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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 11-05-19, 12:35
    thomastansb
  • 06-05-19, 14:55
    reporter2
    Singapore Dream ends in rude awakening for home buyers

    Wed, May 01, 2019


    FOR Ashok, a delivery man in his 40s, the Singapore dream - work hard to own a private property - came true in 2011.

    But it ended in a rude awakening when the developer went bust before completing the project.

    Ashok and his family sold their public housing flat in Woodlands and put the down payment for two units at Sycamore Tree, a freehold residential property located in East Coast.

    "One was for my family, the other was an investment property for my mother,'' he told The Business Times.

    But that dream came crashing down when he received a notice that the developer of the 96-residential units and 17 shops in Joo Chiat has gone belly up. The project was supposed to obtain its temporary occupation permit by Dec 29, 2016, but remains under construction.

    "I am still at a loss. We have been incurring rent for the last seven years since we sold the HDB flat to buy the project. On top of that, we have been making prompt payments for the house and interest for the bank loans," said a distressed Ashok. To make matters worse, his mother has been unwell and has not been working, leaving him to bear the brunt of the rents and bank interest payments, which come up to a hefty sum of several thousands of dollars a month. He said he has to pull in more than 17 hours a day doing dual delivery jobs just to make ends meet.

    "How long more can I take this before I crash too?'' he asked.

    Like Ashok, some other buyers of the project are also HDB upgraders with dreams of owning a freehold property.

    An elderly couple invested most of their life savings in a condo unit in the same project measuring nearly 350 sq ft and priced at almost S$500,000 in May 2012. The couple, who reportedly operate a drinks stall at Old Airport Road Food Centre, had planned to rent the unit out after it was built.

    "My parents are very anxious. This is their investment. It was going to be their source of income," their daughter told the media.

    Last June, the developer, Astoria Development, managed to get United Overseas Bank (UOB) to agree to further the TOP issuance date from March 31, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018 in an amended and restated facility agreement originally dated Dec 29, 2009.

    UOB also agreed to further extend the repayment date from June 30, 2018 or the date of completion of the redemption of property, whichever is earlier, to Dec 31, 2018. But these were subject to the bank's receipt of the extension fee and satisfactory completion of all required documentation.

    In Sept 25, 2018, the High Court ordered Astoria to be placed under judicial management, but progress proposal was hindered by the lack of access to information and financial documents by parties involved.

    As of June 30, 2014, Astoria's accounts showed a loss of S$446,000, compared to a net profit of S$5.5 million in FY2013. Total liabilities stood at S$38.5 million and net assets at S$5.3 million. Cash and cash equivalents, comprising bank balances, stood at S$4.6 million versus S$1.3 million a year earlier.

    Over at Laurel Tree, buyers of the 70-unit condo in Hillview Terrace are also facing an uncertain future over their property purchase which was supposed to be due for TOP by end December 2016 as well. The construction too is incomplete.

    Laurel Tree's developer is Lerida. Its main contractor of the project, Bravo Building Construction, faced a winding-up application by a creditor in October 2018. Lerida repeatedly defaulted on the payments of instalments due to The Bank of East Asia. On May 12, 2017, the bank terminated the settlement agreement and demanded that Lerida surrender the mortgaged property within seven days, but to no avail. The court eventually ruled in favour of the bank following Lerida's breach of terms.

    While both Astoria and Lerida are managed and operated by Jenny Pang, the companies are solely owned by Tan Hock Keng.
  • 06-04-19, 10:16
    thomastansb
    Any idea what is happening to this condo in a beautiful piece of land? No workers can be seen again when I am driving by.
  • 05-04-19, 20:39
    Ninja3245
    Owner of Sycamore Tree please PM me asap. I have insider information.
  • 17-10-18, 19:50
    tonymontana
    last 2 units unsold, from URA data. same as when i checked last year.
  • 17-10-18, 16:08
    Arcachon
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelonguni View Post
    No need ah. Still haven't sold out.

    If got money can buy anytime.
    Stop due to Court order.
  • 17-10-18, 15:58
    Kelonguni
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcachon View Post
    If I got money I will go wait for owner to sub-sale once the Court order is out.
    No need ah. Still haven't sold out.

    If got money can buy anytime.
  • 17-10-18, 15:38
    Arcachon
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelonguni View Post
    My thinking is they need a couple of years to resolve the dispute and to hand over the project if necessary.

    To carry on a partially built project is also fraught with difficulties and the progress should be slower than one built from scratch with the same architects / builders. Another 3 years to complete is not too much to ask, unless the owners are willing to accept that some of the original furnishings can be skipped.

    Tough situation to be in.
    If I got money I will go wait for owner to sub-sale once the Court order is out.
  • 17-10-18, 15:18
    Kelonguni
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcachon View Post
    why 5
    My thinking is they need a couple of years to resolve the dispute and to hand over the project if necessary.

    To carry on a partially built project is also fraught with difficulties and the progress should be slower than one built from scratch with the same architects / builders. Another 3 years to complete is not too much to ask, unless the owners are willing to accept that some of the original furnishings can be skipped.

    Tough situation to be in.
  • 17-10-18, 12:14
    Arcachon
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelonguni View Post
    Earliest 5 years more. Hope they have disbursed very minimal or no loan yet?
    why 5
  • 17-10-18, 11:29
    Kelonguni
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcachon View Post
    Now buying property need to see long-term, 7 years is short anyway once TOP can sell.

    A lot of people will be queuing to buy soon.
    Earliest 5 years more. Hope they have disbursed very minimal or no loan yet?
  • 17-10-18, 11:23
    Arcachon
    Quote Originally Posted by thomastansb View Post
    Sell what? lol. After 7 years, still no keys. Haha.
    Now buying property need to see long-term, 7 years is short anyway once TOP can sell.

    A lot of people will be queuing to buy soon.
  • 17-10-18, 11:19
    thomastansb
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcachon View Post
    No Worry, it is Freehold. It is not how much you pay, it is how much you sell.

    Sell what? lol. After 7 years, still no keys. Haha.
  • 16-10-18, 00:01
    Arcachon
    Quote Originally Posted by thomastansb View Post
    That is the problem of buying from these small developers. I don't know why people still go for such projects. Now gonna burn liao. For me, I will never buy from these "unknown" developers. Rather pay a bit more than to lose everything. They already lost 3-4 years of rental. 2016 is the legal completion but for such project, usually 2 years (2014) can complete. How much already if you factor that in.
    No Worry, it is Freehold. It is not how much you pay, it is how much you sell.
  • 15-10-18, 23:57
    thomastansb
    That is the problem of buying from these small developers. I don't know why people still go for such projects. Now gonna burn liao. For me, I will never buy from these "unknown" developers. Rather pay a bit more than to lose everything. They already lost 3-4 years of rental. 2016 is the legal completion but for such project, usually 2 years (2014) can complete. How much already if you factor that in.
  • 15-10-18, 21:02
    Arcachon
    Quote Originally Posted by PropVestor View Post
    These cases are far and few between. However if you buy into small developments, it is always better to look for more established ones. That thinking sort of put my brakes on for Singapore-Johore Express at Kallang Riverside. I hope there is a resolution to this soon. Bad stain on the PP market.
    Big one also have, Graandlink Square is one of them.
  • 15-10-18, 20:58
    Arcachon
    In May 2012, Ms Emmeline Ho's parents bought a studio apartment at the Sycamore Tree condominium in Joo Chiat, due to be completed by end-2016, on her recommendation.

    Her parents, who are in their 60s and run a drinks stall at Old Airport Road Food Centre, invested most of their life savings into the unit.

    It is almost 350 sq ft and cost nearly $500,000. Since then, Ms Ho, 34, who does administrative work in a finance company, has regretted her advice to them.

    The project, which was supposed to obtain its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) by Dec 31, 2016, has been delayed.

    "I had thought that since (the developer) is a Singapore-registered company, it should be one that I can trust," said Ms Ho.

    "Almost every fortnight, we will go down to check on the construction. My parents are very anxious. This is their investment. It was going to be their source of income." Her parents had been hoping to rent out the unit.

    Ms Ho's parents are among a small group who bought units in new projects that faced delays in completion.

    Such cases are very uncommon, property lawyers tell The Straits Times, as developers typically have to complete by a certain deadline to avoid getting into trouble with their lenders.

    They say developers also want to avoid compensating home buyers liquidated damages - which are calculated daily - for delays.

    Ms Ho said she heard little from Astoria Development over the cause of delay for Sycamore Tree, which has 96 residential units and 17 shop units, until June this year, when she received a letter.

    In the letter seen by ST, Astoria wrote that the delay was due to changes in its construction methods and a dispute between the project's contractors over the installation of a mechanised carpark system.

    On a visit last month, the project looked partially completed, with scaffolding and blue tarpaulin draped over much of the building.

    Buyers at the 70-unit Laurel Tree condominium project in Hillview Terrace also face an uncertain future. Laurel Tree was also due to obtain its TOP by December 2016, but construction has yet to be completed.

    Buyers said the project's developer, Lerida, has not given any explanations for the delay.

    Checks by ST showed that the project's main contractor, Bravo Building Construction, is facing a winding-up application by a creditor at the High Court this month.

    This means it could be dissolved, and the developer might have to look for another main contractor to take over.

    Hard to get updates from developers, say buyers

    Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority checks found that Astoria, Lerida and Bravo have the same company secretary and major shareholder.

    Close to 40 Laurel Tree buyers have banded together to share information in a WhatsApp group.

    Some buyers said Lerida had agreed to give monthly progress reports after a meeting in May, but has not done so since August.

    A 40-year-old home buyer who works in sales said he has to continue renting a room for $500 a month while waiting for his 463 sq ft unit - his first property - to be completed.

    He bought it in 2013 for about $600,000, and has since paid off about 60 per cent of the loan.

    "I feel very frustrated and helpless," said the man who declined to be named.

    The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said the Controller of Housing - which administers regulations related to developers, among other property issues - has received feedback from several buyers on the Sycamore Tree and Laurel Tree projects.

    A URA spokesman said it has asked the developers to update the buyers on the progress.

    Laurel Tree home buyers said selling their units is not an option, as prospective buyers would want to inspect completed units. They might also incur losses if they sell now.

    Real estate lawyer Subra M. Suppiah said that while the authorities might look into the issue, it is ultimately between the buyers and developers, adding that buyers are the agreeing party in the contract after all.

    "If the delay continues indefinitely, affected buyers might have to turn to the court to seek legal redress," he said.

    Ms Ho said she has tried to get answers from Astoria and its law firm for over two years.

    But one party would refer her to the other or to the letters they sent out, Ms Ho claimed. "I felt like a ball being bounced between the parties," she added.

    Astoria's latest letter to Ms Ho on Sept 21 said the TOP would be obtained by end-December.

    The management of Astoria, Lerida and Bravo have not responded to queries despite multiple attempts to reach them over three weeks.


    These things because of the contracts and nature of the business have little hope. All developers for every single project register a new company and this will be the liable party and if it goes into liquidation, the developers assets and main company is protected and not the buyers.

    The only things going for the buyers is that the developer has sunk cost from land leased or bought and need a return so eventually it will come thru. The other is the progress payments would have stopped.

    https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/e...5919370-4.html
  • 15-10-18, 14:42
    PropVestor
    These cases are far and few between. However if you buy into small developments, it is always better to look for more established ones. That thinking sort of put my brakes on for Singapore-Johore Express at Kallang Riverside. I hope there is a resolution to this soon. Bad stain on the PP market.
  • 15-10-18, 13:50
    Arcachon
  • 15-10-18, 13:43
    Arcachon
    List of Employers Convicted under the Central Provident Fund Act (12 September 2016 - 16 September 2018)

    https://www.mom.gov.sg/~/media/mom/d...-act.pdf?la=en
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