Disclaimer






"I am a BLOGGER NOT an expert. This is a BLOG not a 'go-to' website for official information. I represent no one's view save my own. I have neither legal nor financial training, nor do I have anything to do with the real estate industry. My understanding of the Collective Sale Process is from a layman's position only. My calculations, computations and tables are homespun and may contain errors. Please note that nothing in this blog constitutes any legal or financial advice to anyone reading it. You should refer to your lawyer, CSC or financial adviser for expert advice before making any decision. This disclaimer is applicable to every post and comment on the blog. Read at your own risk."
Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu
There is one thing worse than an Enbloc ----- and that is an Enbloc done badly. Since the majority have the necessary mandate to sell, then they owe it to all SPs to make a success of it. Minority SPs can only watch and wait, if they sell then lets pray it's at a price we can move on with, if they don't sell, then we are happy to stay for a few more years.

The Wait

It has been 8 months since the conditional sale of Tampines Court - and still no application for the sale to the Strata Titles Board has been made by the invisible and silent sale committee. This surely must be the longest delay between sale and application ever in enbloc history. Tampines Court might break a few more records before its over; largest number of appealing minority owners being another.
.
The cost of a replacement unit on the open market continues to sky-rocket with the latest 30 yr old 5-room HDB in Marine Parade going for $750k (paid for in cash, no less). Being forced to sell a 1700 sqft private apartment to buy a much smaller HDB is hard to swallow. For new units: "Selling prices of the finished units [ in Bishan and Toa Payoh] could hit $600 per sqft or even more, which means HDB prices may reach the levels of private 99-year leasehold condos" Savills. Of course, even if we wanted to avail ourselves of these ridiculous prices, privatised ex-HUDC-ers like ourselves cannot buy directly from the HDB for another 30 months.
.
Enbloc has made a mockery of home-ownership and turned a generation's aspirations and achievements to dust. Suddenly, that decision not to emigrate 20 years ago looks like a lost opportunity. One wonders what social / financial / housing policies will be hatched in the future, should we be encouraging our children to leave these shores with their shifting sands to find a real home on real soil? Let the 2.5 million people yet to come (from where, they never said) take on the mantle of false hopes and pipe dreams.
.
Enbloc is the very antithesis of 'heartland' building. All those years put into improving and promoting good neighbourliness through neighbourhood committee activities, block parties, MP walk-abouts and the like are all laid to waste. Singaporeans are being reduced to mere tenants in their 'own' home. It is a well known fact that tenants do not contribute or participate to the same degree as those who want to put down roots in an area. With the root system clipped; who will bother?
.
Picking up on a point made in Comments by poeima; why do we even bother with 99 yr leases when there is no intention of allowing people to hold onto properties for that length of time? Why not just dispense with the charade of property ownership altogether and rent out properties on a 10 year lease instead of the bogus 99? But of course developers could only build paper houses for that price; so hence the lure and false bait of home-ownership.
.
An MP gave me this statistic "most Singaporeans move house every 5 years". How true is this? Is this really indicative of a genuine cross-section of society or were only those affected during the last economic downturn taken into account. It cannot be a healthy societal norm to relocate every 5 years - those with children know the impracticability of this - are we becoming a nation of rootless nomads? Houses, houses everywhere, and not a home to call my own? Perhaps those newly married couples, who bought new units in 'ulu-ulu' land and were eagerly waiting for their 5 year compulsory residence period to be up before selling off and moving closer to civilization (eg Tampines!), skewed the statistics. Has it become an impossible dream to live in the same spot for 30 years or more? Not everyone seeks financial riches, aspires a change of scenery every few years or possesses a 'must have or die, die' mentality; some of us are quite content with our achievements to date and wish to partake no more in the relentless and ultimately pointless treadmill of upgrading (or forced downgrading), home improvement and maximising potential. After over 20 years of such exhortations - 'enough already'!
.
Ultimately, where does it get you anyway? The property market has become a game of snakes and ladders. You start at square 1 with a subsidised HDB (as most of us do), move up the squares to a larger home (by working hard and saving diligently) to accommodate a growing family, then you are hit by an enbloc. Well, enbloc can either be a ladder to greater riches or a snake to take you down. Mind you, you didn't land on this reptilian square by your own volition or bad luck; that I could accept. Instead, it is forced upon you by your majority neighbours and how far down you slide depends on your own particular length of snake But sell and buy back into HDB on the open market at 4 times the original price you must, effectively putting you all the way back, or close to square 1. You could lose 20 years on a snake.
.
Of course, it is pointed out to us that we must sacrifice our homes for the common good.

I say, so be it........... but if the "80% want to jump over a cliff and the other 20% have no choice but to follow" then in all fairness to the 20% ; remuneration should at least be commensurate with replacement cost.

Replacement cost is of course not provided for in the LTSA - its only determining test is whether there be financial loss (Eng Lok Mansion STB decision, 2006). Yet, it is clearly not enough to consider only the buy price when reality for the regular guy, who owns only ONE home and LIVES in it, is that a roof lost must be replaced by another roof. It should be a roof if not on the same square, then at least on the same line!

2 comments:

  1. Your comments hits the nail right on the head.
    Which makes me wonder, why does the government have 99 year leasehold when the have rules for en-bloc for less than 10years? When I purchase a home with 99 yr lease, I expect 99 yr and not short circuited by some en-bloc raiders.

    Note in CNA:
    YTL Group plans to rope in renowned architects to create an iconic development.
    Mr Yeoh says: "I hope it won't be torn down one day (because of another) en bloc sale!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have a similiar case to that of Waterfront View.
    I hope that you people at Tampines Court do not have to suffer the same fate as some of the owners of Waterfront View.

    Take hearts and pray hard for devine intervention to overcome the situation.

    Best Wishes

    ReplyDelete