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Thread: Serial collective sale: Millionaires

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    Default Serial collective sale: Millionaires

    Feb 18, 2007

    3 deals in 2 years have made him $2.5m richer

    Serial collective sale: Millionaires

    Cashing in on the collective sale fever, these men have made a sizeable profit from sales of their properties

    By Melissa Sim



    MR TEH HOPES TO STRIKE 'collective gold' with his other two buys - a $530,000 acquisition at Himiko Court in the Mount Sinai area, which he is standing in front of, and a Pearl Bank flat in Outram, which he bought for $500,000. -- BRYAN VAN DER BEEK



    TIDY PROFIT NO. 1: In 2002, Mr Teh sunk about $630,000 in a flat in Faber Hills in the West Coast area. The 96-unit estate was sold for $85.5 million in April 2004.



    TIDY PROFIT NO. 2: Mr Teh bought a unit in Eastern Mansion off Meyer Road for below $500,000 in 1998. The 168 units were sold in September 2005 for $153 million.


    PEST control businessman Simon Teh, 49, is what is known in property circles as a serial 'en bloc-er'.

    Three times, he has bought apartments and joined up with his neighbours to do a collective sale of their property.

    And that is within two years. His investments have made him between $2.5 million and $3 million richer and totally debt free.

    Now he is sitting tight on two more properties which he believes will be snapped up by land-hungry developers in collective sales.

    'Of course, I was very happy when the first collective sale happened. I don't believe in splurging, but I ploughed it back into other properties,' said Mr Teh.

    Not to live in.

    Not for rental income.

    But for the hefty premiums that an apartment which is part of a collective deal can rake in.

    Last year, a record 70 collective sale transactions amounting to $8.09 billion were chalked up, according to figures from CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

    This far surpasses the $1.99 billion for the 36 transactions in 2005, and the last high of $2.33 billion in 1999.

    The sales were buoyed by record property prices, which have spurred developers to compete with each other to acquire more land.

    Riding on the collective fever are people like Mr Teh, aggressive investors who speculate in properties with potential to be sold en bloc.

    Of serial en bloc-ers, CBRE's Mr Jeremy Lake said: 'Often, if they have been through the exercise, it breeds confidence. The more times they do it, the more money they get and the more enthusiastic they become.'

    Mr Teh, who lives in a three-storey terrace house in the Changi area with his wife and two children, admits that he scouts only for properties with collective sale potential.

    Generally, he looks for properties on large plots of land, which give developers space to redevelop more units, and high plot ratios.

    He is helped by his line of work, which brings him in contact with contractors and developers who give him an idea of how the market is moving.

    Mr Teh first bought an apartment in Eastern Mansion off Meyer Road for below $500,000 in 1998 when the collective sale fever was heating up. That property was not sold during the 1999 surge so Mr Teh held on and rented it out.

    In 2002, before the collective sale craze started up again, he sank about $630,000 in a flat in Faber Hills in the West Coast area.

    In 2004, after clinching the deal for Faber Hills, he put another $800,000, into a unit in Maryland Park in Katong, which he again identified as a property with collective sale potential.

    The estate had 218 units spread over an area of 246,738 sq ft.

    First to go was the 96-unit Faber Hills for $85.5 million in April 2004. Then 11 months later, the 218 owners of Maryland Park received $236.5 million.

    And finally, the 168 units at Eastern Mansion were sold in September 2005 for $153 million.

    Mr Teh declined to reveal the exact amount he received from each sale, and is crossing his fingers that his other two buys will be similar coups.

    He paid about $530,000 for an apartment in Himiko Court in the Mount Sinai area and about $500,000 for a Pearl Bank flat in Outram. He reckons their central location would be a draw for developers.

    Himiko Court is a 177-unit freehold condominium that sits on 195,000 sq ft of land while Pearl Bank, is an ageing 99-year leasehold property touted as having collective sale potential.

    Credo Real Estate managing director Karamjit Singh said about $1.9 billion worth of collective sales have been made in the first six weeks of this year. He reckons that 2007 has a reasonably good chance of surpassing last year's record.

    But even though he has been spot on with his buys, Mr Teh is not ready to give up his pest control business.

    'Being in this line, I'm in touch with the ground and it helps my property investments,' said Mr Teh.

    'Besides, I'm very hands on and don't like to sit around and relax. If I retire, I'd be bored to death.'

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    'Of course, I was very happy when the first collective sale happened. I don't believe in splurging, but I ploughed it back into other properties.'
    - MR TEH

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    Default He got $3m for two properties in 4 years

    Feb 18, 2007

    He got $3m for two properties in 4 years



    THE MONEY from his two previous apartments sold en bloc has allowed Mr Kummar to buy his dream car - a BMW coupe - and given him the luxury of retiring earlier than expected. But he is reluctant to go through a third sale because he gets 'pushed to a more inferior area'. -- SHAHRIYA YAHAYA


    SEMI-RETIRED businessman Patrick Kummar has had to take his family and pack up his belongings, to move house twice in four years.

    Not that he is complaining.

    The 51-year-old has earned close to $3 million after two of his apartments were sold en bloc.

    'For us, it's pure luck, we just happen to like living in old buildings because we can renovate and do them up,' he said.

    He and his wife lived in one of the 12 apartments in Shanghai Court off River Valley Road for about four years, before such collective sales were allowed in 1994.

    Then developers came knocking and the estate was sold was sold for about $15.8 million in 1995. The estate was bought along with the adjacent Shanghai Residence for a total of $24.38 million. The combined site area was 21,480 sq ft.

    Mr Kummar then moved to the nearby Kim Lim Mansion, a freehold property on a 125,508 sq ft plot of land in Grange Road.

    In 1999, he packed up again when the estate was sold for $251 million.

    The money from each sale has given Mr Kummar the luxury of retiring earlier than expected.

    It has allowed him to own his dream car - a BMW coupe. 'That's my big splurge,' he said grinning.

    He now lives in Orchid Apartments in Eng Neo Avenue with his wife and two dogs. The place is also going through a possible collective sale transaction.

    This time, he is less willing to let his ground-floor apartment go.

    'Every time I sell en bloc, I get pushed to a more inferior area of living. With the money I get, I can get the same kind of living, but not in the same area. Standard of living drops,' he said.

    Also, homes sold en bloc can bring out the worst in neighbours.

    Mr Kummar said that at Kim Lim Mansion, things got so ugly that one owner threatened the others who were unwilling to sell by saying: 'If this were Hong Kong, this would be settled by the triads.'

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