify them to protect the privacy of the present unit owners.

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    Default SC Global to pay $266m for Paterson Tower

    SC Global to pay $266m for Paterson Tower

    20 Mar 06

    SC Global Developments will pay $266 million or $1,064 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) for 8 Paterson Hill, Paterson Tower.

    In a press release yesterday, SC Global said that its offer, made by wholly owned subsidiary Grandon Pte Ltd, for the en-bloc purchase of all 72 units at Paterson Tower, had been accepted by a majority of unit owners.

    Paterson Tower was put on the market in February and its marketing consultant United Premas had indicated an asking price of $280 million. The failure to achieve this price suggests that prices for such prime redevelopment sites may have plateaued.

    Prices for prime redevelopment sites had been rising steadily this year. In February, Far East Organization paid $120 million or $1,058 psf ppr for Angullia Mansion, the highest price achieved since 1997. Then, earlier this month, Hasetrale Holdings paid $138 million or $1,218 psf ppr for Eng Lok Mansions, an all-time high for a collective sale site. Both properties are within a stone's throw of Paterson Tower.

    The price for Paterson Tower may not have broken any records but owners will still walk away with about double the market price for their homes. The current market price is about $1.85-1.9 million per unit.

    The $266 million price tag includes the price for a 6,459 sq ft adjoining plot of state land. The combined land area is 121,006 sq ft and the plot ratio is 2.1. This will give the new development on the site a potential gross floor area of 254,112 sq ft and a building height of 24 storeys.

    In line with SC Global's niche development strategy, a high-end luxury residential development will be built.

    The Boulevard Residences around the corner, which was also developed by SC Global, made the headlines last year when a three-bedroom unit sold for $2,200 psf in October, a record high.

    By ARTHUR SIM

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    Property
    Published March 23, 2006


    Paterson Lodge's answer to en bloc blues
    Instead of cash for their homes, owners get a unit in new project


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    A COMMON bugbear for property owners selling en bloc is the difficulty they have finding a replacement property of the same size in the same location with their proceeds.



    Of one mind: (From left) Dr Phang, Mr Cunningham, Mr Quah, Mr Lim (executive director of Ace Dynamics) and Larry Koh (senior sales manager at KF Property Network)


    But the 20 owners of the freehold Paterson Lodge unanimously agreed on an answer. In a unique deal with a subsidiary of listed holding company Ace Dynamics, they will not be paid in cash for their units. Instead, they will get a new unit in the project that will go up on their land.

    What's more, it will be slightly bigger than their old unit, on the same floor and facing the same view.

    What makes the deal different from a handful of similar cases in the 1990s - like Eng Kong Green and Char Yong Gardens - is that the land on which Paterson Lodge stands will not be transferred to the developer until the new project is completed and the existing owners have received titles to their new apartments.

    This is to protect the owners in case the developer goes bust.

    In the meantime, the owners have given the developer power of attorney so it can proceed with the 35-unit project.

    Apart from the 20 exchange units that Ace Dynamics must give the owners, it can sell the remaining 15 units.

    It took the existing owners of Paterson Lodge almost two years to iron out the deal, working with Ace Dynamics, property agent Knight Frank and real estate lawyer SK Phang of Phang & Co.

    'An exchange like this requires the unanimous consent of owners,' said Knight Frank executive director Foo Suan Peng.

    'This means it is easier to replicate this collective exchange in estates with a smaller number of units, and very importantly, where owners are very comfortable with one another and cooperative. This isn't a mere financial deal where owners walk away and need not see their neighbours again.'

    Ace Dynamics executive director Lim How Boon said: 'Not a single cent changed hands. And the owners get back the chance to stay in their units.'

    Paterson Lodge sales committee chairman Quah Soo Gee said that the collective sale exchange allows all the owners to keep their prestigious address, besides significantly improving the value of their units.

    Although three-quarters of the owners do not live in the development, they liked the deal as the rental value of the new apartments will be higher than that of the old ones they're giving up, said Mr Quah, an architect by training.

    Agreeing with this, fellow sales committee member John Cunningham, who has owned his unit for about five years, described the collective exchange as an 'entrepreneurial solution' for owners who like living in the same area after they've done an en bloc sale.

    'It is a nice exchange. We're getting back much nicer apartments than the units we exchanged in a nicer environment and with facilities,' said Mr Cunningham, creative director of ACTs of Life, which conducts speech, dance and arts classes and workshops.

    'If I don't do an exchange, it (my apartment) is going to be sold out from under me and I won't be able to live in this area - even if I screamed all the way to the STB (Strata Titles Board). This is the better of two evils.'

    This is how the deal was structured. The existing 20 units in six-storey Paterson Lodge comprise 10 apartments of 743 sq ft and 10 others of 926 sq ft. The new Paterson Lodge that Ace Dynamics will build will be a 10-storey development with 35 units ranging in size from 861 sq ft to 1,033 sq ft.

    Ace Dynamics will have to pay a development charge of about $4 million for the right to enhance the use of the site by building a new project with a gross floor area (GFA) of 32,472 sq ft - about 57 per cent more than the existing GFA.

    On the top floor will be three penthouses. The project will also have a swimming pool, jacuzzi, gym and BBQ pits - none of which are present at today's Paterson Lodge.

    The current values of the existing apartments range from $630,000 to $800,000. The new units, assuming a price of $1,200 psf on average currently, will be worth about $1 million to $1.24 million.

    Assuming prime district residential property prices escalate to $1,700 psf in two to three years, when units in the redeveloped project are handed over to the owners, the replacement units could be worth $1.5 million to $1.8 million, says Knight Frank.

    'This works out to a collective exchange premium of at least 100 per cent for the owners,' said Mr Foo.

    The advantage to the developer is that it does not have to fork out a large amount of money to buy the land upfront, thus saving on finance costs and cash flow.

    It basically only pays for the construction cost and fees.

    Lawyer SK Phang said the Paterson Lodge deal is the first collective exchange since en bloc rules were amended in late 1999 to allow collective sales without unanimous approval. 'However, for a deal like this to go through, you have to get unanimous approval, otherwise it gets messy.'

    Current en bloc sale legislation provides that minority owners who object to a collective sale must be given a cash payment option. To determine the cash price, the most transparent method is to hold a tender and use the highest bid as the basis. However, the top bidder may not want to do an exchange, and may be unhappy if his bid is used only to serve as a pricing peg for another developer to do an exchange, Dr Phang explained.

    Hence, collective exchanges are best in developments with a relatively small number of like-minded owners.

    Ace Dynamics' Mr Lim said his company is looking at other such deals in prime areas.

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    Default Thomson en bloc sale fetches $156.3m

    Published April 1, 2006


    Thomson en bloc sale fetches $156.3m

    By ALEXANDRA HO


    THE collective sale fever continues, this time outside the downtown prime areas.


    Owners of three properties in the Thomson area - Lock Cho Apartment, Comfort Mansion and a 4-storey walk-up apartment - fetched $156.3 million after they joined forces to collectively sell their properties by tender.

    At that price tag, the freehold land works out to be about $344 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), after factoring in the purchase price of a plot of state land next to it for about $14.8 million and half a million dollars in development charge.

    The price fetched is a tad lower than the $160 million, or around $350 psf ppr, that the owners had hoped for.

    Property heavyweight City Developments (CityDev) beat two other developers to win the site in a tender, said Credo Real Estate, which handled the deal.

    The three developments, at Jalan Datoh and Jalan Raja Udang, currently have a total of 165 units.


    They have a combined land area of about 137,479 sq ft and 40,526 sq ft of state land. With a plot ratio of 2.8, it could yield about half a million sq ft of gross floor area (GFA), with a height control of up to 36 storeys - making it one of the largest collective sale projects launched this year in terms of GFA.

    Credo reckons that CityDev could break even at around $600 psf and expects around 400 condominium units, each about 1,200 sq ft.

    'These three adjoining sites were extremely attractive because collectively, it will provide us with the opportunity to amalgamate the sites to create a sizable land area for redevelopment.

    'Such collective en bloc opportunities are rare,' said CityDev's group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong in a statement.

    Each seller stands to get between $840,000 and $1.3 million, Credo said, which is a 60 to 90 per cent premium over their current market values.

    Credo's executive director Tan Hong Boon said that including this sale, the total collective sale tally for the first quarter of this year is $1.2 billion, with 17 projects sold. Mr Tan said that figure is already more than half of 2005's total of $2.26 billion.

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    Evan Lim & Co beats three other bidders for prime site in en bloc sale


    By ALEXANDRA HO


    ANOTHER prime property has gone for collective sale - for $32 million - showing that momentum is continuing to pick up in real-estate en-bloc deals.



    This time, it is The Esquire, an 11-storey, 30-unit apartment block on Mount Elizabeth, near the famed hospital and behind The Paragon Shopping Centre. Its owners - both investors and owner-occupiers - had failed in earlier attempts to sell the entire block.

    Evan Lim & Co, a general building contractor and property developer, beat three other bidders with its $32 million offer.

    The price buys a building on a land area of about 16,067 sq ft and a gross plot ratio of 2.8.

    The present structure can be replaced by a building of up to a maximum of 36 storeys.

    In addition to the $32 million, a $3.59 million development charge is payable. Taking that into account, Evan Lim's purchase price is about $791 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

    'This is the highest residential land rate achieved in the Mount Elizabeth/Emerald/Cairnhill location in recent years, and is the third highest in the vicinity of Orchard Road, just after the recent sales of the larger Angullia Mansion and Habitat II,' said Tan Hong Boon, executive director of Credo Real Estate, which brokered the deal.


    Angullia Mansion went to Far East Organization for a land cost of $1,058 psf ppr inclusive of development charges earlier this month, while Habitat II was sold to Wheelock Properties last year for $876 psf ppr.

    Mr Tan said Evan Lim could build 20 luxury apartment units with an average 2,000 sq ft size, or 60 boutique units of 700 sq ft each.

    He added that each of the 30 apartment owners will get about $1.07 million from the sale, representing a 65 per cent premium over what the apartments would have fetched individually.

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    Published February 9, 2006

    MCL Land buys Waterfall Gardens
    Price works out to $550 psf ppr, inclusive of charges, premium

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    MCL Land has bought the freehold Waterfall Gardens in Farrer Road and two smaller adjoining sites for $131.75 million. The price works out to $550 per square foot of potential gross floor area inclusive of development charges and a development premium payable to the state to maximise the site's redevelopment potential.

    New 12-storey condo coming up: MCL Land could build about 200 units averaging 1,800 sq ft each and is expected to get the project launch-ready by the fourth quarter of this year
    MCL Land's breakeven cost for a new 12-storey condo could be about $800 to $850 psf. The total land area is 160,932 sq ft.

    The group is buying the property through an en bloc deal from its owner Farfor Investments, controlled by members of a family with Indonesian and Hongkong connections, although some family members are now Singapore citizens.

    The family members go by two surnames - Tan and Lim.

    This is the same family that developed the Shearesville project in Holt Road and bought one block of Cuscaden Residences for $1,028 psf in early 1999 from Hotel Properties - and later sold it to the Hong Leong Group and Japan's Mitsui group for $1,380 psf in August 2000.

    Waterfall Gardens was sold through a private tender handled by DTZ Debenham Tie Leung. It closed late last month and attracted a handful of bids. Farfor's offer was the highest.

    Farfor originally bought Waterfall Gardens, with a site area of 138,016 sq ft, in 1999 for $102 million. It later bought a remnant strip of private land next door for a couple of million dollars, sources say. And it recently purchased an adjoining state site of 20,602 sq ft for about $7 million.

    These three parcels, involved in the latest sale to MCL Land, add up to 160,932 sq ft. The site is zoned residential with a 1.6 plot ratio - ratio of potential gross floor area to land area - and has a 12-storey height restriction.

    MCL Land could build about 200 units averaging 1,800 sq ft each and is expected to get the project launch-ready by the fourth quarter of this year.

    This weekend MCL is officially launching its Esta freehold condo in Katong. It has sold about 250 units in the 21-storey development since last month and is expected to raise the average price from $700 psf to $710 psf. Another MCL project that is expected to hit the market later this year is an exclusive low-rise condo comprising fewer than 50 units in Fernhill Road.

    For Waterfall marketing agent DTZ, this is the second major investment sale deal it has announced in as many days. It also handled the $120 million collective sale of Angullia Mansion to Far East Organization.

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    Published December 28, 2005

    PROPERTY REVIVAL
    Bt Sembawang bags Holland site for $49m
    Including estimated $6.1m development charge, price works out to $541 psf per plot ratio

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    IN yet more evidence of the pick-up in the property market, Bukit Sembawang has just bought its third residential development site this year - Carlton Terrace along Holland Road, near the Botanic Gardens.

    Carlton Terrace along Holland Road: Purchase of this development site is Bukit Sembawang's third this year
    The listed property group, linked to the Lee family of OCBC, yesterday announced it clinched the freehold property through a $49 million collective sale.

    Including an estimated development charge (DC) of about $6.1 million, Bukit Sembawang's purchase price for Carlton Terrace works out to a land cost of $541 psf of potential gross floor area. A new condo on the 72,718 sq ft site may breakeven at around $800 psf, say market watchers.

    The Carlton Terrace site is zoned for five-storey residential use with a 1.4 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area). Knight Frank brokered the sale. Bukit Sembawang is planning to redevelop the property into a new condo with about 85 units averaging 1,200 sq ft on the site.

    Bukit Sembawang's two earlier land purchases this year were the Woodleigh Grove plot in the Upper Serangoon area and a site at Lengkok Angsa just off Paterson Road. Like the latest Carlton Terrace purchase, the two earlier acquisitions involved collective sales.

    The collective sale market has been hotting up this year, reflecting developers' appetite for prime freehold sites.

    The group's July purchase of Woodleigh Grove for $29.8 million was its first property acquisition since 1998. The price for the 41,694 sq ft freehold site worked out to $280 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) inclusive of a nearly $3 million DC. That site has a 2.8 plot ratio, and Bukit Sembawang is expected to build on it a 17-storey condominium with about 100 units.

    The Lengkok Angsa site - comprising 32 landed houses - which Bukit Sembawang clinched for $117.2 million translates to a land price of about $650 psf ppr including DC, a substation on the site and an adjoining road strip. The site has a 2.1 plot ratio, and Bukit Sembawang is planning to build on it a 24-storey luxury condo with about 100 mostly large units - three and four bedders with an average size of 1,500 sq ft or even bigger.

    Bukit Sembawang is expected to launch the condos on the Lengkok Angsa and Woodleigh sites next year.

    The group is dubbed the 'King of Seletar Hills', after its massive landbank in the location. After developing numerous projects in the area over the years, it still has about four million sq ft of freehold land - all designated for landed housing - in the Sembawang Hills area.

    The collective sale market has been hotting up this year, reflecting developers' appetite for prime freehold sites following strong end-user demand from home buyers in the luxury residential segment.

    More than 30 collective sales have been transacted so far this year, totalling over $1.9 billion, more than double the $722 million for 17 deals last year.

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    Published December 29, 2005

    Auric Pacific acquires Bukit Timah Mansions

    AURIC Pacific, part of the Lippo Group, said yesterday it has bought Bukit Timah Mansions through a $15.4 million en bloc sale. Auric did not give the site area but sources say it is about 20,000 sq ft.

    Factoring in an estimated development charge of about $6 million, the acquisition price works out to a land cost of about $510 per square foot of potential gross floor area. The site is zoned for residential use with a 2.1 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area).

    It can be developed into a smallish apartment project with about 35 units averaging 1,200 sq ft.

    Bukit Timah Mansions, at 327 Bukit Timah Road, is between Balmoral Road and Keng Chin Road. The existing property is a seven-storey block with 10 apartments. There are also car parking lots and a swimming pool.

    Auric is expected to redevelop the site as soon as it receives the necessary approvals. The company said the acquisition is in line with its diversification plans.

    The group's existing core business is in food manufacturing, wholesale distribution of food and allied fast-moving consumer goods and investment holding.

    Auric has identified property investment, development, management and services and related activities in Singapore and abroad as an additional core business to boost profitability.

    In May, Auric - which is perhaps best known for its Sunshine brand of bakery products - said it planned to buy Newton Heights, a freehold property.

    Auric said then it would acquire a related company, HKCL Investments, which had signed an agreement in February to buy Newton Heights in a collective sale for $43.6 million.

    The parent of HKCL is an associate of the Lippo Group, which in turn controls Auric.

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    Published January 6, 2006

    PROPERTY MARKET REVIVAL
    Emerald Lodge sold to HK firm for $45.2m
    The Esquire at Mt Elizabeth is on the market again for almost $32m

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    EN BLOC activity continues to heat up in prime District 9, with the $45.2 million sale of Emerald Lodge in Emerald Hill Road and The Esquire at Mt Elizabeth again on the market, for almost $32 million.

    Nod for sale: Emerald Lodge's sale is subject to approval by the Strata Titles Board
    The buyer of freehold Emerald Lodge is understood to be a private investment company controlled by a low-profile Hong Kong family, reflecting renewed interest by Hong Kongers in Singapore property.

    The sale is subject to approval by the Strata Titles Board as unanimous approval from Emerald Lodge's owners has yet to be secured, as well as to the purchase of an adjoining 3,339-sq-ft plot of state land. Knight Frank brokered the deal.

    The $45.2 million purchase price works out to $803 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) inclusive of development charge (DC). With the purchase of the state site, Emerald Lodge's buyer can potentially reduce its land price to $750 psf ppr.

    A new apartment project on the site could break even at about $1,120 psf.

    Emerald Lodge has a site area of 26,900 sq ft. The combined site - including the state land - of 30,239 sq ft can be redeveloped into a new project with about 50 units averaging 1,200 sq ft.

    Under Master Plan 2003, the site is zoned for residential use with a 2.1 plot ratio - the ratio of potential gross floor area to land are. At $45.2 million, the owners of the 31 existing apartments stand to pocket in excess of 50 per cent more than the individual value of their units.

    Over in the Mt Elizabeth area, the $32 million price indicated for The Esquire apartment block is identical to what the owners sought in May last year when they last offered their homes for collective sale.

    'We received an offer that was close to what the owners were seeking, but sensing that the market was going to improve, the owners decided to wait for a while,' says Credo Real Estate executive director Tan Hong Boon, whose firm is handling the collective sale.

    The $32 million price tag works out to $791 psf ppr including a $3.59 million DC. The break-even cost for a new project on the site could be about $1,150-$1,200 psf. The property has a 16,067-sq-ft freehold site area and is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio under Master Plan 2003, with a maximum height of 36 storeys.

    The site should appeal to boutique developers. It can be redeveloped into a new project of some 36 units averaging 1,200 sq ft.

    Credo suggests an alternative use for the property - redeveloping it into serviced apartments for long-stay guests or short-stay visitors who come to Singapore for treatment at Mt Elizabeth Hospital and Medical Centre. However, such a use would be subject to official approval.

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    Published January 27, 2006

    SC Global buys site at Martin Rd for $17.8m

    DEVELOPER SC Global, better known for its high-end residential projects, is paying $17.8 million for a Martin Road freehold property that can be redeveloped on a residential-cum-commercial basis.


    Through its wholly owned subsidiary Kimmingston Pte Ltd, SC Global struck the deal with Hock Giap Company Pte Ltd for the 17,664 sq ft property at 38 Martin Road.

    With an estimated development charge of $9.1 million and a gross plot ratio of 2.8, the cost works out to about $544 per sq ft per plot ratio.

    An eight-storey warehouse building now sits on the site, with tenants. It has a zoning of residential, with commercial enterprises on the first floor.

    SC Global owns a vacant freehold site next to it measuring 26,813 sq ft with a plot ratio of 2.8. It could combine that site with its newest acquisition, giving a land area of 44,477 sq ft.

    That could be developed into a 15-storey residential and commercial development with a potential gross floor area of 124,536 sq ft.

    Other residential developments near the site include CapitaLand's 43-storey Rivergate and City Development's The Pier at Robertson.

    Kimmingston has put down 10 per cent of the purchase price for 38 Martin Road and is expected to pay the balance in 12 weeks. The acquisition is expected to be completed in April. Meanwhile, SC Global has called an EGM on Feb 15 for shareholders to vote on whether to allot and issue 5,754,000 placement shares to Mass Noble Ltd at an issue price of $1.35.

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    UOL buys Akyab Rd site for $20.9m

    7 Feb 06

    New COO says it will be on the lookout for further acquisitions


    UNITED Overseas Land is extending its buying spree into the new year with its latest acquisition of a residential redevelopment site in Akyab Road for $20.9 million.


    And UOL's new chief operating officer Liam Wee Sin, who was previously group general manager and promoted yesterday, confirms that it is actively looking to expand its land bank.

    The freehold Akyab Road site, which is in the Novena area, will be amalgamated with a smaller adjoining site in Minbu Road that it bought in October 2005. Last year, UOL made a slew of acquisitions which included Maryland Park, Eng Cheong Tower, Oasis Garden and Bo Bo Tan Mansion/Gardens.

    Mr Liam said UOL expects to launch several projects this year, including one in Kuala Lumpur.

    Indeed, of its new land bank, more may be expected to be overseas. 'For en-bloc sales sites especially, we are increasingly faced with fast escalating and unrealistic asking prices,' he added.

    Saying that today's property market is 'highly competitive', Mr Liam noted that an 'immense amount of energy is spent on product development'. Some of UOL's better known products include the award winning One Moulmein Rise in Novena.

    New niche products include its new economy condominium at One-North in Buona Vista, a joint venture project with Kheng Leong Company and Low Keng Huat. As COO, Mr Liam will oversee the investment, project, marketing and engineering divisions. UOL is also looking to expand its service apartment arm which will also fall under the COO's purview.

    'We have just bought One Residency in Kuala Lumpur and we plan to operate it as service apartments. Locally, we will also be launching our proposed service suites at Somerset Road sometime next year,' he added.

    Also promoted was general manager of finance Wellington Foo who will now serve as CFO of UOL.

    Perhaps more indicative of UOL's expansion plans is the confirmation that Kam Tin Seah, former Centrepoint Properties' assistant general manager of development, has joined UOL and is now general manager of investments.

    By ARTHUR SIM

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    Published February 8, 2006

    Far East bags Angullia Mansion
    $1,058 psf ppr land price, including devt charges, is highest since 1997

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    (SINGAPORE) Property tycoon Ng Teng Fong's Far East Organization continues to expand its presence in the prime Orchard Road belt. This time it has clinched the freehold Angullia Mansion, near the Four Seasons Park condo, through a $120 million collective sale, sources say.

    Angullia Mansion: Marketing agent secured owners' unanimous approval, and called off the tender closing tomorrow.
    The price works out to a land cost of $1,058 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) inclusive of development charges (DC). This is 65 per cent higher than the $643 psf ppr including DC that Wheelock Properties paid in December 2004 for Angullia View just opposite the latest site, reflecting the dramatic recovery in sentiment in the high-end residential market over the past 15 months.

    More importantly, Far East's $1,058 psf ppr unit land price for Angullia Mansion is the highest for a collective sale site here since the 1996-97 market peak, property consultants say.

    The price is also just 3 per cent shy of the record unit land price for a collective sale which Far East itself set in January 1997 when it bought Scotts Tower through an auction for $1,093 psf ppr including DC.

    During a subsequent wave of collective sales that began in 1999, the highest price fetched was for the freehold Kim Lin Mansion on Grange Road, which went for $996 psf ppr including DC.

    But the highest-ever price for a freehold residential site in Singapore is $1,122 psf ppr that Hong Leong Group paid in April 1997 for Boulevard Hotel, which has been approved for redevelopment into a condo.

    And the benchmark for an all-residential 99-year leasehold site is still held by Wing Tai with its June 1997 winning bid of $1,104 psf ppr for the Draycott Park site that it has since redeveloped into the Draycott 8 condo.

    Angullia Mansion, located in Angullia Park, is on 44,730 sq ft of land that is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area). A new 36-storey condo on the site could break even at about $1,400 psf or even lower, based on Far East's acquisition cost, property consultants say. The site can be redeveloped into a project of about 60-plus apartments averaging 2,000 sq ft.

    Far East's offer of $120 million is understood to have led the property's marketing agent DTZ Debenham Tie Leung to call off a tender last week ahead of the scheduled closing date of tomorrow.

    Market sources say DTZ may also have called off the tender partly because it already had the unanimous agreement of owners of all 21 existing apartments at Angullia Mansion for an en bloc sale at a much lower reserve price, said to be about $106 million.

    In short, Far East's $120 million offer on the table surpassed the owners' already-high expectations and there was no certainty that a tender would have resulted in a still-higher bid.

    'A bird in hand is better than two in the bush, as they say,' said a market watcher.

    This is the second Orchard Road property Far East has bagged this year. Last month, it clinched the former Glutton's Square plot next to Somerset MRT Station and Specialists' Shopping Centre for $421.1 million or $1,085 psf ppr in a state tender. Far East is expected to do an all-retail development on the 99-year leasehold plot.

    In May last year, it bought Pacific Plaza on Scotts Road for $111 million. Far East also has stakes in Far East Plaza, Far East Shopping Centre, Lucky Plaza, Orchard Shopping Centre, Orchard Plaza and Orchard Parade Hotel, besides full ownership of Orchard Parksuites, Regency House and Elizabeth Hotel, among other properties - making it the biggest private property owner in the Orchard Road area.

    The collective sale market has been hotting up since last year, as developers selectively replenish their landbanks in response to the strong recovery in home buying in the luxury segment.

    Collective sales are a good source of the prime freehold sites that developers are keen to have.

    More prime district properties are expected to hit the en bloc sale trail soon, including Habitat I and Ardmore Point along Ardmore Park, Beverly Mai in the Orchard Boulevard area and Casa Rosita along Bukit Timah Road.

    However, property consultants say that with reports of higher land prices being achieved, it becomes more trying to do collective sales as owners' asking prices also rise.

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    Property
    Published April 20, 2006

    Hoi Hup pays $52m for Cairnhill Gardens
    More properties on River Valley, Thomson Rd, Robin Rd and Balmoral on en bloc market


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    THE collective sales train continues to chug along. Hoi Hup Realty is buying Cairnhill Gardens for $52.38 million, even as more properties in the River Valley, Thomson Road, Robin Road and Balmoral areas jump on the en bloc bandwagon.



    Cairnhill Gardens: The price for the 25,083 sq ft site works out to $795 psf of potential gross floor area


    The price Hoi Hup is paying for the 25,083 sq ft freehold Cairnhill Gardens site works out to $795 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of development charges, BT understands.

    Jones Lang LaSalle handled the sale of the site, which is zoned residential with a 2.8 plot ratio.

    Unit land prices fetched for collective sales in the Cairnhill area have been creeping up. Last week, Chip Eng Seng announced that it paid $785 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) for Venus Mansion in Peck Hay Road. No DC is payable for the freehold Venus Mansion.

    And last month, Bukit Sembawang bought a property in the vicinity, The Vermont, for $750 psf ppr including DC. In July last year, Wing Tai bagged Phoenix Mansion for $716 psf ppr.


    Land prices for collective sales in the Cairnhill area have been creeping up. All eyes are now on Hilltops Apts tender which closed yesterday.

    All eyes are now on the Hilltops Apartments tender, which closed yesterday.

    Meanwhile, ERA yesterday announced the launch of a tender for the collective sale of 433-471B River Valley Road, with an asking price of $70.5 million. This works out to $387 psf ppr inclusive of a small DC.

    The existing development on the site is a part freehold/part 999-year leasehold three-storey walk-up apartment. The site fronts River Valley Road and is a short walk from Great World City.

    The long, rectangular plot, with a service road and back lane, totals 64,967 sq ft. It is zoned residential with a 2.8 plot ratio and a maximum height of only five storeys.

    'Based on the Urban Redevelopment Authority's approval, a five-storey party-wall development abutting the road line is allowed,' ERA said yesterday. The developer can build about 120 unis averaging 1,200 sq ft, according to ERA.

    CB Richard Ellis has launched an expression of interest exercise for Balmoral View with an asking price of $52 million or $733 psf ppr inclusive of an estimated $7.9 million DC.

    The 51,080 sq ft site is zoned residential with a 1.6 plot ratio and height control of up to 12 storeys.

    Credo Real Estate has also launched two collective sale sites this week - The Albany and No 1 Robin Road.

    The Albany, a 41,688 sq ft freehold site diagonally opposite Thomson Medical Centre, is expected to fetch between $60 million and $65 million.

    This reflects a unit land cost of $413 to $445 psf ppr inclusive of DC to maximise the site's redevelopment potential, as well as a land premium for adjoining state land of some 10,000 to 15,000 sq ft.

    At No 1 Robin Road, the owners expect between $12 million and $12.5 million for their 15,070 sq ft freehold site. This works out to $482 to $498 psf ppr inclusive of an estimated $3.31 million DC.

    The tender for No 1 Robin Rd closes on May 16, that for The Albany on May 18 and for the River Valley site on May 19. Expressions of interest for Balmoral View close on May 25.

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    Singapore Companies
    Published April 26, 2006

    MCL Land buys Boon Teck Heights for $22.88m

    By NANDE KHIN


    MCL Land Ltd, through its wholly owned unit MCL Land Development, has bought the Boon Teck Heights property off Balestier Road for $22.88 million.


    The en bloc purchase price for the freehold property was arrived at after taking into account various commercial factors including the development potential, location of the property and the recent transacted prices for properties in the vicinity, said MCL Land.

    The $22.88 million price tag works out to be $300 per square foot (psf) of potential gross floor area inclusive of development charges for the freehold property, BT understands.

    This is slightly lower than the $344 psf per plot ratio City Developments paid for a combined en bloc purchase of Lock Cho Apartment, Comfort Mansion and a four-storey walk-up apartment building earlier this month. The three adjoining properties are in nearby Thomson.

    The collective sale of Boon Teck Heights was carried out through a private treaty brokered by DTZ Debenham Tie Leung.

    The 27,368 sq ft site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area). Analysts estimate that MCL Land's break-even costs for a new apartment project on the site could be about $550 psf.

    Boon Teck Heights, a 19-storey apartment building, is more than 10 years old and is located along Boon Teck Road, close to the Toa Payoh town centre and MRT station.

    In a statement yesterday, MCL Land said that its offer for the site has been accepted by the majority of subsidiary proprietors holding not less than 80 per cent of the share value of the property.

    MCL Land also said that the acquisition and development of the property will be financed by internal funds and/or bank borrowings.

    The transaction is not expected to have any material effect on the consolidated earnings and net tangible assets per share of MCL Land for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2006.

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    Singapore
    Published April 26, 2006

    Far East clinches Skyline Angullia site: sources
    Top bid for Beverly Mai is saidto have been $1,184 psf ppr


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    DEVELOPERS are continuing to bid for prime residential sites.



    Hot property: Far East is understood to have bought Skyline Angullia for $100m, or $1,073 per sq ft of potential gross floor area


    BT understands that Far East Organization has clinched the freehold Skyline Angullia for $100 million, or $1,073 per square foot of potential gross floor area.

    A stone's throw away at Tomlinson Road, a tender that closed yesterday for the collective sale of Beverly Mai is understood to have attracted several bidders, among which are Hotel Properties, City Developments, Far East, SC Global and Wing Tai, sources suggest.

    The top bid for the freehold Beverly Mai is understood to have come in at around $238 million, or $1,184 psf per plot ratio inclusive of development charges.

    All the parties who reportedly bid for Beverly Mai have stakes in the area.

    Hotel Properties, said to be a frontrunner for the site according to some sources, owns a huge chunk of properties there that add up to almost 220,000 sq ft.

    Spanning Orchard Road, Cuscaden Road and Orchard Boulevard, the properties comprise the Hilton and Four Seasons hotels, the Forum and HPL House.

    Far East, headed by property tycoon Ng Teng Fong, bought Angullia Mansion earlier this year.

    SC Global bought Paterson Tower last month and developed The Boulevard Residence or BLVD at Cuscaden Walk.

    City Developments is getting ready to launch its upmarket condo, St Regis Residences, in the Cuscaden/Tomlinson roads area.

    The $1,073 psf ppr price that Far East is paying for the Skyline Angullia site is inclusive of a development charge (DC) of about $7.6 million.

    This unit land price is slightly higher than the $1,060 psf ppr including DC that Far East paid for the Angullia Mansion site in February.

    Market watchers reckon the breakeven cost for new apartment developments on both sites could come in at about $1,450 to $1,550 psf. Both deals were brokered by DTZ Debenham Tie Leung.

    While Angullia Mansion involved a collective sale with multiple owners, Skyline Angullia is owned by a single party, Skyline Investment Holdings Pte Ltd, controlled by Kang Swee Liat and his wife.

    They developed the property, completing it in 1992 and have kept it since for rental income.

    The boutique property group also developed houses on Barker Road in the 1980s. The existing Angullia Skyline is a 14-storey tower comprising 22 apartments and two penthouses.

    The 35,810 sq ft freehold site is zoned for 36-storey residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area).

    The site may be redeveloped into a new project with about 45 units averaging 2,000 sq ft.

    Far East has been one of the most active and successful land buyers this year. Its earlier acquisitions include the Amberville site in Katong and the former Glutton's Square parcel on Orchard Road.

    The Beverly Mai site, marketed by CB Richard Ellis, has a 76,888 sq ft site area. It also has a 2.8 plot ratio and 36-storey height limit.

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    Property
    Published April 27, 2006


    HPL bags Beverly Mai for $238m
    Price works out to $1,184 psf of potential gross floor area


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    HOTEL Properties Ltd (HPL) has clinched Beverly Mai on Tomlinson Road through a $238 million collective sale - $1,184 per square foot of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge of $16.8 million.



    Millionaires' row: The owners of Beverly Mai's 50 apartments will receive about $4.4 million per apartment


    Market watchers estimate HPL's breakeven cost for a new condo on the 76,888 sq ft freehold site could be about $1,600 psf. HPL can develop the site into a new 36-storey condominium with about 107 units averaging 2,000 sq ft.

    HPL officials were not available for commment yesterday. However, David Lawrence, CEO of Wheelock Properties (Singapore) which recently bought a 21 per cent stake in HPL, yesterday told BT: 'HPL has had big success in the area. Beverly Mai is next to Four Seasons Park condo and close to their Four Seasons Hotel. I'm sure they'll find ways to make money from this project. HPL has a reputation as a stylish developer and they have a good following. They will do very well.' HPL developed the Four Seasons Park condo and Four Seasons hotel in the 1990s.

    Mr Lawrence said there were no plans for Wheelock to team up with HPL in redeveloping Beverly Mai, which he described as 'a very good freehold site'.

    CB Richard Ellis brokered the sale. The tender for the site drew five bids when it closed on Tuesday - with HPL being the highest bidder. The other four bidders were said to be City Developments, Far East Organization, SC Global Developments and Wing Tai. The deal is subject to approval from the Strata Titles Board as unanimous approval from the owners has yet to be obtained.

    The Beverly Mai site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area).

    The owners of Beverly Mai's 50 apartments will receive slightly over $4.4 million per apartment while the two penthouse owners will walk away with double that amount - about $8.81 million per unit. These sums represent collective sale premiums of 76 per cent to 146 per cent - depending on which benchmark is used - in terms of what the apartments would have fetched on an individual basis. In March 2004, before Beverly Mai's collective sale was initiated, an apartment in the development changed hands for $1.8 million while in August last year, after the owners began signing for the en bloc sale, another apartment was sold for $2.5 million. Market watchers reckon the latter deal probably factored in some of the potential collective sale premium.

    Analysts observed that the acquisition of Beverly Mai marks HPL's first major property acquisition in nine years. In July 1997, HPL led a consortium that bought The Forum, a retail and office property along Orchard Road, for $359 million.

    Analysts said the last time the group bought a major development site was probably in September 1993 when it teamed up with MCL Land to buy the Scotts Road bungalow of Khoo Teck Puat, which has since been developed into the Scotts 28 condo.

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    Singapore Companies
    Published May 3, 2006

    SingTel's Hillcrest site goes to MCL Land for $102.5m
    Astoria Apts, meanwhile, launched for collective sale


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA



    MCL Land has clinched SingTel's Hillcrest Road site for $102.5 million, even as more prime residential sites continue to come on the market, including Astoria Apartments at Cairnhill Rise.



    Prime land: An advantage of the Hillcrest Road site is its proximity to well sought after schools, Raffles Girls' Primary School and Nanyang Girls' High


    MCL Land's acquisition of the SingTel Academy site - at the corner of Hillcrest and Dunearn roads - is the listed property group's seventh residential land acquisition in Singapore over the past 12 months. This brings its total shopping bill to over $400 million.

    'We're still on the lookout for more sites as long as there's value. We'll not be setting benchmark prices with our land purchases. There's probably more value in city-fringe locations now compared with the prime areas where prices have run up strongly in the past few months,' said Koh Teck Chuan, CEO of MCL Land, a subsidiary of Hongkong Land. As for the latest site that the group has bought from SingTel, MCL is probably looking at developing 172 cluster terrace and conventional terrace houses on the 256,483 sq ft site.

    Jones Lang LaSalle, which brokered the deal, says this will bring MCL Land's average land cost per house to about $830,000, inclusive of an estimated $40 million payment to the state comprising a premium to top up the site's lease to 99 years and another to change its use from utility to residential. The breakeven cost could be about $1.43 million per terrace house.

    JLL says that 99-year cluster terrace homes at The Teneriffe at Garlick Avenue are currently changing hands in the resale market at about $1.5 million upwards. 'A new terrace home project on the Hillcrest site, being near two highly sought after schools - Raffles Girls' Primary and Nanyang Girls' High - should be able to fetch prices above that level, may be say $1.75 million to $1.8 million per unit, if it were to come to the market next year,' said JLL's regional director and head of investments Lui Seng Fatt. Freehold conventional terrace houses in the Greenwood area developed by Far East Organization are currently fetching about $2.1 million.

    Jones Lang LaSalle said the tender for the Hillcrest site which closed on March 29 attracted a good response and was keenly contested. 'MCL Land was the highest bidder and its bid reflects the current sentiment towards prime properties,' Mr Lui said.

    Sources say the other parties that bid in the tender included CapitaLand, Hong Leong group, SC Global, Frasers Centrepoint, Far East Organization and Kheng Leong.

    Meanwhile DTZ Debenham Tie Leung has launched the collective sale of the freehold Astoria Apartments at Cairnhill Rise. The estimated price of $95 million works out to $946 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of a development charge of about $7.2 million.

    The 38,615 sq ft freehold site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area). The tender for Astoria Apartments closes on May 30.

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    Default Chip Eng Seng buys Westpeak for $206m

    Singapore
    Published April 29, 2006

    PROPERTY
    Chip Eng Seng buys Westpeak for $206m
    Metropole Hotel also changes hands; Hilton Towers' sale confirmed


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    CONSTRUCTION and property group Chip Eng Seng has clinched its second collective-sale site this month - Westpeak Condominium.


    Its purchase price of $206.09 million reflects a unit land price of $348 per square foot (psf) of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge of $21.5 million.

    Westpeak has a site area of 311,829 sq ft, making it the biggest freehold collective property in terms of land area to be transacted in recent years.

    If Chip Eng Seng decides to buy an adjoining state plot of 50,450 sq ft for an estimated $14.3 million, its unit land price will fall to $318 psf per plot ratio, according to Valuers & Property Consultants (S) Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Savills Singapore which brokered the sale of Westpeak.

    The site is zoned for residential use with a 2.1 plot ratio - the ratio of potential maximum gross floor area to land area - and has a height limit of 24 storeys.

    Savills estimates that Chip Eng Seng's breakeven cost will be below $550 psf and it should be able to market its new condo on the site for about $600-$650 psf.

    Chip Eng Seng said yesterday it can redevelop the site into a new project with about 545 units averaging 1,200 sq ft.

    It will finance Westpeak's purchase from internal sources and through bank borrowings.

    Earlier this month, Chip Eng Seng bought Venus Mansion at Peck Hay Road in the Cairnhill area for $123 million or $785 psf per plot ratio (ppr).

    Analysts reckon that Chip Eng Seng may either announce joint venture partners for the projects or do an equity raising to help fund the acquisition costs of the sites.

    A possible partner is a Lehman Brothers fund that recently partnered Chip Eng Seng in its unsuccessful bid for a 99-year leasehold condominium site near Tanah Merah MRT Station, market watchers suggest.

    The tender for Westpeak, which closed this week, also attracted bids from Far East Organization and Frasers Centrepoint, sources say.

    Other property deals this week include the $18 million sale of Metropole Hotel at Seah Street in the Beach Road area to Surya Jhunjhnuwala, a member of the family that once controlled Hind Hotels, which owned the former Imperial Hotel at Jalan Rumbia.

    The Metropole Hotel deal was brokered by Lee Hon Kiun of Landmark Property Advisors.

    Mr Jhunjhnuwala plans to refurbish the hotel and convert the second and third floors, which are now used as food and beverage outlets, into additional hotel rooms. Metropole Hotel now has 54 hotel rooms. The property has a 999-year leasehold tenure.

    The seller is Metropole Hotel Pte Ltd, controlled by members of a Lee family.

    Also, Koh Brothers and Heeton have teamed up to buy Hilton Towers at Leonie Hill for $79.2 million or $880 psf ppr including development charges. They intend to redevelop the site into an 80-unit luxury apartment project.

    Colliers International brokered the collective sale of the freehold Hilton Towers.

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    Duchess Court sold en bloc for $104m

    By MICHELLE QUAH


    THE prime residential property of Duchess Court along Duchess Walk has been sold. Developer UOL Group said yesterday it has bought the District 10 site for $104 million.


    That en bloc purchase price works out to an average of $2.8 million per residential unit, with Duchess Court comprising 36 townhouses and maisonettes.

    It is also equivalent to $582 per square foot, per plot ratio, according to UOL Group's statement last night. That is inclusive of a development charge, earlier estimated at some $20 million.

    UOL Group emerged the successful bidder after a tender that closed on April 18. It made the en bloc purchase with Low Keng Huat (Singapore) through their joint-venture company Ace Lead.

    Ace will pay 10 per cent of the purchase price within seven days and the balance on completion of the sale.

    UOL and Low Keng Huat say the purchase and subsequent redevelopment of the property will be financed by internal funds and bank borrowings - but did not elaborate on their redevelopment plans. The acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on UOL Group's net tangible assets or earnings per share for the current financial year.

    Duchess Court is zoned for residential use with a 1.4 plot ratio and a five-storey height limit. Its total land area is 152,250 sq ft - with each unit averaging 4,230 sq ft in size, almost the minimum size required to build one detached house.

    It's third time lucky for the 999-year leasehold property, which went through two failed collective sale attempts in 1997 and 2000. Its owners put the development up for sale again in mid-March this year.

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    Wing Tai bags Newton Meadows: sources
    Collective sale price said to be about $73m or about $660 psf ppr

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    WING Tai is said to have clinched the freehold Newton Meadows through a collective sale for about $73 million or around $660 per square foot of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge of about $6.9 million.



    Changing hands: Owners of the existing 28 units at Newton Meadows stand to reap collective sales premiums of more than 50 per cent
    The mainboard-listed property group has developed two projects - Amaryllis Ville and the adjacent Newton 18 - just opposite Newton Meadows.

    Newton Meadows' tender, which closed last week, was handled by Jones Lang LaSalle. The firm declined to comment on the winning bidder.

    The 42,886 sq ft elevated site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area).

    The plot can be redeveloped into a 36-storey condominium with about 95 units averaging 1,300 sq ft each.

    Owners of the existing 28 units at Newton Meadows stand to reap collective sales premiums of more than 50 per cent.

    The existing units in the 10-storey development range in size from about 1,200 to 3,600 sq ft.

    Market watchers say the price for Newton Meadows is likely to be used as a benchmark for other impending collective sale launches in the area, including the nearby Elmira Heights which has a 108,500 sq ft land area.

    That site, too, is zoned residential, with a 2.8 plot ratio and 36-storey maximum height. An estimated $18 million DC is payable to maximise the site's use.

    Wing Tai has been busy restocking its residential land bank and has been featuring regularly in residential land tenders - both for 99-year leasehold site sold by the state as well as freehold sites sold by private owners.

    Last month, Wing Tai teamed up with NTUC Choice Homes to place the winning bid for a 99-year leasehold condo site near Tanah Merah MRT Station. Their price was $210 million or $318.50 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr).

    In October last year, Wing Tai clinched Belle Vue at Oxley through a $227.3 million collective sale.

    The unit land price works out to almost $666 psf ppr.

    Wing Tai last year sold its stake in Park Mall to Suntec Reit for $230 million, which helped to release resources for the group's landbanking spree.

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    Koh Bros, Heeton to buy Hilton Towers for about $79m: sources

    28 Apr 06

    Price works out to be about $880 psf of potential gross floor area

    DEVELOPERS continue to snap up collective sale sites in prime districts.



    Koh Brothers and Heeton are arranging a deal to buy the Hilton Towers site at Leonie Hill, at a price said to be about $79 million.

    This works out to about $880 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge (DC) of about $3.9 million.

    The 33,700 sq ft freehold site is zoned for residential use and has a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area).

    Colliers International brokered the sale of the Hilton Towers site.

    Koh Brothers and Heeton jointly developed and own Sun Plaza mall, next to Sembawang MRT Station.

    Heeton is known for developing and operating wet markets and neighbourhood malls in the HDB heartlands, but it has also developed high-end residential projects like DLV and The Element @ Stevens - both in the Stevens Road area.

    Koh Brothers' core businesses include construction and property.

    Hilton Towers' sale price is likely to be used as a benchmark for another collective sale - Furama Tower at the nearby Leonie Hill Road - also being marketed by Colliers.

    The indicative price for the 33,821 sq ft freehold Furama Tower site is $82 million, or $936 psf per plot ratio inclusive of a DC of about $6.6 million.

    Meanwhile, over in the Serangoon area, United Premas and HSR have launched the collective sale of Mutual Court at Mar Thoma Road with a price expectation of about $23.3 million, which works out to about $275 psf per plot ratio including a DC of about $100,000.

    The 30,331 sq ft, 999-year leasehold site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio and a 36 storey maximum height.

    Based on the $23.3 million price tag, the owners of the 34 apartments at Mutual Court stand to reap a collective sale premium of more than 50 per cent.

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

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    Property
    Published May 11, 2006

    Soilbuild to buy Cashew Road site for $18-19m
    Developer to pay for site by way of residential apartment units


    By ARTHUR SIM


    SOILBUILD Group Holdings will buy a 60,579 sq ft vacant site in Cashew Road from the Methodist Church in Singapore for an estimated $18-19 million.


    In an unusual tie-up, the developer will pay for the site by way of completed residential apartment units.

    Tang Wei Leng, a director of DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, which brokered the deal, said this will likely be 37 of the 78 units averaging about 1,200 sq ft each.

    The estimated potential value of the new development is about $25 million, she said.

    Ms Tang pointed out that even though such a tie-up is unusual, there are precedents. She highlighted Char Yong Gardens, owned by the Char Yong (Dabu) Association, as one example.

    'This kind of tie-up is favoured by associations, clans and churches,' she said. It works well for Soilbuild as well.

    'The developer will not have to pay any money up front,' said Ms Tang, making it a relatively 'low risk' venture.

    The new development is expected to be launched in the second half of the year. The projected price of the remaining units is estimated to be $550-$600 psf - similar to prices for new developments nearby.

    Soilbuild has also applied to buy an adjoining 4,200 sq ft plot of state land.

    Based on a plot ratio of 1.4, the estimated development charge for the whole project is about $1.14 million.

    Soilbuild said it hopes to raise up to $10.7 million, by undertaking a renounceable non-underwritten rights issue of up to 53,438,526 new ordinary shares at 20 cents each, on the basis of two rights shares for every existing ordinary share.

    It said it plans to use up to $8 million to finance the Cashew Road project, its other project Eightrium @ Changi Business Park and future acquisitions.

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    Default Far East, Frasers Centrepoint buy Waterfront View

    Far East, Frasers Centrepoint buy Waterfront View
    $385m private treaty deal works out to land price of $241 psf ppr

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    (SINGAPORE) In a move seen as reducing the risks of undertaking a massive development, Far East Organization and Frasers Centrepoint have set up their maiden joint venture, which has bagged Waterfront View, a privatised former HUDC estate facing Bedok Reservoir, for $385 million.

    The price for the private treaty deal sealed late Tuesday night before the planned tender close for the property this Friday works out to a land price of $241 psf per plot ratio inclusive of an estimated $102.2 million payment to the state for lifting title restriction to enhance the site's plot ratio, and upgrading the site's lease from a remaining 78 years to 99 years.

    The 809,037 sq ft site can be developed into a new condominium with a whopping gross floor area of over two million sq ft - enough for a massive project with about 1,600 units.

    This is the biggest residential collective sale to date in terms of number of units involved (there are 583 units in the existing development), land area as well as dollar quantum, says DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, which brokered the sale.

    Far East's and Frasers Centrepoint's breakeven cost could be about $450 psf, say analysts. Currently, 99-year condos in the area are going for above $500 psf for units that face the reservoir and below $500 psf for those that don't.

    Depending on how Far East and Frasers Centrepoint come up with their design scheme, about 80 per cent of units in the new development may face the reservoir.

    Industry watchers reckon that instead of competing with each other for Waterfront View at the tender, Far East and Frasers Centrepoint figured it made more sense to team up.

    This reduces their risks in terms of exposure to such a huge development - and eliminating at least one competitor in the process. The duo are said to have made their offer, good for only a day, late Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by a $19.25 million cheque (for a 5 per cent deposit).

    The collective sale agreement signed by Waterfront View's owners give the sales committee the mandate to negotiate a private treaty deal as long as the reserve price is met. This is understood to have been $370 million.

    'The sales committee could either take the offer on the table, good for only a day - or take the risk of waiting and hoping for a higher offer at the tender that may or may not come,' said a source.

    Waterfront View's sales committee chairman Matthew Yu said: 'We are very happy. It's a good price. The outcome came earlier and is better than we expected.'

    DTZ's director for investment advisory services Tang Wei Leng said: 'Given the size of the development, there were really only a few parties who have demonstrated genuine interest. The sales committee was decisive, having considered all the options carefully. We are very happy for the owners.'

    The $385 million price is above an independent valuation for the property which DTZ did not disclose. Owners controlling 82.33 per cent of share values in Waterfront View have agreed to the collective sale, which will be subject to approval from the Strata Titles Board. Owners of the existing 583 apartments and maisonettes have equal share values, which means they will each receive about $660,377 per unit, which is over 60 per cent more than what the units would fetch if sold individually today.

    The site is zoned for residential use with a 2.5 plot ratio.

    While the deal involves the maiden tie-up between Far East and Frasers Centrepoint, it is not the first time that the men helming the two organisations have joined hands. Far East is headed by property magnate Ng Teng Fong while Frasers Centrepoint is the property arm of listed Fraser & Neave group, which is now headed by Han Cheng Fong who, during his days as group CEO of the former DBS Land, oversaw many tie-ups with Mr Ng's Singapore unit Far East and Hong Kong arm Sino Land.

    Market watchers are wondering if the two sides will team up for other acquisitions, including the second Somerset site being offered by the state. Far East clinched the first Somerset plot, the former Glutton's Square site, in January.

    Waterfront View is the fifth site Far East has bought here this year. The five total $1.2 billion.

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    Lucky Tower tender tops $380m or $1,126 psf ppr
    CityDev tipped to be top bidder for Grange Rd site

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    (SINGAPORE) The collective sale of the freehold Lucky Tower in Grange Road closed yesterday, attracting a handful of bids, the highest of which is said to have met the asking price of $380 million.


    Some industry observers tipped City Developments as the top bidder. The listed property group developed the award-winning Spring Grove condo next door and owns the Kim Lin Mansion site across the road.

    Newman & Goh, the marketing agent for Lucky Tower, declined to comment but confirmed the $380 million asking price has been met.

    This works out to $1,126 per square foot of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge of $20.25 million.

    BT understands that the top bid came with conditions, but the other bids are within close range of one another. In such circumstances, the bidders may be invited to adjust their offers, and it remains to be seen who eventually clinches the site.

    Market sources say that Far East Organization also bid for Lucky Tower. It owns a penthouse and the mini-mart in the development and has consented to the estate's collective sale.

    Lucky Towers has a land area of 169,188 sq ft and a 2.1 plot ratio - the ratio of potential maximum gross floor area to land area. The site can be redeveloped into a new 24-storey condo with about 175 units averaging 2,000 sq ft.

    The existing development has 91 units including the mini-mart. Owners controlling about 84 per cent of share values have consented to the sale.

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    Property
    Published May 30, 2006

    CityDev snags Lucky Tower site for $383m
    Another site, Habitat One, is expected to fetch no less than $188m


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA



    THE collective sale market for prime sites continues to sizzle.



    Hot property: Lucky Tower owners will receive $4.1-$4.4m per apartment, while penthouse owners will get $6m


    Even as it was made official yesterday that City Developments Ltd (CDL) has been awarded the Lucky Tower site in Grange Road for $383 million, another prime site, Habitat One at Ardmore Park has been launched. The freehold site of 54,980 sq ft being marketed by Knight Frank, has an expected price of 'no less than $188 million'.

    The sellers are seeking a record unit land price of $1,280 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge of $9.1 million.

    If this price is achieved, each of the owners of Habitat One's 32 units will receive an average of nearly $5.9 million per unit - or over 70 per cent more than the last transaction in the estate, which was $3.3 million in August last year.

    The site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area) and 36-storey height limit. The tender for Habitat One closes on July 4.

    Over at Grange Road, the sale of the Lucky Tower site to CDL confirms an earlier BT report.

    The price comes out at $1,134 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of development charges. The only other bidder for the site is said to have been Far East Organization, the original developer of the project and which retains a penthouse and a minimart in the development.

    Far East, which has consented to the collective sale, will walk away with about $7.5 million for its two units in the development.

    Based on CDL's $1,134 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) unit land cost for Lucky Tower, its breakeven cost for a new luxury condo could be about $1,650 to $1,700 psf, say market watchers. Right next door is Spring Grove condo, an award-winning project also developed by CityDev.

    CityDev has yet to develop the Kim Lin Mansion site diagonally across the road, which it snapped up for $996 psf ppr including development charge in late 1999 during the last collective sale boom.

    The Lucky Tower site has a freehold land area of 169,189 sq ft and is zoned for residential use with a 2.1 plot ratio and 24-storey height limit. The site can be redeveloped into a new condo with about 175 units averaging 2,000 sq ft each.

    CityDev group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong described Lucky Tower as an 'exceptional quality site that will add outstanding value to CDL's landbank'.

    The group's other sites in the area include the 130,535 sq ft former Boulevard Hotel site.

    The existing Lucky Tower has 90 apartments and a minimart. Jeffrey Goh, head of investment sales at Newman & Goh, which brokered the sale of Lucky Tower, said that owners will receive $4.1 million to $4.4 million per apartment, while penthouse owners will get $6 million each.

    These sums are at least 80 per cent more than what the apartments could have fetched if sold on an individual basis, he said. The minimart receives $1.5 million.

    The $383 million price for Lucky Tower is shy of the record $385 million set last week for the collective sale of Waterfront View facing Bedok Reservoir, bought by a joint venture between Frasers Centrepoint and Far East Organization.

    Nonetheless, Lucky Tower has achieved the highest absolute price for a freehold collective sale site. The Waterfront View site is on a site with a remaining lease of 78 years which its developers will seek to top up to the original 99 years.

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    Property
    Published May 30, 2006


    Koh Brothers buys Bukit Timah site for $30m


    KOH Brothers Development Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Koh Brothers Group Ltd, yesterday said it had bought the freehold Alocassia Apartment on Bukit Timah Road for $30 million.


    Distinguished by its near trapezoidal, this commercial and residential site nestles between Robin Drive and Robin Lane in the popular Bukit Timah district. The purchase consists of 45 residential units with a strata floor area of 35,166 sq ft and seven commercial units with a strata floor area of 9,397 sq ft. The average per square feet of net sellable area is $673.

    Francis Koh, executive director of Koh Brothers Development, said given its prime location, freehold status and easy accessibility to the city centre, the company is confident that the site will appeal to both local and foreign buyers. 'We look forward to receiving positive responses from buyers who appreciate the exclusivity and prestige offered by this prime site,' he said.

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    Property
    Published June 1, 2006


    Simon Cheong pays $88m for Cairnhill houses
    Cost is $32m lower than asking price; agents fear deal may cool area's en bloc fever


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA



    SIMON Cheong has just done a deal that's making some property agents fear it may set lower land prices and cool the current en bloc fever - at least in the Cairnhill area.



    Sizeable savings: The terrace houses, together with Hilltops Apartments (in the background), can be redeveloped into a new 20-storey project with about 220 units averaging about 2,000 sq


    His SC Global Developments has bought 16 terrace houses at Cairnhill Circle for $88 million, a hefty knockback of the owners' $120 million asking price a few months ago when their site was being marketed together with the neighbouring Hilltops Apartments which SC Global bought in April.

    In the process, the listed group has succeeded in lowering its average unit land cost in Cairnhill from $951 per square foot of potential gross floor area to $880 psf per plot ratio, achieving a saving of about $32 million.

    The $88 million purchase price for the 16 terrace houses works out to $722 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr), including a $12.81 million development charge.

    In contrast, the $120 million initial price tag worked out to $951 psf ppr, matching the unit land price that Hilltops' owners were seeking.

    SC Global clinched the Hilltops site when the tender closed in April at the $951 psf ppr asking price but declined to buy the terrace houses at the time.

    Mr Cheong's strategy has worked as it led the owners to lower their price expectations. They have agreed to sell to SC Global for $88 million when it emerged as the highest of three bidders when the second tender for the site closed on Tuesday this week.

    This is below the owners' reserve price - reportedly about $100 million.

    SC Global's chairman and chief executive Simon Cheong, who has a reputation as a savvy property investor, yesterday felt vindicated by his strategy of staggering the acquisitions, given the sizeable saving.

    Still, the owners of the terrace houses will walk away with sums ranging from $3 million to $8.1 million per house - double what they would have got had they tried to sell their homes individually.

    DTZ Debenham Tie Leung's director for investment advisory services Tang Wei Leng said: 'The tender attracted a number of bids and we are happy that it presented owners with an offer that they have accepted unanimously.'

    DTZ handled the tenders for the 16 terrace houses as well as for Hilltops Apartments.

    The 16 terrace houses have a land area of 49,856 sq ft and together with the 67,308 sq ft Hilltops site sold earlier, SC Global will now have a combined freehold site of 117,164 sq ft occupying the highest point at Cairnhill.

    The combined plot can be redeveloped into a new 20-storey project with a potential maximum gross floor area of 448,693 sq ft.

    This is big enough for about 220 units averaging about 2,000 sq ft.

    Market watchers estimate SC Global's breakeven cost for a new condo could be about $1,300 psf.

    Assuming it manages to achieve an average selling price of, say, $2,000 psf, the project should yield a cool pretax profit of at least $300 million, say analysts.

    SC Global is looking to launch the project in mid- to Q3 2007.

    The Cairnhill site, together with the Paterson Tower site the group bought earlier this year and a site in the Martin Road area it has owned for sometime, means SC Global now has a prime district landbank of about 800,000 sq ft potential gross floor area.

    The purchase price of the Paterson Tower, Hilltops and terrace house sites adds up to about $650 million and market watchers are wondering if SC Global is considering a share placement to potential investors.

    But it just might be able to source for other ways to finance the acquisitions without doing an equity raising, they suggest. The group had about $92 million cash as at March 31 this year.

    Meanwhile, there seems to be no let-up in new collective sale sites coming on the market.

    Jones Lang LaSalle yesterday launched Gilstead Court in the Newton area with an asking price of $100 million.

    This works out to $691 psf per plot ratio. No development charge is payable for the 75,479 sq ft freeehld site, which can be developed into a new project with a gross floor area of 144,668 sq ft. The site can be redeveloped into a new five-storey condo with about 111 units averaging 1,300 sq ft.

    The tender for Gilstead Court closes on July 5.

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    Singapore Companies
    Published June 5, 2006

    Peck Hay Mansion close to $64m sale
    Bukit Sembawang to pay $800 psf ppr for property next to Vermont Mansion


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    BUKIT Sembawang Estates, which bought The Vermont at Peck Hay Road in the Cairnhill area earlier this year, is close to sealing a deal to buy Peck Hay Mansion next door for about $64-66 million, sources say.




    The price works out to about $800 psf of potential gross floor area, inclusive of an estimated development charge of $8.3 million for the 32,277 sq ft freehold plot.

    This unit land price is higher than the $755 psf per plot ratio including DC that Bukit Sembawang, which is linked to the Lee family of OCBC, paid for The Vermont in March based on its $75 million price.

    Both sites are zoned for residential use with 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of potential maximum gross floor area to land area).

    The combined land area of about 72,653 sq ft can be redeveloped into a new condominium with about 100 units of an average size of 2,000 sq ft.

    Peck Hay Mansion has been marketed by CB Richard Ellis and Credo Real Estate.

    It had been put up for collective sale by expressions of interest together with a next-door property, Casa Novacrest which has a 12,163 sq ft freehold land area. It is also zoned for residential use with a 2.8 maximum plot ratio.

    The Vermont is next to Peck Hay Mansion, which is adjacent to Casa Novacrest, which is in turn next to Venus Mansion.

    In April, Chip Eng Seng group bought Venus Mansion for $123 million or $785 psf per plot ratio.

    Market watchers reckon that with Bukit Sembawang buying Peck Hay Mansion, it makes sense for either Bukit Sembawang or Chip Eng Seng to buy Casa Novacrest.

    Peck Hay Mansion will be Bukit Sembawang's sixth major residential purchase since it ended a seven-year hiatus on land buying in July last year when it bought Woodleigh Grove through a collective sale. It later also bought 32 houses at Lengkok Angsa in the Paterson Road area, Carlton Terrace in Holland Road, Chez Bright Apartments at St Thomas Walk and The Vermont.

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    Published June 7, 2006


    Sinaran Drive site up for tender

    By ARTHUR SIM


    AN UNNAMED developer has committed to pay not less than $173.8 million for a 99-year leasehold residential site at Sinaran Drive near Novena MRT station.


    The 1.25 hectare site, opposite Tan Tock Seng Hospital, is on the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) reserve list, which means it will now be put up for sale by public tender in two weeks.

    At $173.8 million, the cost would work out to $370 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr). Earlier this year, two freehold en bloc redevelopment sites in the area went on the market.

    The asking price for Suffolk Apartments is about $510 psf ppr, while the owners of Ultra Mansion are said to be asking $465 psf ppr.

    In April, a URA reserve list residential site near Tanah Merah station was sold for $318.50 psf ppr.

    Jones Lang LaSalle regional director and head of investments Lui Seng Fatt said the trigger price of the Sinaran Drive site 'reflects the current market sentiment . . . It shows that developers are still keen on sites in District 9, 10 and 11'.

    Mr Lui estimates the breakeven cost of a new development, which can have a gross floor area of 469,726 sq ft, to be about $700 psf. This is assuming the eventual developer builds a development that is completely residential.

    Mr Lui said that because the site is close to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, there might be an advantage in adding service apartments, depending on the developer's strategy.

    In answer to a query by a developer - and posted on the URA website - URA said service apartment block/blocks are allowed within the development.

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    Property
    Published June 15, 2006


    Far East Mansion: Frasers Centrepoint top bidder
    Its $256 million price works out to $674 psf ppr


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    FRASERS Centrepoint has emerged as the highest bidder for the freehold Far East Mansion at Kim Yam Road and has started inking a collective sale deal with the majority owners to buy their 136,194-sq-ft freehold site off River Valley Road for about $256 million, according to sources. This works out to $674 psf of potential gross floor area, including an estimated development charge of $885,689.



    Building plan: The Far East Mansion site may be redeveloped into a 36-storey condominium


    The breakeven cost for a new condo on the site, which is near the Singapore Buddhist Lodge, could be around $1,050 psf, say market watchers. The site may be redeveloped into a new 36-storey condominium with about 280 units averaging 1,350 sq ft.

    The site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio and 36 storeys.

    Far East Mansion was marketed through an expressions of interest exercise handled by CB Richard Ellis. It is understood to have drawn three bids when it closed at the end of last month, the highest from Frasers Centrepoint.

    Based on the $256 million price, owners of Far East Mansion's existing 218 units will collect $1.17 million per unit - which is about 70 to 80 per cent more than what their homes would have fetched if sold individually.

    Far East Mansion, which is more than 30 years old, comprises four 14-storey blocks.

    It will be Frasers Centrepoint's second major property acquisition in the area over the past year.

    In August 2005, the property arm of listed Fraser & Neave bought a 139,842-sq-ft site at St Thomas Walk from CK Tang chairman Tang Wee Sung and his younger brother Wee Kit.

    Frasers Centrepoint paid $210 million for the freehold plot, which translates to a land price of $601 per sq ft of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge of $25.5 million.

    The company's other major property acquisitions this year include SingTel's former warehouse site at West Coast Road and Waterfront View, facing Bedok Reservoir, which it is buying jointly with Far East Organization for $385 million.

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