Category Archives: Novena/Newton/Bukit Timah

Districts 11&21

En Bloc fever catches on (updated: Normanton Park sold at $830.1M on 5 Nov)

The collective sale fever in Singapore is gathering steam as the news of record enbloc deals and potential sites looms. Among the latest that are joining the fever are:

1. Pine Grove ($1.65B)
Owners of the 660-unit former HUDC estate are aiming to achieve the largest collective sale deal in Singapore. The price tag of $1.65B is much higher than the last record of $1.34B deal made in Farrer Court in 2007.

An extraordinary general meeting will be held on Oct 29 to get at least 80 per cent of owners to back the en-bloc sale. Based on the minimum reserve price, each owner is looking at receiving $2.08 million to $2.64 million per unit.

It will be the estate’s 3rd attempt for a collective sale after a no-bid attempt in 2011 following the owners raising the reserve price from $1.33 billion to $1.7 billion. Its first try was in 2008. The 99-year leasehold project has 66 years left on its tenure

2. Braddell View ($2B)
Braddell View, the largest of Singapore’s 18 HUDC estates and the last to be privatised in March this year, is planning to jump on the en bloc bandwagon.

The 918-unit estate is holding an extraordinary general meeting on Oct 10 to form a collective sales committee to kick-start the process.

The reserve price for the 1.124 million sq ft development is S$2 billion. If successful, this would easily eclipse Pine Grove’s S$1.65 billion en bloc attempt. The 99-year lease Braddell View development has 63years left on its lease.

3. Spring Grove ($1B)
Owners in the 325-unit estate are targeting at least $1 billion sales price. They had asked for $1.39 billion in 2014. A $1 billion price works out to about $1,807 per sq ft (psf), based on a maximum gross floor area of 553,377 sq ft. This is above the $1,285 psf to $1,438 psf that units in the estate have fetched so far this year.

There are quite a lot of sales en bloc going on now, but not that many are in the prime district, so that’s something going for this development.

4. Normanton Park ($0.8B) — updated: sold at $830.1M
It will be second-time lucky in its collective-sale bid at an $800 million reserve price for the hopeful owners at Normanton Park.

The Normanton Park owners are among those capitalising on the collective-sale fever. It failed in its previous bid in 2015. The tender will close today on Oct 5 at 3pm.

Based on the reserve price, each Normanton Park unit owner could get between $1.6 million and $1.8 million. This translates to a land rate of about $898 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), which includes a differential premium for intensification of the site of about $225.3 million, and a top-up premium of $220.6 million for a fresh 99-year lease.

Update: Normanton Park has been sold to Kingsford Huray Development for S$830.1 million — translating to a land price of approximately S$969 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), is the highest land rate for a 99-year leasehold collective sale site this year.

Each home owner will stand to receive about S$1.68 million to S$1.86 million. Kingsford will have to fork out a premium of about S$231.1 million top up the lease to another 99 years, and top up about S$283.4 million to redevelop the site to a gross plot ratio of 2.1.

5. ICB Shopping Centre ($65m)
This is the first en bloc attempt by ICB Shopping Centre, a mixed-use development in Yio Chu Kang Roadwhich is more than 30 years old. It comprises six apartment units (of between 1,324 sq ft and 1,550 sq ft) and 13 retail units. The site about 1 km from Nex shopping mall and Serangoon MRT station, and is also near eateries and other small retail shopping areas.

The development’s residential and commercial owners are looking for a price of S$65 million to S$70 million. Based on its maximum potential gross floor area (GFA), the asking price range translates to a unit price of about S$1,390 per sq ft (psf) to S$1,500 psf.

The development sits on a freehold plot with a land area of 15,548 sq ft. It has a current GFA of 25,123 sq ft, but with a plot ratio of 3.0, it can be built to a maximum permissible GFA of 46,643 sq ft.
Concerns about current enbloc fever
Though the enbloc fever looks to getting even hotter, the concerns among the industry players are about the sustainability of the momentum over the long run. The market can only absorb one or two big sites. Some of the record-aiming enbloc sites have such huge sizes that the interested developers will need to factor in expected costs if they cannot finish selling the completed units.

Selling all the units within five years of buying the land to avoid additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) will pose a challenge. This could affect the price developers are prepared to pay for the site.

Projects such as The Interlace and d’Leedon, which were built on large sites sold during the 2007 en-bloc boom, are still left with unsold units, together with the existing launches which have unsold inventory. New launches will face some fierce competition among the existing unsold units as well as among themselves.

To top it off, the property rental market has yet shown signs of shaking off its lull as well amidst the economic/employment uncertainty. Unless the authorities loose up the policy of workforce, and new jobs emerge from the current lacklustre market, it remains to be seen if new launches can provide good returns to prospective buyers.

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Landed house market on upward trend amidst dropping prices

538 landed homes were sold in the second quarter – this is the highest quarterly volume since the fourth quarter of 2012. Overall, the number of landed homes sold has increased, driven by falling prices and limited supply of landed homes. URA flash estimates released recently indicated that prices of landed residential properties fell further by 0.4 % for Q2, down from a 1.8 % drop in the previous quarter.

The market for good class bungalows (GCBs) is lukewarm although the market for smaller bungalows in GCB areas is on a rise. Good class bungalows (GCBs) are the most prestigious segment of landed property in Singapore.

On the GCB front, a caveat was lodged on June 12 for the most expensive one sold this year. The latest GCB sold was a $46 million bungalow in Queen Astrid Park on a 29,709 sq ft site, reportedly purchased by the family who controls oil trading group Hin Leong.

20 sales have taken place in GCB areas so far this year, worth a total of $432.2 million. These include properties with a plot size of less than 1,400 sq m. This is markedly more than the 14 transactions in the same period last year, which totalled $298.36 million.

Another upmarket landed segment, Sentosa Cove, has contrasting statistics. Sales at the exclusive waterfront precinct shot to seven this year from just four for the same period last year.

Luxury property sector on the way up?

The luxury property market has pickup momentum after years of lull activity. Recent deals that transacted include a GCB sale of 31,211 sqft in Leedon Park. The buyer is understood to be the executive chairman of Raffles Medical Group Loo Choon Yong. The price is at $1310 psf based on land. There is also a Sentosa Cove bungalow selling for $16.6m based on a land area of 9725sqft. The sale will be a loss based on the price the seller bought in 2012 at $24m.

A penthouse in the prestigious area of Nassim area was sold for more than $25m. The condo unit at The Nassim has a strata area of 9300 sqft, including a pool deck and rooftop pool. The Mukhtar family from Allied Bank in Pakistan bought the place from the developer of the project, Nassim Hill Realty.

For condo and private apartment sold at $10m and above, the number is at a total of 19 units, valued more than $262m.

JLL: investment sales set for bull run in 2017

According to consultancy JLL in a new report, property investment sales are set for a bull run after a spectacular start to the year. The positive outlook is being driven by the office, and possibly the retail and residential sectors.

The overall value of real estate investment deals soared 67 % in the first quarter to $4.99 B – of which $4.47 B was from the private sector.

Private investment sales of office property accounted for $2.12 B – the sector’s strongest first-quarter showing for the past 9 years. The $2.12 B figure was a 60.6 % rise from the fourth quarter, and more than treble that of a year ago. Last year’s private-sector investment sales stood at $19.06 B.

The top two office deals in the first quarter were entity sales. One was the sale of the entire interest in the holding company of PwC Building in Cross Street to an indirect unit of Manulife Financial Corporation for $760.6 M. The other was the divestment of the entire interest in Plaza Ventures – the owner and developer of GSH Plaza in Cecil Street – to Hong Kong-listed Fullshare Holdings for $725.21 M.

JLL noted the potential for the full-year sales of private office assets to surpass the $6.49 B recorded last year, considering the recent deal for One George Street and sizeable assets available in the market, including Asia Square Tower 2 in Marina Bay.

The residential segment, registered $1.69 B in private investment sales for properties valued at $5 M and above in the first quarter.
For retail and industrial sectors, private investment sales more than doubled that from the previous year in the first quarter: $280 M for retail and $390 M for industrial.

JLL predicts a bright investment sale outlook for the year, driven by the recent sale of the $2.2 B Jurong Point mall and upbeat sentiment in the private residential market. A growing appetite for collective sale sites by developers facing depleting land banks and limited supply of sites from the Government could also lend support to investment sales.

Enbloc @ Rio Casa and near Beauty World worth $676M

Two deals with a combined value of $676.5 million were announced in May in yet another sign of the continued resurgence in the collective sale market. One involved the sale of Rio Casa, a privatised HUDC estate in Hougang, while mixed-use development Goh & Goh Building, near Beauty World MRT station, was also snapped up. These follow the sale of One Tree Hill Gardens for $65 million to Lum Chang Group this month. The number of deals has now matched the three done in all of last year: Shunfu Ville, Raintree Gardens and Harbour View Gardens.

A.Rio Casa

Rio Casa in Hougang Avenue 7 was sold for $575 million to the joint venture firm Oxley-Lian Beng Venture comprising KSH Development, Oxley Holdings, Lian Beng Group and Apricot Capital. A further $208 million in estimated differential premiums is required for topping up the lease and to develop the site to a gross plot ratio of 2.8. The combined sale price and differential payment translates to a land price of about $706 per sq ft per plot ratio based on the maximum permissible gross floor area of about 1.1 million sq ft. Rio Casa comprises seven blocks of 286 apartment and maisonette units. Each owner stands to pocket about $2 million from the deal.

The gross development value for this project is estimated at $1.4 billion and can potentially be redeveloped to build about 1,400 residential units, assuming an average size of 70 sq m per unit.

B. Goh & Goh Building

Alika Properties of BBR Holdings bought the Goh & Goh Building for $101.5 million. Built in the late 1980s, the freehold property at 110 to 122 Upper Bukit Timah Road comprises seven apartments and seven shops. Each shop owner will reap about $9 million while apartment owners will get $5.4 million each. Subject to Alika’s payment of a development charge, the site can potentially yield about 100 residential units and a level of retail shops on the ground floor.

Sime Darby Centre@Bt Timah sold to Tuan Sing

Developer Tuan Sing Holdings bought Sime Darby Centre in Bukit Timah for $365 million. The property at 896 Dunearn Road sits on a commercial site of 140,886 sq ft (part freehold /part 999-year leasehold) with an allowable gross plot ratio of 1.8 and a maximum permissible gross floor area of 253,595 sq ft. It is 96 % occupied over a net lettable area of around 202,712 sq ft. The tenants include kitchenware retailer ToTT, Scanteak, Cold Storage and ChildFirst pre-school.

New York-based private equity giant Blackstone Group had bought 70 % stake in Sime Darby Centre for just under $200 million last year from Malaysian palm oil producer Sime Darby Berhad, according to media reports.

This means Tuan Sing’s purchase resulted a 25% gain for Blackstone on its investment. There is a significant potential for commercial activities that can serve the needs of the vast residential community in the vicinity, thus the asset can generate long-term revenue and profit.

Bullish bidding for Upp Bt Timah site

An overwhelming 24 bids were submitted for the tender of a residential plot in Toh Tuck Road. This was the second highest number of bids submitted in a residential government land sales (GLS) tender since 2009, when the tender for a parcel in Westwood Avenue attracted 32 bids.

More recently, in November 2012, a tender for an Upper Bukit Timah plot also came close, garnering 23 bids; it was won by World Class Developments, a unit of Aspial Corporation, which developed it into the 60-year leasehold “retirement resort”, The Hillford.

In the latest tender results, Malaysian property developer SP Setia International put in the highest bid at S$265 million, which translates to about S$939 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). The results completely exceeded property consultants’ earlier expectations of up to 16 bidders, with the highest bid at no more than S$750 psf ppr.

The subject site is located along Upper Bukit Timah, nestled within an established residential estate of both public and low-rise private housing surrounded by amenities including local and international schools, tertiary institutions, shopping centres and transport nodes.