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Thread: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

  1. #1
    DrMinority
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    Default Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    New Paper
    26 June 2007
    Dairy Farm condo resident is battling enbloc sale of ‘unique’ estate

    ‘$1m profit? I still won’t sell home’

    She will make close to $1 million if she sells her condominium apartment.

    But an expatriate decided to reject the collective sale offer because she likes where she is living.

    She even started a ‘Say No to En Bloc’ petition to get residents to speak up against the sale.

    Unknown to her, another group of residents has also organised a petition against the sale.

    And surprisingly, they are tenants who have no investment interest in their homes.

    Some of these residents at the Dairy Farm Estate do not want to leave because they are in love with its lush, tranquil setting and the peaceful neighbourhood.

    The 478-unit, 24-year-old freehold condo near Upper Bukit Timah Road is close to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

    British expatriate Andrea Woolhead couldn’t believe it last month when she was offered a million more than she had paid for her flat.

    The offer is about $1.8 million for her 2,200 sq ft unit if the sale goes through.

    Ms Woolhead, a teacher in an international school here, paid about $840,000 for it in 2005.

    It is not often that someone passes up a chance to be an instant millionaire.

    The 49-year-old could have returned to the UK and retired on her million-dollar windfall.

    But she turned the offerdown.

    HARMONIOUS LIVING

    She said: ‘I know I could be an instant millionaire, but in so many countries I’ve been to, this estate is probably one of the most unique, with such a wide variety of nationalities living in harmony close to each other.’

    ‘I could have taken the money, left the country and make good with the profit. But I didn’t because I like this estate.’

    She may be making a wise choice.

    Some homeowners who took the enbloc route are now finding it hard to get a replacement home because prices have soared beyond their reach.

    Ms Woolhead’s anti-en-bloc-sale petition has garnered 91 signatures and needs at least 10 more to make up more than 20 per cent of the residents, she said.

    On the other side is homeowner C S Lim, who is on the sales committee tasked with convincing residents to sign for the sale.

    The committee has about 10 per cent of ‘yes’ votes from residents.

    Under the legislation, an en bloc sale can proceed only if 80 per cent of the owners approve of it.

    Ms Woolhead, who lives in the condo with her three children and her husband, a junior college teacher, said: ‘We started the petition because there are residents who are not doing anything even though they don’t want the collective sale to happen.

    ‘A group of us decided to start the ball rolling and it just snowballed from there.’

    Residents can also sign the petition online.

    The other petition to save the condo is being led by US expatriate Jean Rueckert, who said they have about 10 signatures so far.

    The 39-year-old teacher said: ‘We were not aware of the other petition.

    ‘We just wanted residents here to share their perspective that this is a unique property that should be preserved as a heritage site because of the beautiful physical surroundings.’

    Ms Rueckert, who came to Singapore eight years ago, has lived in the condo for six years.

    Her group, like the other residents opposing the sale, wants to save the estate because of its greenery, spacious surroundings and location next to the nature reserve.

    MORE VOCAL MINORITY

    The anti-en-bloc-sale community has become more vocal and active of late, said Mr Nicholas Mak, Knight Frank’s head of consultancy and research.

    For example, in Ulu Pandan, a group that calls itself Save The Pine Grove is still trying to stop the enbloc process for that estate even though a first attempt at an enbloc sale fell through earlier this year.

    Mr Mak added: ‘There have been many recent reports about people who are unhappy with enbloc sales for various reasons.

    ‘The tyranny of the majority to sell may have led more people to voice their unhappiness,’ he said.

    But for Dairy Farm Estate, it’s still too early to rule out the possibility of a collective sale.

    When there was talk about Farrer Court going en bloc in March, the dissenters there were out in full force.

    But there’s a saying that there’s no property that can’t be sold - it’s just a matter of price.

    The estate was subsequently put up for sale with a record-breaking reserve price tag of $1.5billion. More than 80 per cent of owners signed the collective sale agreement last month.

    Ms Woolhead concedes that it’s a long road ahead for Dairy Farm.

    She said: ‘It’s still a big question mark if we can stop the sale. Of the 91 who signed, some will not sell at any cost, (but) there are those who are just sitting on the fence.

    ‘I’m sure that when there’s a meeting of minds between the developer and residents’ asking price, more people will sign (for the sale) due to the dollar sign.’

    Mr Lim, who spearheaded the sale action, said that there was no better time to sell the estate than now, when the enbloc fever ishot.

    He said: ‘The economics of it looks better in today’s market. We could encash the property and unlock the value with the enbloc sale.

    ‘But ultimately, it’s up to the residents. If there’s poor response, then so be it. It’s the wish of the residents here.’

  2. #2
    DrMinority
    Guest

    Default Re: Dary Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    The Anti enbloc group has a blog too:
    http://dairyfarmestate.googlepages.com/dfeenbloc

  3. #3
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    It may be too late for en-bloc here now unless the sellers get their act together very very fast. Top govt. people are saying "big shock" and "something's coming". It's not a "shock", it's "BIG". So when it hits, there is no way developers will pay much for this estate. So to the owners here, if you want your millions, you better get them now, and all must support and not subject to some Strata Board approval etc because when the shock comes, the developer buying your estate may have gone under. So make them pay immediately - settle the nebloc within 2 or 3 months with 100% approval, get the money and enjoy. Let the greedy developer suffers by itself when the shockwave comes.

  4. #4
    Government
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    It may be too late for en-bloc here now unless the sellers get their act together very very fast. Top govt. people are saying "big shock" and "something's coming". It's not a "shock", it's "BIG". So when it hits, there is no way developers will pay much for this estate. So to the owners here, if you want your millions, you better get them now, and all must support and not subject to some Strata Board approval etc because when the shock comes, the developer buying your estate may have gone under. So make them pay immediately - settle the nebloc within 2 or 3 months with 100% approval, get the money and enjoy. Let the greedy developer suffers by itself when the shockwave comes.

    We never say a "big shock" or "something's coming".
    We would appreciate if you could get your facts right.
    Please refrain from using the words "the government says" immediately.

  5. #5
    Beng
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Government
    We never say a "big shock" or "something's coming".
    We would appreciate if you could get your facts right.
    Please refrain from using the words "the government says" immediately.

    Wah liao!
    So you anyhow smoke ah?
    The government never say leh.

  6. #6
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Government
    We never say a "big shock" or "something's coming".
    We would appreciate if you could get your facts right.
    Please refrain from using the words "the government says" immediately.
    The person didn't say government says la, he or she says "top govt people". But I agree la, don't bring in the government or government people into this forum la. We are either agents, residents, developers or would-be homeowners. Just sharing "our" humble opinion.

  7. #7
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Government
    We never say a "big shock" or "something's coming".
    We would appreciate if you could get your facts right.
    Please refrain from using the words "the government says" immediately.
    Let's put things in perspective. It was actually a very top government person quoting a survey. TODAY puts it this way: "Risk analysts, in a survey conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, warned of a possible "big shock" in the property and stock markets — perhaps before the end of next year." So that guy is correct to say that "some top government people are saying ... " That guy didn't say the government is saying there will be a "big shock".

    TODAY also says: "The 10th anniversary of the crisis has prompted cautionary notes from some political and business leaders, including Second Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who last week said: "Something's coming." - So that guy is correct also.

    But if you put things in perspective, it means there are top government people who are using the terms "big shock" and "something's coming", but it is not official government's warning or prediction. It could be something beyond the government's control, so better to have some top government people giving out some subtle hints here and there. Mind you, these are not ordinary government people using and saying the terms. Read their portfolio and their past and current appointments. Both got "finance" written allover their portfolio. They know more than we do or say these for what. But still, it's not official government's warning or prediction. So let's put them in perspective.

  8. #8
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Beng
    Wah liao!
    So you anyhow smoke ah?
    The government never say leh.
    Been burnt badly before. I meant well. But it's up to you. If it's worth it, go for it. If it's not, and you are worried, then don't.

  9. #9
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Let's put things in perspective. It was actually a very top government person quoting a survey. TODAY puts it this way: "Risk analysts, in a survey conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, warned of a possible "big shock" in the property and stock markets — perhaps before the end of next year." So that guy is correct to say that "some top government people are saying ... " That guy didn't say the government is saying there will be a "big shock".

    TODAY also says: "The 10th anniversary of the crisis has prompted cautionary notes from some political and business leaders, including Second Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who last week said: "Something's coming." - So that guy is correct also.

    But if you put things in perspective, it means there are top government people who are using the terms "big shock" and "something's coming", but it is not official government's warning or prediction. It could be something beyond the government's control, so better to have some top government people giving out some subtle hints here and there. Mind you, these are not ordinary government people using and saying the terms. Read their portfolio and their past and current appointments. Both got "finance" written allover their portfolio. They know more than we do or say these for what. But still, it's not official government's warning or prediction. So let's put them in perspective.
    Thank you for clarifying. Pei seh and sorry if I wasn't clear.

  10. #10
    Beng
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Been burnt badly before. I meant well. But it's up to you. If it's worth it, go for it. If it's not, and you are worried, then don't.

    Go for what? A higher enbloc price?

  11. #11
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    I am very sure this condo will not enbloc - too many residents and too many refusing to move. The value will drop as it ages but will recover after 7 years when MRT is ready. But that will also be the time when the property cycle ends its 7 years bull run and head into the 7 years bear.

  12. #12
    Vulture
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    I am very sure this condo will not enbloc - too many residents and too many refusing to move. The value will drop as it ages but will recover after 7 years when MRT is ready. But that will also be the time when the property cycle ends its 7 years bull run and head into the 7 years bear.

    Don't go for enbloc lah. It's too painful.
    Why not just sell your unit to me?
    You get the money instantly.

  13. #13
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulture
    Don't go for enbloc lah. It's too painful.
    Why not just sell your unit to me?
    You get the money instantly.
    How much you got?

  14. #14
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    I am very sure this condo will not enbloc - too many residents and too many refusing to move. The value will drop as it ages but will recover after 7 years when MRT is ready. But that will also be the time when the property cycle ends its 7 years bull run and head into the 7 years bear.
    You are right. Are you an insider? There is rumour that this condo will never ever get the 80% to sell at any price. There are more than enough residents here who are not willing to move at any price. All the people working on en-bloc of this estate or hoping for one are wasting their time and effort.

  15. #15
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    You are right. Are you an insider? There is rumour that this condo will never ever get the 80% to sell at any price. There are more than enough residents here who are not willing to move at any price. All the people working on en-bloc of this estate or hoping for one are wasting their time and effort.
    Yes, as of now, I can confirm no en-bloc for this condo. Don't think it will ever be en-bloc-ed. It is possible that it my be taken over to build the MRT Downtown Line's "Nature Reserve Station" on this plot with world-class nature reserve facilities. So instead of en-bloc, residents will be paid market rates, so it will be much much less than en-bloc if this happens. Can anyone confirm this? Is it going to happen in late 2007 or early 2008, just before the MRT construction?

  16. #16
    DrMinority
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Re building of MRT station on DFE land - this will be the first time I've heard of the government intentionally buying up private residential land with existing owners to build an MRT station.

    Plus the only reference to this "Nature Reserve Station" is pure conjecture by a poster on this forum site. Unless the poster can substantiate the evidence that DFE will be demolished for the sake of an MRT station, I'd suggest readers take the previous post with a major pinch of salt.

  17. #17
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Dairy Farm Condo Resident is Battling Enbloc Sale of 'Unique' Estate

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Yes, as of now, I can confirm no en-bloc for this condo. Don't think it will ever be en-bloc-ed. It is possible that it my be taken over to build the MRT Downtown Line's "Nature Reserve Station" on this plot with world-class nature reserve facilities. So instead of en-bloc, residents will be paid market rates, so it will be much much less than en-bloc if this happens. Can anyone confirm this? Is it going to happen in late 2007 or early 2008, just before the MRT construction?
    Just coffeshop talk lar. I think the MRT station could be built just infront of the north entrance, near to the tennis courts. Got schools nearby and railmall not too far off. DFE is intact lar. But whether it will enbloc or not depends on many factors. Too early to say lar. And I am an insider. My 2-cents is that DFE may invite an expression of interests from developers and the residents will then go for a vote. It may be a firesale. 100%.

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