Thursday, April 28, 2011

2nd bid by Laguna Park owners to sell en bloc

Straits Times: Wed, Apr 27
RESIDENTS at Laguna Park condominium have voted for a collective sale, two years after an earlier bid was called off.

The Straits Times understands that the sales committee secured the 80 per cent mandate last Thursday.

While a new asking price has not been fixed yet, it is believed owners of the 528 units have been told they could receive up to $2.3 million per unit.

That would make the price for the 99-year leasehold estate in Marine Parade around the $1.2 billion they demanded in 2009.

A potential deal for the former HUDC estate then was called off when the sales committee was too pressed for time trying to get the minimum consent level from owners for a proposed lower price.

Owner Yup Kim Tai told The Straits Times she would be happy regardless of the outcome of the sale, saying: 'I'm old and I want to buy a smaller place. If we get the money, I'll do that, if not, well I've lived here since the (estate was built) so what's another few years.'

Sources say the tender for the 677,463 sq ft site could possibly be rolled out as early as the middle of next month.

There have been a number of large estates put up for sale en bloc in the past three months.

Pearl Bank Apartments at Outram was put on the market for $750 million while the owners of Pine Grove condominium in Ulu Pandan are asking $1.7 billion.

The tender for Pine Grove closed on April 19, but the marketing agents have not revealed the outcome.

The tender for Pearl Bank closes on May 25.

Hawaii Tower and Tulip Garden, with reserve prices of $700 million and $650 million, respectively, have yet to seal any concrete deals.

Property market observers doubt any collective deal will surpass the $1 billion mark this year.

The East Coast area has seen some success but on a smaller scale. Two condominiums near Laguna Park - Marine Point and Amber Glades - were sold earlier this year for under $120 million each.

Some analysts say developers may be shying away from larger sites, preferring smaller, more affordable plots that carry a lower risk if the market turns.

Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP International's research head, said: 'The amount of money you pay for such big sites could be used to buy maybe two other sites under the Government Land Sales Programme.

'Another factor developers will have to consider is that there are a lot of new homes slated to come onstream in the next few years so they might not want to get caught up in that either.'

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