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Thread: General 'en-bloc' News; Bids & Tenders

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    Exclamation General 'en-bloc' News; Bids & Tenders

    Jan 31, 2006
    Collective home sales set for another bumper year


    Seven sites already launched, as market rides on positive economic outlook
    By Joyce Teo
    Property Correspondent

    IT IS no surprise that optimism is flowing in the property market: The year has barely begun, but already seven collective sale sites have been launched.

    And that is coming off a record year in 2005 when 37 collective sales of residential sites worth $2.09 billion were completed - more than double the deals and value achieved in 2004.

    Ms Soon Su Lin, executive director of property consultancy CB Richard Ellis, said such sales will continue at the same pace as last year thanks to a good economic outlook.

    Supply and demand tells the story: Sites sold en bloc last year generated a potential supply of 3,860 new homes, while overall, 8,955 new homes were sold last year.

    'So potential supply from the sites being sold en bloc is expected to meet good demand when they are ready for launch,' said Ms Soon.

    Home owners in collective sales typically get at least 30 to 50 per cent more than what they would have reaped from an individual sale. But the risk, said consultants, is that owners may have unrealistically high price expectations.

    Typically, potential collective sale developments are more than 10 years old with rising maintenance costs.

    Selling these sites require the consent of at least 80 per cent of the owners; those less than 10 years old need 90 per cent acceptance.

    Because people looking to rent tend to migrate to new projects, owners of older projects find it harder to find tenants. And with maintenance costs rising, they may be keener on a collective sale, said DTZ Debenham Tie Leung director Tang Wei Leng.

    But that does not mean everyone can cash in.

    Prime sites in districts 9, 10 and 11 clearly have the best chances. The Cairnhill area appears to have the most potential sites, though projects in posh Ardmore, Draycott, Nassim, Leonie Hill and St Thomas Walk are also very popular, said Credo Real Estate executive director Tan Hong Boon.

    'Sites in Cairnhill are very sought-after and the success rate will be good if they are not over-priced,' he said.

    In general, most owners ask for about $800-$850 per square foot per plot ratio, though some want as much as $1,000 psf ppr, he said.

    Still, the highest residential collective sale land price last year was only at $876 psf ppr - made by Wheelock Properties in September for The Habitat II in Ardmore Park.

    Areas in Tanjong Katong Road, Meyer Road, Amber Road, East Cost Road and the Telok Kurau area also have good chances, said the head of investments at Jones Lang LaSalle, Mr Lui Seng Fatt.

    The best candidates are developments of six storeys or less, with a small number of units or a large plot of land, said DTZ's Ms Tang.

    'Those with facilities would have good rental value so the owners won't be very motivated to sell,' she said.

    Credo Real Estate's executive director, Mr Karamjit Singh, said: 'The poorer the physical conditions, the better the chances.'

    Surroundings also play a part. For instance, a low-rise development in an area with mostly high-rise projects could be a strong target, he said.

    It could be tricky for mixed developments as shop owners may not want to sell. 'The revenue they derive from the shops may be much better than the property's value,' said Ms Tang. 'If they move out, they will lose the goodwill they have established over the years.'

    Consultants said many former HUDC estates like Pine Grove, Gillman Heights and Farrer Court have expressed interest in selling collectively.

    So have some owners of ageing private properties such as Grand Tower in Moulmein Rise, Eng Tai Mansions at St Thomas Walk, Peck Hay Mansion in Cairnhill and The Ardmore at Ardmore Park.

    But getting enough owners to agree to a collective sale could take years. 'It's a waiting game,' said Ms Tang.

    A home owner Gerald sold his Parry Gardens home near Yio Chu Kang in 1993, even though a neighbour said there may be plans to sell en bloc.

    'I missed out on making money but the deal was only concluded in 2005! I would have had to wait for more than a decade,' he said.

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    Two more sites offered for collective sale
    Freehold properties Hilton Towers, Katong Shopping Arcade go en bloc

    March 2, 2006

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    THE en bloc sale bandwagon continues to gain momentum. Two more collective sale sites were launched yesterday - Hilton Towers at Leonie Hill with a $77 million price tag, and Katong Shopping Arcade with a $22 million indicative price. Both are freehold properties.

    And over in the Dunearn Road area, SingTel has launched its residential development site at 1 Hillcrest Road. BT reported last week that the asking price is about $95 million. The 256,486 sq ft site comprises two land parcels - one with a remaining lease of about 85 years and the other with 75 years. The successful bidder will have to pay the state almost $40 million - comprising a premium to top up the lease to 99 years, and another to change the site's use from utility to residential. The expected $95 million land price plus the near-$40 million payment to the state works out to a unit land price of about $375 psf of potential gross floor area. Provisional approval has been granted for two-storey, strata landed terrace houses with a 1.4 plot ratio - the ratio of potential gross floor area to land area.

    Market watchers say the successful bidder could instead apply to the authorities to develop a five-storey condo with a 1.4 plot ratio. Based on the $375 psf land cost, the breakeven cost works out to about $650 psf for a condo and $1.45 million per strata terrace house.

    Jones Lang LaSalle is handling the tender for the property, which closes on March 29. A SingTel spokesman said the sale is in line with its strategy to better utilise capital and free up cash that can be redeployed in its telecommunications business or new investments. Hilton Towers' $77 million price tag works out to be $843 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of a $3.9 million development charge (DC) and about $600,000 payable for a neighbouring 816 sq ft plot that now houses an electrical substation. Hilton Towers has a 33,700 sq ft site area.

    The subject is zoned residential with a 2.8 plot ratio. Colliers International, which is marketing the site, says expressions of interest close on March 30.

    Boutique developers more keen on the Guillemard and Tanjong Katong area may be interested in Katong Shopping Arcade. The $22 million indicative price works out to about $300 psf per plot ratio including a $1.5 million DC. Under Master Plan 2003, the property can be redeveloped into a residential project with commercial use on the first storey at a 2.8 plot ratio. DTZ Debenham Tie Leung is handling the tender for the property, which closes on March 30.
    Last edited by Admin; 25-08-06 at 07:26.

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    Tender for Eng Lok Mansion draws 8 bids
    Highest offer of $128m works out to new record of $1,130 psf ppr

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    THE tender for the freehold Eng Lok Mansion, near the Botanic Gardens, has attracted eight bids. And the highest offer - said to be about $128 million - works out to a record $1,130 per square foot per plot ratio.

    The top bid for the Napier Road property is believed to have been placed by parties linked to former Parkway Holdings boss Tony Tan, working with Penang's Island Hospital group in which Mr Tan's family has a stake. Parkway Group is also understood to have placed a bid, of about $120 million.

    Based on the $1,130 psf ppr top bid, the breakeven cost for a new condo would be about $1,500 to $1,600 psf.

    If $1,130 psf ppr is indeed the highest bid and the property is awarded to the top bidder, it will pip the highest-ever unit land price for a freehold residential site in Singapore - $1,122 psf ppr that Hong Leong Group paid in April 1997 for Boulevard Hotel, which has been approved for redevelopment into a condo.

    The highest-ever unit land cost for a collective sale so far is $1,093 psf ppr paid by Far East Organization in January 1997 for Scotts Tower.

    Incidentally, Eng Lok's top bid also busts the recent high of $1,058 psf ppr set last month when Far East bought Angullia Mansion.

    'But the difference is that the Angullia Mansion site can be redeveloped up to 36 storeys high, whereas the Eng Lok site has a 10-storey height limit. So the price for Eng Lok does seem high,' says a market watcher.

    But others beg to differ. Wheelock Properties (Singapore) CEO David Lawrence, whose company was not among the bidders for Eng Lok, said: 'Our Grange Residences project has proved that the location is extremely popular.'

    Mr Lawrence, who is also chairman of UK-based property consultancy Hamptons Group, said: 'Singapore is becoming increasingly attractive to invest in. I am surprised by the level of interest from UK, Irish and German investors asking me about investing in Asia, particularly Singapore. Already, I have an Irish group asking me if they can buy a lot of units in Scotts Square. Singapore is looking very attractive as an investment location for international investors.'

    Besides often-cited factors like good government, 'Singapore is seen as a place where a lot of the emerging middle class money from China and India will go to. They see Singapore as a place that will do very well for the next 10 years', Mr Lawrence added.

    Scotts Square is the new project that Wheelock will develop on the Scotts Shopping Centre and The Ascott serviced residences site.

    The tender for Eng Lok Mansion closed on Tuesday. The other bidders are said to include CapitaLand, Lippo Group and Simon Cheong's SC Global.

    Market watchers say Parkway Group's bid of $120 million is probably conditional on the site being re-zoned from residential to healthcare use, since it could then build an extension to its Gleneagles Hospital next door to Eng Lok Mansion.

    The 70,810 sq ft Eng Lok Mansion site is zoned for 10-storey residential use with a 1.6 plot ratio (ratio of potential maximum gross floor area to land area) under Master Plan 2003. But marketing agent CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) was reported as saying in December last year that 'alternative development options could possibly be explored with the relevant authorities due to its strategic location'. At the time, it was suggested that alternative uses could include hospitals, medical suites or a hotel. BT understands that Eng Lok Mansion's owners submitted an application to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to explore some of these alternative uses, most likely hospital, but that URA recently rejected the application.
    Last edited by Admin; 25-08-06 at 07:26.

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    Property
    Published March 9, 2006


    Not all en bloc sales fetch high prices
    Market is segmented and upswing confined to selected projects, say property watchers


    HOMEOWNERS thinking about cashing in on their properties through the hot collective sale market should not assume that every sale would fetch handsome returns.

    Property consultants say that despite the recent highs reached for collective sales of properties, it is not an across-the-board phenomenon.

    The recent sale of Eng Lok Mansion along Napier Road made waves, as the freehold property went for $138 million or $1,218 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) - making it the most expensive collective sale site ever. Far East Organization's $120 million, or $1,058 psf ppr land price last month, for Angullia Mansion also created a stir, as its price was 65 per cent higher than the $643 psf ppr that Wheelock Properties paid in December for Angullia View, just opposite Angullia Mansion.

    A check of successful collective sales transactions that were publicly announced this year showed that over $1 billion worth of property, or around 10 sites, has been sealed to date. Over 25 sites have been launched for collective sale so far this year.

    Owners excited

    Knight Frank's executive director Foo Suan Peng estimates that 50 to 60 estates are considering going down the collective sale route, although not all will eventually take off.

    'Because of a few high profile sales, owners are getting excited. Because they get excited, everybody starts exploring and putting their estates on the market,' he says.

    Investment sales of property are seen by developers and big investors as a bellwether of confidence in the real estate market in the medium to long term.

    While there's no denying that the market has taken a turn for the better, property watchers cautioned that it is still segmented and confined to selected projects.

    As they say, property is all about location, location and location. But home sellers in the prime district 9 and 11 areas can't guarantee that developers will necessarily bite when offers are made.

    'When you say prime, it must be around the stretch from Scotts Road and Orchard Road vicinity. Some district 9 and 11 are not that fantastic,' Jones Lang LaSalle's regional director and head of investments Lui Seng Fatt said.

    He notes that some homeowners are seeking prices northwards of $1,000 psf ppr, which is not always realistic.

    'Angullia Mansion by itself has factors that others cannot provide, because of its address, its being next to Four Seasons Park, and so on,' he explains.

    But already industry insiders see a glut of collective sale candidates. 'To a certain extent, developers are inundated with sites. Over the next few months, they will perhaps become more choosy and the success rate will decrease,' cautions CB Richard Ellis' executive director Jeremy Lake.

    Still, developers will compete for good sites as they look to replenish their landbank, especially before land prices rise even further.

    'There's strong demand for good sites, so there's competition, which means that the price you pay may not be determined by what the owners want but what the next guy is going to bid,' Mr Lake says.

    Besides the sale of Amberville, also to Far East recently, Mr Lui expects collective sales of other HUDC sites to be tough as developers don't favour large sites.

    The strategy, he says, is for developers to go for sites with half a million sq ft of potential gross floor area or less, so that the project can be sold in one phase and the developers can move on to another project.

    With the recent hike in development charge rates announced last month, property consultants say breakeven costs for developers are affected. The costs may be absorbed by the properties' buyers for a coveted site, but sellers might be forced to bear part of the burden when the collective sale market becomes a buyer's market.

    Still, the consultants believe that the market fundamentals are there to allow the collective sales market to keep growing, albeit largely confined to the top-end market.

    Foreign buyers

    It helps that there is foreign buyers' presence. Knight Frank's Mr Foo believes that foreigners' willingness to buy will boost developers' confidence in offering higher land bids.

    'The presence of foreigners in the market, whether they be buyers of new units or whether they be buyers of land, is a sign that the market is strong,' CBRE's Mr Lake concludes.
    Last edited by Admin; 25-08-06 at 07:27.

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    Default Latest freehold plot at Skyline Angullia expected to fetch at least $100m

    Singapore
    Published March 13, 2006


    Property agents race to launch prime sites
    Latest freehold plot at Skyline Angullia expected to fetch at least $100m


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    PROPERTY agents continue to rush launches of prime residential sites. Cashing in on its recent successful sale of Angullia Mansion, DTZ Debenham Tie Leung is releasing another plot in the location for sale - Skyline Angullia.



    Angullia Mansion: Sold last month for $1,060 psf ppr. The nearby Skyline Angullia is targeting $1,073 psf ppr


    The latest property, with a 35,810 sq ft freehold land area, should fetch at least $100 million, working out to $1,073 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) inclusive of a development charge (DC) of about $7.6 million.

    Angullia Mansion, sold last month to Far East Organization, fetched about $1,060 psf ppr including DC. That was a collective sale, whereas Skyline Angullia, completed in 1992, is held 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 along Barker Road in the 1980s.

    The existing Angullia Skyline is a 14-storey tower comprising 22 apartments and two penthouses. It has achieved 'very high occupancy since its completion in 1992', DTZ said.

    The 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, according to DTZ.

    Property agents are racing to launch collective sales and other residential sites in Singapore's prime districts, as they ride on developers' current large appetite to replenish landbank in these areas. This is being fuelled by strong demand led by foreigners in the luxury housing sector.

    Earlier last week, DTZ launched the tender for Hilltops Apartments in Cairnhill Circle and some adjacent terrace houses.

    CB Richard Ellis is expected to launch soon the collective sale of Beverly Mai, an 80,000 sq ft freehold site in the Orchard Boulevard area, having secured the requisite minimum consent levels from owners. Sources said that the owners are hoping to achieve close to $250 million or $1,190 psf per plot ratio including DC.

    And in the Grange Road area, BT understands that collection of signatures from Lucky Tower owners' is at an advanced stage. Astoria Apartments at Cairnhill Rise and Futura at Leonie Hill are among the other prime district sites expected to be launched this year.

    DTZ director Tang Wei Leng said: 'There's a race to push out all the high end sites as we may not achieve our reserve prices as the market reaches saturation point.'

    Competition among sites in the prime districts is set to intensify. 'Run of the mill sites will come under greatest pressure, whereas sites with some unique selling points may have some room still to ride on sentiment,' she added.

    However, CB Richard Ellis executive director Jeremy Lake reasons that the profile of bidders for different-sized sites varies. 'Somebody who might bid for a $40 million site may not be interchangeable with a developer who can bid for a $200 million site. So while there may be quite a few sites, they may not necessarily be in direct competition for the same buyers,' he said.

    'But clearly, developers faced with more choice may prefer to be slightly less aggressive than in the past. Buying interest is still quite strong, but going forward, the sites that will be successful will be the ones that are more desirable. If your site is less desirable, or overpriced, you may get left behind,' added Mr Lake.

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    Default Duchess Court up for sale again

    Published March 16, 2006


    Duchess Court up for sale again

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    AFTER two earlier attempts at a collective sale in 1997 and 2000, the owners of Duchess Court in the Bukit Timah area are once again teaming up to sell their homes. This time, the price tag is lower, with marketing agent Credo Real Estate saying the expected figure is $100 million to $108 million.



    Third try: The current expected price tag is between $100-$108 million compared to $160 million in 1997 and $130 million in 2000
    This compares with price tags of $130 million in 2000 and and an even higher $160 million during the first attempt in 1997.

    Based on the current price expectations, the land price for the 999-year leasehold property works out to between $563 and $601 psf of potential gross floor area including an estimated $20 million in development charges. 'At this price, the developer should be able to break even at about $880 to $925 psf or so for a new condo development on the site,' said Credo executive director Karamjit Singh.

    The site is zoned for residential use with a 1.4 plot ratio and a five-storey maximum height. Mr Singh drew attention to two nearby low-rise units at Astrid Meadows on Coronation Road West which changed hands in December and January for $1,000 psf and $1,020 psf respectively - which he described as 'an impressive feat for a 16-year-old development'.

    Assuming Duchess Court fetches $108 million, owners of the 36 townhouses and maisonettes stand to receive between $2.58 million and $3.5 million each - or about 75 per cent more than the $1.45 million to $2 million that they will individually fetch.

    Given that Duchess Court has 36 owners currently, the 152,250 sq ft land area of the property works out to an average of 4,230 sq ft per owner. 'That's almost equivalent to the minimum size required to build one detached house and must make it among the highest land area per owner ratios among recent collective sales,' said Mr Singh.

    The tender closes on April 18.

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    Default Who is afraid of the rate hikes?

    Who is afraid of the rate hikes?

    Experts give their views how rising development charges will affect land sales

    Weekend March 4, 2006

    shobha Tsering Bhalla
    [email protected]

    EVEN as market watchers warn of a slow down in en-bloc sales and the redevelopment of certain areas of Singapore such as the Central Business District (CBD) following the recent hike in development charge (DC) rates, some property developers say they would not be deterred if the properties were in the right location.

    They will "factor in the higher DC rates in their bid prices and also be very eager to lock in the prevailing DC rate once they have bought the site", said Mr Jeremy Lake, executive director, Investment Properties, CB Richard Ellis.

    Development charge refers to the tax imposed by the Government to enhance land use. DC rates, which are revised every six months, are closely tracked in the industry as they reflect property values and have a direct impact on the breakeven costs of developers seeking to redevelop sites.

    A senior executive from one of Singapore's top four property developers said if the property were in a prime area such as Bukit Timah, Districts 9 and 10 and the East Coast, they would continue to buy.

    "The big boys will not see the rate hikes as an obstacle but the smaller players might. We're still 40 per cent off the peak (in property prices) so big developers will look at the potential not at the cost."

    But, the buying would not continue at the same pace as they would be more selective," said the executive.

    In agreement, Knight Frank's head of research & consultancy Nicholas Mak said the higher rates would mean owners would get less "so they may be less eager to sell."

    Underscoring this view is the fact that the prime districts the epicentre of such sales have seen some of the biggest DC rate hikes. They range from an increase of 7 per cent in the Oxley and Leonie Hill area to 19 per cent in the Ardmore Park/Draycott area.

    The quantum of the rate hikes this time was a shock to industry watchers who say they are much higher than the rise in property prices over the last two quarters.

    "I was taken aback because the transacted prices have only gone up by 0.8 and 0.9 per cent for landed and non-landed properties. Whereas the DC rate hike for non-landed residential property was an average of 9.4 per cent and 4.6 per cent for landed," said Mr Colin Tan, head of research & consultancy at property consultancy Chesterton International.

    "The DC rate is supposed to take into account the transacted prices this rate hike is out of sync as it's more than twice that of property price increases. So what is the basis for calculating the DC rate?" he said.

    Some of the DC rate hikes announced this week are the biggest in six years. The highest increases have been for non-landed residential rates in the CBD by as much as 20 to 33.3 per cent, which experts say could deter owners of old office buildings from developing them for residential use.

    Explaining the rationale for the rates, a spokesman for the Chief Valuer who sets the rates said as these rates need to closely reflect the land value within each sector at the time of review, "they cannot be merely adjusted based on property price index (PPI)".

    "The adjustments are not even for all the sectors due to the different levels of market activities and interests across all sectors. If the rate hike for a particular sector is steeper than the actual market trend it could be because the previous rate adjustment for that sector was too conservative," said the spokesman.

    Still, the stiff rate hike has few fans. "It's a zero sum game if the DC quantum goes up and the absolute land value and residual land value that owners can look forward to receiving would go down correspondingly," said Mr Karamjit Singh, executive director of Credo Real Estate which specialises in collective sales.

    But while the rate hike will cause a slow down in en bloc sales, it could have the beneficial effect of slowing down the "frantic" pace at which land is being bought by developers. "They would need to slow down by mid-year or the third quarter as the pace at which land is being bought is unsustainably high," said Mr Singh.

    "Historically, the market has only been able to absorb that many units but the amount of land that has been bought over the last few months show that they would yield far more units than can be absorbed."

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    Default Amberville sale is unlikely to be repeated, say analysts

    Amberville sale is unlikely to be repeated, say analysts

    AS the first HUDC estate to be sold through the en-bloc route, the Amberville acquisition by Far East Organization earlier this week is a milestone in the collective sale market and no doubt a shot in the arm for owners of aging HUDC estates.

    But while the price set by Far East's $396 per sq ft bid for the estate is higher than expected, other HUDC owners should not expect a similar price or even similar interest for their estates say experts.

    Amberville, which cost Far East a total of $183 million, is the first privatised HUDC estate to be sold en bloc and is believed to have attracted bids from three other major developers City Developments, MCL Land and Wing Tai.

    The 218,435 sq ft site can be redeveloped into a condo with 530 units measuring 1,200 sq ft on average.

    Far East is estimated to have paid a development charge of $35.2 million and $23.8 million to top up the site's lease

    While it is definitely a "benchmark price", the amount that Far East paid for Amberville "can't be used as a referral point for the prices of other HUDC estates because Amberville was unique", said Mr Foo Suan Peng, executive director & head of investment sales at Knight Frank which brokered the sale.

    None of the other prospective HUDC estates are in as desirable a location as Amberville with its "breathtaking sea view and long frontage", he said.

    Agreeing, Knight Frank's head of research & consultancy Nicholas Mak said other HUDC estates were not very near MRT stations, were surrounded by HDB estates and without any sea views, "so definitely the price would be quite different".

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    Default Newton Meadows up for en bloc sale

    Property
    Published March 28, 2006


    Newton Meadows up for en bloc sale


    THE en bloc fever is infectious - this time, the owners of the freehold Newton Meadows have caught it. Sources say the price expected is about $75 million, or about $680 per square foot of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated $6.9 million development charge.


    Based on this, the breakeven cost for a new condo is about $900-$950 psf, say analysts. 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 condo with about 95 units averaging 1,300 sq ft each.

    Assuming the 10-storey Newton Meadows does fetch $75 million, owners of the existing 28 units stand to receive about $1.4 million to $3.5 million in proceeds, depending on the size of their units, which range from about 1,200 to 3,600 sq ft. The sums the owners will receive are roughly 60 per cent higher than what the apartments would have fetched if sold individually.

    Jones Lang LaSalle is marketing Newton Meadows through an expressions of interest exercise that closes on April 27.

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    Property
    Published March 28, 2006


    Centrepoint highest bidder for SingTel site
    Award delayed as SingTel seeks to reduce premium payable to state


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    CENTREPOINT Properties has emerged as the highest bidder for SingTel's former warehouse site on West Coast Road, but its award has been delayed as SingTel is seeking to reduce the amount of differential premium (DP) payable to the state for the change of status of the site, BT understands.


    Sources say Centrepoint's top bid of about $220 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) is inclusive of an estimated $40 million payment to the state.

    The payment to the state comprises an estimated $30 million DP for a change in the use of the site from industrial to residential and about $10 million as lease upgrading premium, to top up the site's lease from the remaining tenure of about 66 years to 99 years.

    Provisional approval has been granted for the site to be redeveloped into a 225-unit, five-storey condo, with a 1.4 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area).

    Originally, the successful bidder was supposed to make the payment due to the state. However, Centrepoint's bid is for a lump sum of about $220 psf ppr, which includes the land price payable to SingTel as well as the DP and lease upgrading premium payable to the state. So if SingTel is successful in negotiating a lower DP, Centrepoint will accordingly adjust upwards the land price component it will pay to SingTel.





    As a market watcher put it, 'Either way the total cost to Centrepoint is locked at $220 psf ppr. So if there is a reduction in DP, SingTel will get a higher price for its land. Hence, SingTel has an incentive to try and negotiate the DP downwards.'

    Credo Real Estate, which handled the tender for the West Coast site, declined to comment when contacted.

    BT understands a similar situation may arise for SingTel's site at the corner of Hillcrest and Dunearn roads, currently on the market.

    Here, the successful bidder will pay the state almost $40 million, comprising a $35 million DP to change the site's status from 'utility' to 'residential' and around $5 million for upgrading the property's lease to 99 years.

    In this case, industry watchers say that although the site is currently zoned 'utility', the price at which SingTel bought the property - which it has been using as a training centre - worked out to a price that reflected commercial land use at the time. Hence, the DP payable should be calculated on the basis of change of use from commercial to residential and not from utility to residential, goes the argument. The former scenario should result in a substantially lower DP.

    Provisional approval has been granted to redevelop the Hillcrest property into 160 strata terrace houses with a 1.4 plot ratio, although market watchers suggest the successful bidder could instead apply to develop a five-storey condo with a 1.4 plot ratio.

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    Property 2006
    Published March 30, 2006


    To sign or to wait is the big question

    By JEREMY LAKE


    THE collective sale market has been very active in the last nine months and newspaper headlines reporting landmark sales like Habitat 2 ($103.8 million), Amber Ville ($183 million) and Eng Lok Mansion ($138 million) are a regular occurrence.



    Landmark deal: The recent sale of Eng Lok Mansion for $138 million made the headlines


    Owners of properties with collective sale potential are now rushing to get themselves ready to sell and capitalise on the current bullish sentiment. Most of the leading property consultants and lawyers with collective sale experience are very busy at the moment managing and processing these projects.

    Despite the near-perfect market conditions for selling a collective project, in many cases it is still taking a long time to secure the required 80 per cent mandate. Legislation is in place requiring the 80 per cent to be achieved within 12 months of the first owner signing the collective sale agreement. This was put in place in May 2004 to stop the exercise from dragging on indefinitely and causing prolonged inconvenience and uncertainty to owners while the en bloc is underway.

    Accordingly, the property consultant must secure the 80 per cent within 12 months or else the exercise has to be restarted. It is not uncommon to hear owners ask if the collective sale agreement validity period can be extended but the answer is no, it cannot.

    It is interesting to note that owners are currently divided into two different groups, with opposite outlooks. Most recognise that land values have risen substantially and it is a good time to sell. They are mindful of the tidal wave of sites currently coming onto the market and want to ensure that they are not left behind.

    Beginning of a recovery

    For some of these projects, it is also their second or third attempt and the lessons of the previous unsuccessful attempts have been learnt.

    For this reason, they are willing to come forward to sign the collective sale agreement quickly. However, some owners feel that Singapore is at the beginning of a long-term property recovery and that land prices will continue to rise indefinitely. For this reason, they feel that the collective sale should be delayed so that a higher price can be achieved in the future. Thus, they are not willing to sign the agreement.

    This difference in opinion is due to the different risk/ reward profiles which each of these two groups of owners have. Some owners judge that the upside of waiting is greater than the downside of waiting, ie, if the collective sale is delayed, the land price will rise and they will get a higher price. They consider the risks of waiting, namely that developers may commit to buy other sites or that bird flu could derail the market, are small and acceptable.

    Conversely, most owners feel that the collective sale prices which are achievable today are sufficiently attractive and they would like to sell now. They are mindful that the recovery in 1999/2000 was short-lived and that developers have limited budgets. Accordingly, they consider that it is not worth taking the risk of waiting.

    In order to facilitate the signing process, there needs to be some bad news reported in the media to balance all the good news. Owners are influenced by sentiment and while sentiment remains good, the signing process will continue to be frustratingly slow.

    The writer is executive director, investment properties, CB Richard Ellis

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    Default Pinetree plans en bloc sale with a twist

    Published March 30, 2006


    Pinetree plans en bloc sale with a twist

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    MOST of the owners at the 50-unit Pinetree Condominium at Balmoral Park would end up out of pocket if they did a collective sale today, as they had bought their apartments at the peak of the market.



    Pinetree Condo: bidders will have to provide an exchange unit in the new project on the site to all owners who would suffer a financial loss


    So their property agent Jones Lang LaSalle is proposing a collective deal in which bidders will have to provide an exchange unit in the new project they build on the site to all owners who would suffer a financial loss.

    Those who will not incur a loss would have the option of receiving a cash payment from the developer.

    Real estate lawyer SK Phang says current en bloc sale legislation provides that in a collective sale where the majority consenting owners are given exchange units in a new development, the minority who object to the sale must be offered a cash payment option. However, the minority still have grounds to object if they suffer a financial loss.

    Under the legislation, an owner is deemed to have incurred a financial loss if the sale proceeds, after any deduction allowed by the Strata Titles Board, are less than the price paid for the property.

    Another basis for objection by a minority owner to a collective sale is if the sale proceeds are insufficient to redeem the outstanding mortgage on the property.

    JLL estimates that the current-day value of an exchange unit in a new development at the Pinetree Condo site would be roughly 30-40 per cent more than what the units in the present condo would fetch if sold individually today.

    Owners who want a cash-out option would probably reap a lower collective sale premium of about 25 to 30 per cent. But as a market watcher points out, this premium may not be big enough to erase the financial loss for some of the owners.

    Even if the financial-loss cases agree to the exchange option, other hurdles may await them - such as the expense of renting a property while they wait for the new project to be built on the current site. Likewise, owners who are renting out their apartments will have to forego rental income while the property is being redeveloped.

    Owners will also have to make arrangements with their bank to roll over the mortgage to the new property, failing which they will have to redeem their existing mortgage.

    Still, JLL says its proposal provides an exit opportunity for owners to move on, and that otherwise they may have no feasible way of exiting their investment under current en bloc legislation.

    The original developer of Pinetree Condominium, Land Resources Group, still holds a substantial number of the project's 50 apartments, BT understands. The majority, however, are held by other individuals.

    JLL is inviting bidders to take part in an expression-of-interest exercise closing on April 27. They will have to indicate their bids providing at least two options - an exchange unit, and cash for owners who want out.

    Bidders are also welcome to list a third option - offering the owners a unit in a completed project by the developer nearby.

    'This is the first time where competitive bids are being invited for a collective sale involving both cash and exchange options,' said JLL's regional director and head of investments Lui Seng Fatt.

    Pinetree Condo is on a freehold site of 41,361 sq ft, zoned for residential use with 1.6 plot ratio and a 12-storey height limit. Bidders can also offer to buy four adjoining semi-detached houses, which would result in a bigger site of 50,329 sq ft. This would be big enough to house a new development of about 60-70 apartments averaging 1,100 sq ft, JLL says.

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    Default Trading places: a spin on en bloc sales

    Property
    Published April 4, 2006


    Trading places: a spin on en bloc sales
    Collective exchange gives owners an instant upgrade, but it is not without problems, writes KALPANA RASHIWALA



    A VARIATION of the popular collective sale called the collective exchange has been in the news lately. First the owners of Paterson Lodge concluded such a deal. And last week it was announced that the owners of Pinetree Condominium are seeking expressions of interest from developers keen on a similar proposal.



    Arriving at a win-win solution: The most practical way to do a collective exchange is to get unanimous approval from all owners - whether it is for an all-exchange deal as in the case of Paterson Lodge (above), or one where there is the option of an exchange unit or a cash-out payment, as in Pinetree Condo


    Basically, a developer, instead of buying the land outright from the owners, agrees to give them replacement units in the new project to go up on the site.

    This has been touted as a 'win-win solution', with owners getting a new unit in the same location and the developer not having to pay upfront for the land, thereby saving on costs.

    Such deals are not new, says CB Richard Ellis executive director Jeremy Lake. 'However, collective exchange transactions are few and far in between and not without their own problems,' he says. 'For a start, for such deals to work, you must have owners' unanimous approval, which means there's a higher chance of success if the number of owners involved is small and they are like-minded.'

    Agreeing, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) regional director and head of investment sales Lui Seng Fatt does not expect the trend to take root. 'Traditional collective sales will continue to dominate because these can be done with just the 80 per cent consent level,' he says.

    However, some owners and property consultants are undeterred, as the collective exchange can solve several problems.

    In the case of Paterson Lodge, the collective exchange with a subsidiary of mainboard-listed Ace Dynamics was structured as a solution for the property's owners, who faced the usual difficulty in a collective sale - finding a replacement property of the same size in the same location with their proceeds.

    And in the case of Pinetree Condo at Balmoral Park, the collective exchange is mooted as a way to reduce the loss for most owners, who would be out of pocket in an en bloc sale today because they bought their apartments at the peak of the market.

    How do the numbers stack up?

    A developer doesn't have to fork out a large amount to buy the land upfront - basically he only has to spend money on construction, so he saves on finance costs and cash outflow. The developer then splits some of this saving with the owners by offering them a higher collective sale premium through a replacement property.

    JLL's Mr Lui, whose firm is marketing Pinetree Condo, estimates the current value of an exchange unit at some 30-40 per cent more than a unit in the existing development would fetch if sold individually today. Owners who want a cash-out option would reap a lower collective sale premium of some 25-30 per cent.

    Some of the owners could still make a financial loss, albeit a lower one. Nonetheless, the proposal provides an exit opportunity for those willing to take a haircut and move on.

    The developer makes his profit by building more and higher value units than those in an existing project. After giving the owners their exchange units, the developer is free to sell the remaining units for a profit.

    But for a collective exchange to work, owners must agree unanimously on the structure of the deal, as Knight Frank executive director Foo Suan Peng, whose firm brokered the Paterson Lodge transaction, explains. This is unlike the typical collective sale, where consent from majority owners controlling at least 80 per cent of share value is sufficient, subject to approval from the Strata Titles Board (STB).

    'Even in a normal collective sale, the 80 per cent that agree to the deal must include all financial loss cases since anyone making a loss will have grounds to block an en bloc sale when it comes up for hearing at the STB under current legislation,' says Mr Foo.

    The same law also provides that in a collective sale where the majority consenting owners are given exchange units in a new development, the minority who object to such an arrangement must be offered a cash payment option.

    This is why, in the case of Pinetree Condo, developers bidding for the property will have to provide owners with a choice of a one-for-one exchange or a cash-out option.

    And the deal can still be blocked at the STB hearing if the minority argue that the cash-out price is not fair value. As Credo Real Estate managing director Karamjit Singh explains: 'Therein lies a challenge - what value should be used to determine the fair cash-out compensation for such dissenting owners?'

    Knight Frank's Mr Foo says the most transparent method is to have a tender and use the highest bid as the basis for the cash-out price.

    But developers not willing to provide both exchange and cash-out options will not participate in such a tender. To avoid all this hassle, consultants say the most practical way to do a collective exchange is to get unanimous approval from all owners - whether it is for an all exchange deal like Paterson Lodge, or one where there is the option of an exchange unit or a cash-out payment, like Pinetree Condo.

    Even then, a host of problems can bedevil what is conceptually a win-win proposition, says Credo's Mr Singh. 'The moment owners get down to reviewing the legal paperwork, they can get overwhelmed by the issues they would have to wrestle with, and often then resort back to an outright sale,' he recounts from a recent case he worked on in the River Valley area.

    There are also other issues.

    Owners may have to redeem outstanding mortgages with banks when a developer starts work on their site - even if the land is not transferred to that developer until the new project is completed and those owners have received the titles to their new apartments. Owners will also have to factor in the rental expense they will incur while waiting for the site to be redeveloped.

    On the other side of the fence, a contractor/developer who participates in such a scheme will have to find a financier willing to give him a construction loan without the security of the land to be developed.

    'One way would be for the contractor, if it's an established company, to give a corporate guarantee tied to other assets of the company,' suggests Mr Foo.

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    Beverly Mai at Tomlinson Rd up for en bloc sale at $238m

    23 Mar 06


    BEVERLY Mai, a 32-year-old residential development in Tomlinson Road, is up for collective en bloc sale by public tender. And the price tag: $238 million.


    Jeremy Lake, executive director, investment properties at CB Richard Ellis, which is also the marketing consultants, pointed out that the site is across the street from the upcoming St Regis Residences.

    He said that St Regis is expected to fetch close to $2,600 per square foot.

    'The upcoming launch of St Regis is creating a buzz in the area. That, coupled with a clear, unobstructed view of One Tree Hill, makes Beverly Mai an attractive site.'

    At $238 million, the price of the site based on its plot ratio of 2.8 is $1,184 psf per plot ratio, inclusive of an estimated development charge of $16.8 million.

    In August 2005, a unit was sold for $2.5 million. Before this, the highest price was $1.79 million in March 2004. If the asking price is achieved, owners of the 52-unit development stand to make up to a 60 per cent premium or $4.4 million per unit.

    The 76,888 sq ft site can be developed up to 36-storeys and have up to 107 units if each is 2,000 sq ft. The breakeven price for the future development is expected to be $1,550 psf.

    Also for sale, but in a vastly different price bracket, is Sunshine Regency. This new freehold development on Rambai Road in the East Coast, developed by Fragrance Homes, will be launched this weekend at an average $554 psf.

    The marketing consultant is Real ONE International and it says a range of unit sizes from one to four bedrooms (452 sq ft to 603 sq ft) are being offered with the smallest unit starting at $361,000.

    By ARTHUR SIM

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    Thomson Rd properties up for collective sale
    3 developments have combined freehold land area of 137,500 sq ft

    By ALEXANDRA HO


    CAPITALISING on the momentum for collective sales, three separate residential developments off Thomson Road are joining forces to put the properties up for en bloc sale.


    The properties are Lock Cho Apartment, Comfort Mansion and a walk-up apartment block at Jalan Datoh and Jalan Raja Udang.

    In terms of permissible gross floor area for redevelopment, the properties together could be the largest collective sale launched so far this year.

    The three properties together have a freehold land area of around 137,500 square feet.

    A piece of state land of 40,500 sq ft could be incorporated into the project, boosting the total to about 178,000 sq ft.

    In terms of potential GFA, it comes up to 500,000 sq ft, given the site's plot ratio of 2.8 and a height control of 36 floors.

    In their first collective sale attempt, the owners are hoping to get $160 million for the combined site, or around $350 per sq ft per plot ratio, factoring in the development charge and state land costs of $14 million.

    If successfully sold at $160 million, the owners are expected to get between $300,000 and $500,000 each, a 60 to 80 per cent premium over individual sale.


    'The launch of the Lock Cho Apartment and its adjoining developments marks the first large-scale residential collective sale site in the Thomson Road vicinity in recent years,' says Tan Hong Boon, executive director of Credo Real Estate, who is handling the sale.

    He added: 'The launch of this centrally located site is timely as the locality experiences an almost absence of such a coveted large site, which many developers are seeking to acquire.

    'We feel it would be more appealing to developers if we can offer them a critical mass in size with regular plot shape for them to enjoy greater efficiency and economies of scale in construction and marketing.'

    Mr Tan believes that such a large site will attract listed companies that are at least mid-sized.

    He reckons developers can break even on the site at between $580 and $600 per sq ft of potential saleable floor area, with 400 apartment units of about 1,200 sq ft each.

    At present, Lock Cho Apartment is a 140-unit development, Comfort Mansion has 17, while the walk-up apartment has eight units.

    The apartments are around 30 to 40 years old, Credo says.

    The tender for the properties will close on March 27.

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    Published February 8, 2006

    Alexandra Centre put up for collective sale

    ALEXANDRA Centre has hit the market for collective sales, making an entry with a $40 million asking price.

    $40m asking price: The existing two-storey building, which is about 25 years old, houses 12 ground-floor shops and 12 apartments
    This works out to $270 psf per plot ratio inclusive of an estimated $1.153 million development charge.

    The freehold property on Alexandra Road is zoned for residential with commercial use on the first storey. It may be redeveloped to a height of four storeys with a maximum 3.0 plot ratio - the ratio of potential gross floor area to land area.

    Alexandra Centre has a land area of 50,838 sq ft. The existing two-storey building, which is about 25 years old, houses 12 ground-floor shops and 12 apartments.

    Owners controlling more than 80 per cent of share values have consented to the collective sale, which is being handled by CB Richard Ellis.

    Based upon $40 million, apartment owners will receive about $1.1 million each, and the shopowners about $2.1 million each.

    'This is about 100 per cent more than the price which the units can achieve if they are sold individually,' says CBRE executive director Jeremy Lake.

    Alexandra Centre is within walking distance of Queenstown MRT Station. Nearby landmarks include the Queens condo, Ikea and The Anchorage. The tender for Alexandra Centre closes on March 8.

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    Published December 14, 2005

    En bloc sales hit 5-year high of $1.9b
    But rapidly rising price expectations among owners could dampen market next year


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    (SINGAPORE) With just two weeks to go before year's end, the value of collective property sales done so far has hit $1.9 billion. This is more than double the $722 million chalked up for the whole of last year and is the highest level in at least five years.

    The strong uptrend captured in the latest figures compiled by CB Richard Ellis and released to BT reflects a happy convergence of the price expectations of both sellers and buyers.

    Owners, however, are becoming more optimistic in their price expectations and there's a risk that they may raise their asking prices too fast for developers. This, warns CB Richard Ellis executive director Jeremy Lake, could significantly dampen collective sales next year.

    Agreeing, Credo Real Estate executive director Melvin Poh says many of the deals being structured now are based on future pricing. He also points to a substantial supply of en bloc properties at various stages of readiness in the prime districts like Cairnhill, Angullia Park, Orchard Boulevard, Kim Yam, St Thomas Walk, Ardmore Park and Nassim.

    'There's a lot of supply coming out. Not all will be sold. Developers don't have unlimited funds. So the key is speed. The race is on to get your collective sale organised quickly and put it on the market early.'

    Collective sales, under which the owners in an estate team up to sell their homes to a developer, have been a closely watched phenomenon among Singapore property investors since 1994. These en bloc deals have arisen due to an increase in plot ratios, which specify the intensity permitted by the planning authority for a property development on a site.

    This has boosted the redevelopment potential of sites, creating an opportunity for owners in an estate to get a higher price or premium if they join forces and sell their properties to a developer instead of going it alone. With improving sentiment, owners' expectations of this 'collective sale premium' have risen.

    'Whereas a premium of 30-plus per cent was enough 12 months ago, you now need to look at about 40 to 50 per cent to stand a good chance of getting owners to agree to a collective sale,' says CBRE's Mr Lake.

    There have been two bouts of en bloc fever - from 1994 to 1997, and again in 1999-2000. Home owners and property agents hope the current wave will not be short-lived.

    Highlighting a key factor behind the impressive performance so far this year, Mr Lake says: 'For many of the deals done this year, the process of collecting signatures from owners began in 2004 or the early part of this year, before sentiment started to improve. So these properties were put on the market with more realistic price expectations from owners.'

    On the demand side, developers have raised the prices they are prepared to pay on the back of improving sentiment. The strong demand they have enjoyed from home buyers in the luxury residential segment has led them to speed up replenishing their land banks with prime freehold sites. Collective sales are an excellent source of such supply, notes Mr Lake.

    He cites a couple of examples of notable deals. Habitat II, sold in September this year, fetched $103.88 million, surpassing the owners' reserve price of $86 million set last year.

    Likewise, Belle Vue was sold in October for $227.28 million, again exceeding the reserve price of $190 million agreed upon by the owners last year. 'Right now, it's competition among developers that has led to reserve prices being surpassed. In the next stage, we'll see whether developers are prepared to pay the higher reserve prices being set by owners,' says Mr Lake.

    Owners are certainly starting to become more confident about asking prices. Says DTZ Debenham Tie Leung director Tang Wei Leng: 'In the past few weeks, we've seen cases of owners backing out from prices they had agreed to earlier in their collective sale agreement and jacking up reserve prices by about 10 to 40 per cent.'

    This has been partly triggered by last week's tender for the landmark Orchard Turn site, which may include a residential component. It fetched a bullish top bid.

    'Basically, we have owners saying things like, 'If a 99-year site (Orchard Turn) can fetch $1,020 psf per plot ratio, surely our plot which is also in the prime district and is morever freehold, should be able to sell for much more than the $800 psf ppr we signed up for',' says Ms Tang.

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    Wee Cho Yaw firms top en bloc deals
    They account for $485m or 25% of $1.9b in collective sales this year


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    COMPANIES in the stable of United Overseas Bank chairman Wee Cho Yaw have been the biggest buyers of collective sale sites this year. United Overseas Land, United Industrial Corp, Singapore Land, Kheng Leong and OUB Centre Ltd have snapped up about $485 million of such properties, or a quarter of the $1.9 billion of collective sales that have changed hands in 2005.

    The en bloc sites clinched by companies in Mr Wee's stable include Maryland Park in Katong, Eng Cheong Tower in the Beach Road area, Bo Bo Tan Gardens/Mansion off Kim Tian Rd, Parry Gardens, Oasis Garden in Paya Lebar and a collective sale at Minbu Rd in the Balestier area.

    Other big shoppers who have picked up sites in the en bloc market this year include Wing Tai, Sim Lian, MCL Land and Bukit Sembawang. Wing Tai clinched two prime district sites - Belle Vue at Oxley Walk for $227.28 million and Phoenix Mansion in Cairnhill for $57.9 million.

    MCL Land bought Balmeg Court atop a hill in Pasir Panjang and Fernhill Place.

    The most expensive collective sale site this year in terms of unit land price was Habitat II at Ardmore Park. Wheelock Properties paid $876 per square foot per plot ratio for the site in September this year, about 30 per cent more than the $671 psf ppr that nearby Falcon Crest fetched a year earlier.

    The most expensive collective sale site this year in terms of unit land price was Habitat II at Ardmore Park, clinched by Wheelock Properties

    Another prime district site, Belle Vue in Oxley Walk, sold for $666 psf ppr this year, or 35 per cent higher than the $492 psf ppr that Quelin Gardens in the St Thomas Walk area went for last year.

    However, such increases in land prices were exceptional. Most en bloc sites sold this year registered much more modest increases in land prices, property consultants say.

    An interesting deal this year was the conclusion of the maiden collective sale of a 99-year property - Eng Cheong Tower in January.

    Subsequently, only one other 99-year property has changed hands through a collective sale, Evian Condominium in Holland Rd, although two more are still on the market - Waterfront View facing Bedok Reservoir and Amberville in Katong, both privatised HUDC estates.

    Basically, developers who buy such sites will have to pay a sum to the state to top up the lease of the site to the original 99 years, besides the usual development charge/differential premium to tap a higher plot ratio. 'So there are two sets of payments the developer has to make to the state, leaving less money that it can offer to the owners. That reduces the incentive for owners to go en bloc for 99-year estates compared with freehold ones,' a property consultant said.

    As well, many of the privatised HUDC estates are huge, with hundreds of owners. This makes it harder to get the minimum 80 or 90 per cent consent levels for an en bloc deal.

    Also, because these sites are huge - Waterfront View, for instance, can be developed into a new project with about 1,400 units - developers are more cautious when bidding, because of the risk of being stuck with a big project for years, especially if oversupply develops in the area.

    'This again translates to lower bids from developers for such sites, reducing the incentive for owners to agree to a collective sale,' said a property consultant.

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    Published January 11, 2006

    Angullia Mansion up for collective sale again
    Owners said to be asking for $108m, slightly more than the top bid in 1999

    ANGULLIA Mansion, a stone's throw from Orchard MRT Station, is back on the collective sale market - and this time the owners are said to be asking for $108 million or about $960 psf of potential gross floor area including a development charge of about $12.5 million.

    Owners of 20 of the 21 apartments are understood to have signed the collective sale agreement. The last owner is expected to do so soon.
    This is slightly more than the $105 million top bid the freehold property drew when it was previously put on the market in late 1999. The requisite approval level from majority owners could not be secured then. But this time around, owners of 20 of the 21 apartments are understood to have signed the collective sale agreement at a price of about $108 million. The last owner is expected to do so soon.

    Keck Seng group, which is said to own four apartments at Angullia Mansion, has consented to the collective sale.

    A price tag of $960 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) is about 10 per cent higher than the highest unit land price fetched for a collective sale last year - $876 psf ppr for Habitat II. However, DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, which is marketing Angullia Mansion, has set its sights on an even higher benchmark - the $1,020 psf ppr at which the 99-year leasehold Orchard Turn site was sold to CapitaLand and Sun Hung Kai Properties last month.

    CapitaLand has since given a breakdown of its bid, imputing a land price of $1,130 psf ppr for the project's retail component which will make up 70-75 per cent of total gross floor area, while the land value for the residential component is a lower $700 psf ppr.

    Angullia Mansion has a land area of 44,730 sq ft. The site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio under Master Plan 2003. The maximum height is 36 storeys.

    The site can accommodate about 56 units averaging about 2,000 sq ft. DTZ is expecting strong demand for the site given the improved take-up rate for luxurious and lifestyle apartments. In the vicinity, units in SC Global's BLVD project fetched prices of as high as $2,200 psf in October last year, DTZ pointed out in a statement.

    The tender for Angullia Mansion closes on Feb 9.

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    The Vermont up for collective sale
    Tender for the freehold site closes on March 3

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    THE owners of The Vermont at Peck Hay Road in the Cairnhill area are the latest to put up their prime district homes for collective sale, tapping the current uptick in the luxury residential market.

    The Vermont comprises two apartment blocks at 9 and 11 Peck Hay Road in the Cairnhill area. The project was built in the mid-1980s.
    The indicative price for the freehold Vermont is about $76 million, translating to $750 per square foot of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge of $9 million. Based on this, a new condo on the 40,375 sq ft freehold site could break even at about $1,100 psf, say analysts.

    CB Richard Ellis, which is handling the sale of The Vermont, says recent collective sale transactions in District 9 include Emerald Lodge at $803 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) and Habitat II at $876 psf ppr.

    The Vermont site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio and a maximum height of 20 storeys under Master Plan 2003.

    The tender for The Vermont closes on March 3.

    Property agents and home owners in the prime districts have been busy launching collective sale tenders, riding on the current upturn in sentiment in the luxury housing segment. That has improved developers' appetites for replenishing their landbanks.

    Recent launches include Eng Lok Mansion near Botanic Gardens, Angullia Mansion near Orchard MRT Station and Kim Yam Mansion off River Valley Road. In addition, there is a slew of properties at various stages of readiness for an en-bloc sale launch in the prime districts like Cairnhill, Angullia Park, Orchard Boulevard, River Valley, St Thomas Walk, Ardmore Park and Nassim, say property consultants.

    With a relatively huge potential supply of en-bloc sites slated for release this year, and finite demand from developers, the race is on to get collective sales organised quickly and tenders launched as soon as possible.

    The Vermont comprises two apartment blocks at 9 and 11 Peck Hay Road. The project was built in the mid-1980s.

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    Published January 17, 2006

    Pasir Panjang Hill site up for en bloc sale

    A 32-UNIT four-storey apartment building at Pasir Panjang Hill is up for collective sale with an asking price of $28 million for the freehold 63,707 sq ft site.

    Based on a plot ratio of 1.4 and an additional development charge of about $5.8 million, the site should cost $370 per square foot per plot ratio, and the breakeven cost will be around $660 psf per plot ratio, according to Jones Lang LaSalle's regional director and head of investments, Lui Seng Fatt. The firm is also the sole marketing agent for the property.

    Last month, MCL Land bought Balmeg Court, also in Pasir Panjang, for $79.2 million. This works out to $340 psf per plot ratio for the 182,555 sq ft site. In the same month, Hoi Hup launched the Foliage, an 88-unit freehold condominium off Pasir Panjang Road, at an average $608 psf.

    A new residential development of up to 89,190 sq ft of gross floor area with a maximum building height of five storeys can be built on the Pasir Panjang Hill site, although Mr Lui points out that approval from the relevant authorities and a development charge will apply.

    On the renewed interest in en bloc residential sites - there were over 30 in 2005 - Mr Lui believes there is still opportunity to 'unlock the value of old and outdated property'.

    He added: 'The market value of the apartments at its current stage of obsolescence can only fetch a low market value reflected in the state of the property. Through the collective sales process, investors will be prepared to pay a higher value for the new apartments. In short, the difference between the two will be exactly the premium which the existing owners will be enjoying through the collective sale.'

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    Published January 12, 2006

    Braddell Park, Telok Kurau sites go en bloc
    11 Kampong Glam shophouses also among properties put on market


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    RIDING on the current improvement in property sentiment, several investment-sales properties came on the market yesterday.

    They include two collective sales at Braddell Park and Lorong K Telok Kurau. Both are offered for sale in separate tender exercises.

    As well, a six-storey serviced apartment in the Tiong Bahru/Outram area is going on the block. And in the Kampong Glam area, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is auctioning 11 unrestored conservation shophouse lots on March 8. The shophouses will have to be restored and are being sold on a 99-year leasehold tenure.

    In May last year, URA auctioned 10 parcels of unrestored conservation shophouses. The sale prices ranged from $360,000 to $600,000 per parcel, or $295 per square foot to $440 psf of site area.

    CB Richard Ellis, which is marketing Braddell Park, says the property is expected to achieve $42 million. This works out to about $330 psf of potential gross floor area (GFA).

    No development charge will be payable to tap the full development potential of the 91,361 sq ft freehold site as the location has a high base density equivalent to a 2.072 plot ratio (ratio of potential GFA to land area).





    This is much higher than the 1.4 plot ratio stated for the site in Master Plan 2003, which also zones the site for residential use. The site may be developed up to five storeys high.

    Another collective sale site launched yesterday comprises two apartment buildings - K Garden and Wen Yuan Court - and a bungalow at 16 Lorong K Telok Kurau, being marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle. Developers may bid for the three properties, adding up to 46,473 sq ft in freehold land area, individually or combined.

    Sources say the price expectation for the combined three is around $25 million, which works out to about $386 psf per plot ratio, including a development charge. The site is zoned for residential use with 1.4 plot ratio and a maximum height of five storeys.

    Over in the Tiong Bahru area, Colliers International is marketing a six-storey serviced apartment at 3 Seng Poh Road which sources say has an indicative price of about $12.5 million. The freehold property is said to be put up for sale by mortgagee United Overseas Bank. The mortgagor was Kim Koon Garment Industries, BT understands.

    The property has a land area of 9,143 sq ft and a GFA of 27,451 sq ft. The building has an eating house on the first storey, a car park on the second and third storeys, and 61 serviced apartments occupying the upper levels.

    Colliers' executive director Grace Ng, who will be auctioning the property on Feb 8, says buyers may continue operating the building as a serviced apartment or apply to convert it into a boarding house/budget hotel.

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    St Thomas Walk site up for en bloc sale

    19 Jan 06


    THE Somerset area looks set to become hot property. Prices for en bloc redevelopment sites there will be closely watched, especially now that the latest land sales exercise by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) at Orchard Road/Killiney Road has received a record bid of $1,085 per square foot per plot ratio.


    Chez Bright Apartments at 18 St Thomas Walk is the latest property to go on sale in that area. It is marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle, whose regional director and head of investments Lui Seng Fatt believes that any new residential development on the freehold site would be able to sell at $1,500 psf.

    The Somerset site is for a mixed development that may include a residential component.

    Said Mr Lui: 'Based on the highest price tendered for the Somerset site, residential units there would have to sell for between $1,700 and $1,800 psf. And these are 99-year leasehold units.'

    After factoring in the freehold status of Chez Bright Apartments, and the 'near prime' location, Mr Lui said a 15 per cent discount, or $1,500 psf, for the new development on the St Thomas Walk site would not be unreasonable.

    The asking price for the 34,402 sq ft Chez Bright site has been set at $61.3 million (including a development charge of $6.3 million) or $640 psf per plot ratio.

    The break-even price is around $960-$980 psf.

    Five months ago, a larger site also on St Thomas Walk went to Centrepoint Properties for $210 million, or $601 psf per plot ratio.

    The present 12-storey apartment block can be developed up to 36 storeys. With a plot ratio of 2.8, the maximum gross floor area is 96,325 sq ft.

    There are several new developments in the area already on sale, including Wheelock Properties' The Cosmopolitan and Guocoland's Leonie Studios. Still, Mr Lui feels there will be ample demand from foreigners.

    'Foreign investors, especially those from Hong Kong, are looking for this kind of investment grade properties,' he said.

    By ARTHUR SIM

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    Seven sites already launched, as market rides on positive economic outlook
    By Joyce Teo
    Property Correspondent

    IT IS no surprise that optimism is flowing in the property market: The year has barely begun, but already seven collective sale sites have been launched.

    And that is coming off a record year in 2005 when 37 collective sales of residential sites worth $2.09 billion were completed - more than double the deals and value achieved in 2004.

    Ms Soon Su Lin, executive director of property consultancy CB Richard Ellis, said such sales will continue at the same pace as last year thanks to a good economic outlook.

    Supply and demand tells the story: Sites sold en bloc last year generated a potential supply of 3,860 new homes, while overall, 8,955 new homes were sold last year.

    'So potential supply from the sites being sold en bloc is expected to meet good demand when they are ready for launch,' said Ms Soon.

    Home owners in collective sales typically get at least 30 to 50 per cent more than what they would have reaped from an individual sale. But the risk, said consultants, is that owners may have unrealistically high price expectations.

    Typically, potential collective sale developments are more than 10 years old with rising maintenance costs.

    Selling these sites require the consent of at least 80 per cent of the owners; those less than 10 years old need 90 per cent acceptance.

    Because people looking to rent tend to migrate to new projects, owners of older projects find it harder to find tenants. And with maintenance costs rising, they may be keener on a collective sale, said DTZ Debenham Tie Leung director Tang Wei Leng.

    But that does not mean everyone can cash in.

    Prime sites in districts 9, 10 and 11 clearly have the best chances. The Cairnhill area appears to have the most potential sites, though projects in posh Ardmore, Draycott, Nassim, Leonie Hill and St Thomas Walk are also very popular, said Credo Real Estate executive director Tan Hong Boon.

    'Sites in Cairnhill are very sought-after and the success rate will be good if they are not over-priced,' he said.

    In general, most owners ask for about $800-$850 per square foot per plot ratio, though some want as much as $1,000 psf ppr, he said.

    Still, the highest residential collective sale land price last year was only at $876 psf ppr - made by Wheelock Properties in September for The Habitat II in Ardmore Park.

    Areas in Tanjong Katong Road, Meyer Road, Amber Road, East Cost Road and the Telok Kurau area also have good chances, said the head of investments at Jones Lang LaSalle, Mr Lui Seng Fatt.

    The best candidates are developments of six storeys or less, with a small number of units or a large plot of land, said DTZ's Ms Tang.

    'Those with facilities would have good rental value so the owners won't be very motivated to sell,' she said.

    Credo Real Estate's executive director, Mr Karamjit Singh, said: 'The poorer the physical conditions, the better the chances.'

    Surroundings also play a part. For instance, a low-rise development in an area with mostly high-rise projects could be a strong target, he said.

    It could be tricky for mixed developments as shop owners may not want to sell. 'The revenue they derive from the shops may be much better than the property's value,' said Ms Tang. 'If they move out, they will lose the goodwill they have established over the years.'

    Consultants said many former HUDC estates like Pine Grove, Gillman Heights and Farrer Court have expressed interest in selling collectively.

    So have some owners of ageing private properties such as Grand Tower in Moulmein Rise, Eng Tai Mansions at St Thomas Walk, Peck Hay Mansion in Cairnhill and The Ardmore at Ardmore Park.

    But getting enough owners to agree to a collective sale could take years. 'It's a waiting game,' said Ms Tang.

    A home owner Gerald sold his Parry Gardens home near Yio Chu Kang in 1993, even though a neighbour said there may be plans to sell en bloc.

    'I missed out on making money but the deal was only concluded in 2005! I would have had to wait for more than a decade,' he said.

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    Top Print Edition Stories
    Published April 7, 2006

    NUS feels Gillman Heights en bloc heat
    Its approval needed as it controls over 50% of share values


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA



    (SINGAPORE) The National University of Singapore is getting some en bloc heat from some of the other apartment owners at Gillman Heights Condo.



    Gillman Heights: Some owners fear they could miss the en bloc boat if developers slow down on landbanking. If NUS gives the nod, owners would secure the minimum 80% consent level to put the 836,425 sq ft site on the market


    The university - which holds the key to a collective sale as it controls slightly more than half of share values in the project - is being pressured to finalise an agreement soon to launch a sale of the privatised HUDC estate.

    BT understands that the university had earlier indicated it would not hold up a collective sale but is still studying the terms for a sale. However, some of the other owners fear it may take too long and they could miss the en bloc boat if developers decide to slow down on landbanking.

    If NUS gives the nod, the owners of the privatised HUDC estate would secure the minimum 80 per cent consent level to put the 836,425 sq ft leasehold site on the market.

    BT understands NUS owns 305 apartments in the condo, which comprises four high rise blocks of 24 storeys each with a total of 455 units and six low-rise blocks with 152 maisonettes. There is also a shop unit, bringing the total number of units in the development to 608.

    Sources say the asking price of about $528 million works out to a unit land price of $323 per square foot of potential gross floor area, including an estimated $36 million payable to the state for upgrading the site's lease to 99 years from a remaining tenure of about 78 years and a further payment of $3.5 million for a slight enhancement in plot ratio.

    The site is zoned for residential use with a 2.1 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area).

    NUS told BT it has yet to make a decision. 'It is to our understanding that the proposed en bloc sale of Gillman Heights was initiated by some residents living there. The university is evaluating the information and would be taking this up with our management and Board of Trustees before making any decisions on whether to agree to the collective sale of the residential property.'

    On average, owners stand to receive $870,000 per unit which is about 50 to 60 per cent more than the average value of what their units would fetch if sold individually.

    The NUS spokesman said the university's apartments at Gillman Heights provide off-campus accommodation for some of its staff and graduate students. 'If necessary, and when appropriate, the university will then proceed to help them source for alternative accommodation,' he added.

    Even if NUS gives the nod, and the collective sale is launched, it remains to be seen what sort of response the exercise will garner.

    While developers have been snapping up land over the past six months or so, they've focused on the prime districts in response to a strong recovery in home buying in the luxury residential segment. As well, the Gillman Heights site is huge - a new project on the site can house around 1,400 apartments averaging 1,300 sq ft.

    Not many developers have the financial muscle for such a big project. And even if they do, they may not wish to put all their eggs in one basket.

    Also, the asking price set by the owners, which works out to a unit land price of $323 psf per plot ratio, would translate to a relatively high breakeven cost of at least $500 psf for the developer, say market watchers.

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    Default Robinson Rd office block to go residential

    Top Print Edition Stories
    Published April 19, 2006


    Robinson Rd office block to go residential

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    (SINGAPORE) Another ageing CBD office block looks set to make way for homes. BT understands that SingTel is likely to sell 71 Robinson Road - which houses Robinson Post Office - after securing provisional permission to redevelop the property into a 51-storey project.



    From office to homes: SingTel has obtained provisional permission to redevelop the CBD site


    Provisional approval has been granted for 315 apartments on the upper 44 storeys, which will be above a six-storey carpark podium and one level of commercial space.

    The commercial space is expected to be at street level. The plot ratio - the ratio of potential gross floor area to land area - approved is 11.2. This means the project can be built up to a gross floor area of 274,746 sq ft - a significant enhancement from the existing 99,383 sq ft.

    Approval is subject to the site being rezoned from commercial use to residential with commercial use on the first storey. A development charge will be payable to the state in exchange for the right to develop a bigger project on the site.

    In addition, the successful developer is expected to apply to the authorities to top up the 24,531 sq ft site's lease from the remaining 45 years to the original 99 years.

    The seven-storey building, formerly known as Crosby House, is at the corner of Robinson Road and McCallum Street.

    Other ageing office blocks expected to make way for homes include NatWest Centre and Asia Chambers - both in McCallum Street - 1 Shenton Way and the HMC Building in Mistri Road.

    SingTel is expected to put up 71 Robinson Road for sale in line with its policy of divesting non-core property to redeploy the resources to its core telco business.

    In February, it sold a former telephone exchange in Old Holland Road for $30 million.

    Tenders have closed for two sites in West Coast and Hillcrest roads.

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    Property
    Published May 4, 2006

    HPL's latest condo to top $2,000 psf price
    Project on Beverly Mai site to be pitched as most exclusive in S'pore


    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    CHRISTOPHER Lim, group executive director of Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL), says a new condo on the Beverly Mai site which the group bought last week is located just as well if not even better than the Four Seasons Park condo the group developed in the mid-1990s.



    Mr Lim: The $1,600 psf breakeven cost for HPL's proposed new condo on the Beverly Mai site reported in the media is "in the lower range".


    'The project will be the most exclusive in Singapore,' Mr Lim said in an interview with BT.

    'The pricing will definitely be above $2,000 psf on average. It's a question of how much more than $2,000 psf.'

    The 36-storey development is likely to be released for sale early next year. The configuration of unit sizes has yet to be finalised, although market watchers expect most of them to be large units of 2,000 sq ft or so, given that these are in high demand by foreign buyers and well-heeled Singaporean investors looking to buy apartments to lease out, particularly to expatriate families.

    Mr Lim said the $1,600 psf breakeven cost for HPL's proposed new condo on the Beverly Mai site reported in the media is 'in the lower range'.

    HPL bought Beverly Mai on Tomlinson Road through a $238 million collective sale - $1,184 per sq ft of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge of $16.8 million.

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

    Mr Lim said the Beverly Mai site is superior in terms of accessibility and height control to the group's Four Seasons Park condo project which set the benchmark for the high-end condo market in the 1990s.

    The new project at the Beverly Mai site will have 36 storeys. Four Seasons Park has 27 storeys.

    And whereas the Four Seasons Park condo can be accessed only through Cuscaden Walk, the Beverly Mai site can be accessed through Orchard Boulevard, Grange Road (through One Tree Hill) and Paterson Road, Mr Lim said.

    'The new condo will boast unobstructed views as it will be surrounded by landed properties and greenery, including the Good Class Bungalow areas of Rochalie Drive, Chatsworth and Bishopsgate,' Mr Lim said.

    'Beverly Mai is in a quiet enclave surrounded by low-rise residential properties and yet it's just a minute's walk from Four Seasons Hotel.'

    HPL's Beverly Mai deal - which is still subject to approval by the Strata Titles Board since unanimous approval from owners has yet to be secured - is the group's first major property acquisition in Singapore in about nine years.

    The group is interested in more prime freehold residential sites here but will stick to its current stronghold in the Cuscaden/Orchard belt.

    On the status of the group's long standing plans for a massive redevelopment of the group's four properties in the Orchard/Cuscaden area - Four Seasons and Hilton hotels, Forum and HPL House adding up to a land area of almost 220,000 sq ft, Mr Lim said: 'We're looking at this with great enthusiasm but not ready to make any announcements.'

    Expectations that HPL would bring forward its plans have been running high since March last year when the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced a scheme to give incentives to redevelop properties along Orchard Road.

    Under this scheme, the URA may grant additional gross floor area (GFA) beyond that allowed under the Master Plan - if redevelopments result in innovative projects that generate tourism and other economic spinoffs.

    Asked if HPL will team up with Wheelock Properties (Singapore) - which recently bought a 21 per cent stake in HPL - to undertake this massive redevelopment of its four Cuscaden/Orchard properties or for the Beverly Mai project, Mr Lim said there are no specific discussions for any joint venture proposals.

    'But there is good chemistry between the two companies, and their assets and ours are quite similar. That could lead to cooperation in future.

    'We are very friendly with Wheelock. We have high regard for their management - Peter Woo and David Lawrence - and (HPL managing director) Mr Ong Beng Seng knows them personally. We like what they have done and likewise, they like what we have done.

    'So sure, in future, anything can happen.'

    Even without joint ventures, though, HPL can undertake the redevelopment of the four Orchard/Cuscaden Road buildings through internal resources and bank borrowings.

    'Our gearing is relatively low, about 40-plus per cent. And we're not a property developer which is totally dependent on development profits. We have quality investment income from hotel operations,' Mr Lim points out.

    HPL has more than 10 hotels, in Singapore, Maldives, Bali, Pattaya, Bangkok, Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur, Bhutan, New York and Vanuatu.
    Last edited by mr funny; 17-08-06 at 20:58.

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    Cairnhill Circle: terrace house owners relaunch their site

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

    (SINGAPORE) The owners of 16 terrace houses at Cairnhill Circle whose properties remained unsold - following the collective sale of the next-door Hilltops Apartments site - are relaunching the 49,856 sq ft freehold site.



    Condo plan: Artist's impression of the proposed 100-unit luxury apartment project that could come up on the site occupied by the 16 terrace houses. Market watchers reckon SC Global could buy the site
    The owners - said to include wealthy individuals including some grandchildren of the late tycoon Khoo Teck Puat of the Goodwood group - have even appointed a consultant to design a redevelopment scheme for their site, involving a 100-unit apartment project engulfing part of the Hilltops Apartments site.

    Mr Khoo was the original developer of the terrace houses as well as Hilltops Apartments.

    SC Global Developments last month clinched Hilltops Apartments - with a freehold land area of 67,308 sq ft - for $294 million through a collective sale but declined to buy the adjoining 16 terrace houses which had been offered separately.

    The proposed luxury apartment development scheme by design consultant Sommai Chareon envisages a 15-storey project with a total of 100 units to be built on a site surrounding part of the Hilltops plot. Due to the site configuration, the project on the terrace house plot will have a slimline design which is now in vogue, notes Tang Wei Leng, director at DTZ Debenham Tie Leung. DTZ, which is marketing the 16 terrace houses, also brokered the sale of Hilltops.

    Market watchers observe the proposed condo designed for the site currently occupied by the terrace houses could potentially block views for a chunk of units in SC Global's proposed condo on its Hilltops site.

    Of course, SC Global could locate its condo blocks on the part of the Hilltops site which is not immediately adjacent to the terrace houses and instead utilise the portion next to the houses for facilities like swimming pools, tennis courts and a clubhouse as well as for utility services like a substation.

    Market watchers reckon SC Global could end up buying the terrace houses as it would be the most suitable party to do a comprehensive redevelopment scheme involving both sites.

    'It's probably a question of price. The terrace houses' price will have to be at a level that will make sense for SC Global to buy,' said an industry observer.

    The owners of the 16 terrace houses are asking for $120 million or $951 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge (DC) of $12.81 million - exactly the same unit land price that SC Global paid for Hilltops Apartments.

    However, BT reported last month that the reserve price for the terrace houses is lower, at about $100 million - which works out to $808 psf ppr including DC. This is 15 per cent lower than the unit land price paid for Hilltops.

    The tender for the 16 terrace houses closes on May 30. The site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area) and a 20-storey height limit under Master Plan 2003.

    BT understands among their owners are wealthy individuals including some grandchildren and other relatives of the late Mr Khoo.

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    Default Horizon View in Cairnhill up for en bloc sale at $123m

    Horizon View in Cairnhill up for en bloc sale at $123m

    6 May 06


    THE owners of Horizon View in Cairnhill Road are the latest to hit the en bloc trail, asking $123.2 million or $3.4 million per existing unit. This works out to about $951 psf of potential gross floor area, inclusive of an estimated development charge of $1.1 million - the same unit land price achieved for Hilltops Apartments at Cairnhill Circle recently.


    If the asking price of $3.4 million per unit is achieved, the owners of the existing 36 units at Horizon View will reap a collective sale premium of about 100 per cent based on the last individual transaction - $1.7 million for an apartment sold in March last year.

    CB Richard Ellis, which is marketing the property through a tender that closes on June 8, says Horizon View has a freehold land area of 46,661 sq ft. The site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio and a 36-storey maximum height.

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA

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    Default Airview Towers owners woo developers

    Airview Towers owners woo developers
    More flexibility, upside seen in 'collective exchange' than sale

    By ARTHUR SIM

    AIRVIEW Towers in River Valley Road is for sale - sort of. DTZ Debenham Tie Leung has been appointed by a sale committee of owners to look for developers keen on the 63,264 sq ft property.

    Airview Towers: Through a collective exchange, owners hope to reap future capital appreciation
    DTZ's director of investment advisory services Tang Wei Leng said an expression-of-interest exercise will give both buyers and sellers 'flexibility' to negotiate the terms before anyone actually signs on the dotted line, or even before a contract is drawn-up.

    With the recent 'collective exchange' of Paterson Lodge - existing home owners opted for new units in the redevelopment of their building rather than cash payment - more home owners are considering this route rather than a traditional collective sale, as there could be more upside.

    Based on recent prices at new developments in the area, Ms Tang reckons the land price for Airview Towers, which has a plot ratio of 2.8, could be about $750-$800 psf ppr. This would work out to about $135-$142 million in total. On average, existing owners would reap a 30-40 per cent premium on the current market price for individual units.

    But through a collective exchange, Ms Tang says owners who take a 'future view can ride through the market and hope for future capital appreciation rather than cash out at a particular price at this point in time'.

    Although a collective exchange throws up contractual complexities, as owners and the developer have to be amenable to the terms, Ms Tang says she has received more requests for this option recently.

    Developers, however, have a choice in the vicinity of Airview Towers. Also for sale in the same area is a warehouse at Martin, Narayanan Chetty and Muthuraman Chetty roads.

    Opposite the former TradeMart site, which is now RiverGate condominium, the 44,477 sq ft redevelopment site, with a plot ratio of 2.8, is being marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle.

    JLL's regional director and head of investments Lui Seng Fatt says the site will primarily be for residential use but will also have a commercial component on the first storey.

    The maximum GFA is 124,500 sq ft and the land price is likely to be $750-$800 psf ppr including development charge.

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