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

  1. #61
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    Default IRAS to auction off two plots of land at Sixth Ave

    Published September 7, 2006

    IRAS to auction off two plots of land at Sixth Ave
    They are expected to fetch a combined price of $2.8-3m


    THE taxman is understood to have put two adjoining plots of land adding up to 7,565 sq ft at Sixth Avenue up for auction.

    The freehold plots - next to the Avenue Park condominium being developed by Keppel Land and Singapore Land - are expected to fetch a combined price of about $2.8 million to $3 million, market watchers say. This represents $370 to $396 per square foot (psf) of land area. Both plots are registered under the same owner, who is understood to have defaulted on property tax payments. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) takes possession of property and puts it up for sale as a last resort to recover property tax.

    The Sixth Avenue site is vacant and can be redeveloped into a pair of semi-detached houses, a bungalow or possibly three terrace homes.

    The property will be auctioned by Colliers International at 2.30 pm on Sept 27 at the Amara Hotel.

    Last year, BT reported that two properties were put under the hammer by the taxman.

    One was a 56,355 sq ft freehold site at Yio Chu Kang, sold to Novelty Group for $12.6 million or $224 psf at an auction in May 2005. The other, sold at the same auction, was a 999-year leasehold three bedroom apartment at 81A Lorong K Telok Kurau, which fetched $800,000.

    Market watchers do not expect KepLand and SingLand to buy the Sixth Avenue sites with a view to amalgamating them with their existing Avenue Park plot, since the latter has a regular shape.

    The duo are planning to redevelop their 172,821 sq ft freehold site into a 193-unit condo that is expected to be launched in the first half of next year.

  2. #62
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    Default Somerset site up for en-bloc sale

    Published September 5, 2006

    Somerset site up for en-bloc sale

    A 13,404 sq ft freehold residential site in the prime Somerset area is up for collective sale.

    Owners of the residential site - the 10-unit Mayer Mansion at Devonshire Road - are asking for $38.5 million for the property, inclusive of a development charge of $507,000. The site has a 2.8 plot ratio, which brings the asking price to $1,026 per square feet per plot ratio (psf ppr).

    The site has a building height limit of 36 storeys. Richard Quek, managing director of PMC, the property consultancy handling the sale, says that as many as 30 units of 1,250 sq ft each can be built on the site.

    'Sites in the prime Orchard Road area launched over the past 18 months generally have been big-ticket items, requiring massive development capital,' says Mr Quek. 'Smaller developers looking to develop upmarket luxury projects in the area, therefore, have been shut out of this market segment. In this regard, the Mayer Mansion site, with a plot size of 13,404 sq ft, affords a rare opportunity for smaller developers wishing to develop an upmarket exclusive project.'

    But market watchers told BT that the asking price is relatively high. If a developer pays $1,026 psf ppr for the site, the breakeven cost is estimated to be around $1,500 psf ppr.

    The site - about two minutes' walk to the Somerset MRT station - is in an area that is expected to see increased activity once shopping malls at the former Glutton Square and Somerset MRT sites are complete in about three years. Nearby residences are selling well. The Metz, a luxury 169-unit condo by MCL Land launched in November 2004 at about $1,238 psf, is fully sold, while the 157-unit Ritz Residences has sold about 80 per cent of the 117 units released so far in a soft launch - at an average of at least $1,400 psf.

    If the asking price is met, the 10 owners of Mayer Mansion stand to make around $3.8 million each.

  3. #63

    Default Re: General 'en-bloc' News; Bids & Tenders

    Published September 12, 2006

    Hearing on Eng Lok Mansion sale adjourned
    Strata Titles Board hears 80-year-old widow Chow's views about sale


    MORE than 60 unit owners in Eng Lok Mansion have to wait for at least another week to see if the sale of their property will go through.

    Eng Lok Mansion: Madam Chow and her son are the only two parties to hold out in the en-bloc sale to developer Napier Properties

    Yesterday, the Strata Titles Board heard the views of 80-year-old widow Chow Ai Hwa, who is contesting her 62 neighbours to stop the collective sale of her estate Eng Lok Mansion, a prime residential site next to Gleneagles Hospital in Napier Road.

    After hearing evidence from both sides, the Board's tribunal decided to adjourn. Both Eng Lok and Madam Chow now have until Sept 18 to file their submissions, after which another date will be set for the verdict.

    Madam Chow and her son are the only two parties to hold out in the en-bloc sale to developer Napier Properties. Last month, Madam Chow turned to the Strata Titles Board to block the sale.

    She argued that Napier Properties' $138 million offer, which would net each unit owner $2.2 million, was insufficient.

    In addition, she said that owners of bigger units - such as herself and her son - should be entitled to a larger payout than owners of smaller units.

    At yesterday's hearing, lawyer David De Souza and his partner Jeanette Lee, who act for Eng Lok, called property consultancy Chesterton, which did the valuation on Eng Lok, to give evidence.

    Chesterton said that the division of the proceeds was based on share value, rather than unit size.

    This is because it is not clear if there is a difference in the market price between the larger units and the smaller units, explained Chesterton at the hearing.

    As for Madam Chow, she took the stand to express her views. She also cross-examined Eng Lok's witnesses.

  4. #64
    3rd world city!

    Default Singapore housing boom brings out ghosts, feuds


    FEATURE-Singapore housing boom brings out ghosts, feuds
    Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:06 AM ET

    By Sebastian Tong

    SINGAPORE, Sept 20 (Reuters) - As neighbourhood spats go, Chow Ai Hwa's legal battle to ensure that her husband's ghost has access to his former home in Singapore is unusual.

    With a rebound in the long-depressed real estate market and a lifting of height restrictions for residential blocks, developers are buying up low-rise buildings in prime locations, such as the one where Chow lives, in order to tear them down and replace them with denser, more profitable housing.

    But Chow prefers to keep her apartment. She believes the spirit of her dead husband would become a "homeless, wandering soul" if their home of 37 years was demolished. The 80-year-old widow is suing 62 neighbours who accepted a developer's offer, in a bid to stop the sale of the building.

    "I like where I live and I don't want to change my surroundings," Chow told Reuters, adding that the developer offered about S$2 million ($1.28 million) for her apartment.

    As developers such as Bukit Sembawang Estates <BSES.SI> and Wing Tai Holdings <WTHS.SI> tear down blocks that are just a few decades old, some critics argue that a relatively young nation such as Singapore, which became independent in 1965, should start to cherish its modern landmarks and recent heritage.


    Architectural pedigree is no protection against the wrecker's ball as Moshe Safdie -- the famous architect whose design was picked for Singapore's first casino -- discovered.

    A landmark apartment block that he built in Singapore, barely 25 years ago, is set to be demolished and replaced by a project twice its present 17-storey height. For a recent story on Safdie, please click on: [ID:nSIN42563]

    The size and frequency of such deals, concentrated in prime districts around Singapore's city centre, have increased since last year when a recovery in the property market gained momentum.

    Housing prices are set to rise for the third straight year, and some new luxury projects are selling at levels -- in terms of price per square foot -- last seen in 1996, before the Asian financial crisis.

    Collective, or "en bloc", property sales rose to S$5.6 billion ($3.56 billion) in the first six months this year, or more than double the amount in the whole of 2005.

    But these collective sales often lead to bitter fights between neighbours, some of whom prefer to keep their homes rather than sell out to the developers. Officials have been brought in to mediate in 34 such deals this year, up from 14 cases in 2005.


    "These sales bring out the greed in certain people," said Lui Seng Fatt, head of investments at property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle Asia Pacific.

    This was to be expected, he said, because owners stand to get 30 to 80 percent more in a collective sale than they would from an individual sale on the open narket. By selling "en bloc" they become millionaires overnight.

    Those who don't want to sell their homes say the rules favour neighbours who do. Under Singapore law, housing estates can be sold collectively without the unanimous approval of all owners.

    If a block is less than 10 years old, the consent of owners with 90 percent of the value is required. For older buildings, the agreement of 80 percent of the owners by value is necessary.

    Rival financial centre Hong Kong is mulling changing its rules to allow for collective sales of buildings that are less than 40 years old. It is also considering lowering the 90 percent minimum approval to spur redevelopment.

    "Why should crass materialism win the fight over those who value their homes, their sentimental attachments, the comfort and ease of familiarity of environment?" wrote apartment owner Ivy Soh in a letter to Singapore's Today newspaper on Aug. 4.

    While Singapore's home ownership of around 95 percent is one of the highest worldwide, the willingness of many homeowners to sell reflects Singapore's shrinking family size. As couples have fewer children, many are trading large flats for smaller ones.

    "If we keep going like this, all our beautiful low-rises will be gone and we will all be living in tall, ugly matchboxes," said art dealer Georgia Kan, who was forced earlier this year to sell her home of a decade after the overwhelming majority of her neighbours opted to sell the block. (additional reporting by Dominic Whiting in Hong Kong)

    Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

  5. #65
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    Default Prime residential sites up for en bloc sale

    Published October 10, 2006

    Prime residential sites up for en bloc sale


    ENG Tai Mansion, a freehold residential site near Somerset MRT station, is up for collective sale at $90.4 million.

    Eng Tai Mansion: Market watchers expect the freehold site near Somerset MRT station to fetch about $80 million

    The 38,300 sq ft site - at St Thomas Walk in prime District 9 beside Orchard Road - could fetch about $80 million, market watchers say.

    An estimated development charge of $10.4 million is payable.

    The maximum building height is 36 storeys and the plot ratio is 2.8, allowing for a maximum floor area of 107,300 sq ft.

    At $90.4 million, the cost translates to $840 per sq ft per plot ratio (ppr).

    The site can be redeveloped into a high-rise condominium of up to 80 apartments averaging 1,200 sq ft each, says marketing agent Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

    Eng Tai Mansion now comprises two blocks with a total of 50 apartments, owned by more than now 40 owners. Close to 90 per cent of unit-owners have already agreed to sell, says JLL.

    Owners get an average of $1.6 million per unit if the $80 million asking price is achieved. This translates to an en bloc premium of about 100 per cent, says JLL's regional director and head of investments Lui Seng Fatt.

    'The take-up of prime residential development sites in the Orchard area has been very strong,' says Mr Lui, who expects the Eng Tai Mansion project to garner strong interest from local and overseas high net worth individuals.

    The tender closes at 2pm on Nov 9.

    Elsewhere, a freehold property in Upper East Coast Road, East Coast Ville, is also up for collective sale. The site is 96,600 sq ft and the plot ratio is 1.4 plot ratio, allowing a gross floor area of 135,300 sq ft. The owners of the 60 existing units are asking for $60 million - including an estimated development charge of $4.6 million - which works out to $440 psf ppr.

    Dennis Wee Realty, which is handling the sale, said a buyer can redevelop the property into an estimated 120 residential units of various sizes.

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