"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."
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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.

FARRER COURT -ers are Happy Campers

Now THIS is how a HUDC enbloc should be done. Only 2 objectors out of a whopping 618 owners. Now that is admirable. On top of that, the price was excellent.
This is as close to the most desirable 100% approval as you can get and it proves that maximum consent is achievable even in massive estates and that the process can be smooth sailing and fast. All it takes, is an ethical sale committee, engaged owners who are not sidelined on major decisions and a fair price.
It seems ironic that the threshold was lowered to 80/90% to expedite sales - when clearly it has had the opposite effect. Where once there were one or two owners to satisfy, there are now dozens. The process has become, fractious, stressful, contentious, expensive and wasteful. As for expediency - well, if they thought reaching 80% was the ticket, did they envisage the lengthy fights at the STB and High court?

Farrer Court: Smooth sale-ing

December 16, 2007
MANY residents in Farrer Court had braced themselves for a nasty confrontation.After all, anonymous letters spreading malicious rumours about the estate and allegations of vandalism had started flying even before any en bloc deal was signed. It didn’t help that industry people were watching them because the deal was expected to break all records here.
But instead of sour faces, there are smiles aplenty now – the deal that finally went through last weekend has made instant millionaires out of the 618 home-owners there.
Among them is housewife Shirley Lee, in her 40s. She was full of praise for Credo Real Estate and law firm Rodyk & Davidson which handled the deal.
She said: ‘Everything was so fast and smooth. Such a huge estate is not easy to handle. I’m very happy with the sale.
‘They kept in close contact with the residents, gave frequent updates, and made us feel more secure, though it’s a lot of extra work for them.’
Farrer Court was sold for $1.34 billion, the largest amount ever paid in a collective sale here. Each owner stands to receive $2.2 million or $2.1 million, depending on whether they own the 1,600 sq ft or 1,450 sq ft units.
Resident Tan Quee Hong, 65, was relieved he wasn’t caught in a legal bind like his friend at Horizon Towers.
Smooth sailing
He said: ‘Friends said it’s so coincidental that we had two in our group going through en bloc at about the same time, but comparing the two was like comparing heaven and earth.’
Even Mr Tan Hong Boon, executive director of Credo, was surprised by the smooth outcome. He said: ‘This is one of the smoothest collective exercises we’ve had, given its size.’
Credo has handled other en bloc sales like Duchess Court, Eastern Mansion and the Zion Road apartments.
Said Mr Tan: ‘It’s very rare to find a big project with only two objections.’
In comparison, the 168-unit Eastern Mansion had two objections, the Zion Road apartments had two objections out of 40, while Duchess Court had 100 per cent support.
Credo, which was appointed in July last year, took just seven months to gather the minimum 80 per cent signatures for the sales agreement.
In the end, 571 unit owners – more than 94 per cent – signed the collective sales agreement.
Only two out of 618 units filed objections against the sale with the Strata Titles Board (STB).
After mediation, both withdrew their objections last Saturday.
That’s when the STB gave the approval for the sale of Farrer Court for $1.34 billion to a consortium comprising CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and US-based Wachovia Development Corporation.
Residents The New Paper on Sunday spoke to said that although they love the spacious and leafy estate, the price was irresistible.
Said Mrs Lee: ‘I didn’t expect the price to go so high, otherwise I would have bought more units here.
‘Ours is a 99-year leasehold property, built by HDB, with no swimming pool. Where can you find this kind of price?’
Madam Lee and her civil-servant husband had bought their unit for over $500,000. They and their two sons have been living there for 10 years.
Added her neighbour, Mr Tan: ‘This estate is 30 years old and some of the units need repair, which may be hard for some (financially).’
Of course, there was a time when things seemed less certain.
In March, poison pen letters started circulating, claiming that certain blocks there had bad fengshui and could bring bad luck to residents.
Then one of the residents, Mr Lo Hung Ee, 73, found the windscreen of his 3-year-old Mazda smashed.
Someone later also used an object to damage the car’s bonnet.
Mr Lo believed his car was vandalised because he was on the en bloc sales committee.
He said: ‘I was quite upset at first about selling, because I love this place. When I bought it, I thought this is where I’ll live until the end of my life.’
But he said that after speaking to many residents, he realised most wanted to sell.
So he joined the sales committee to make sure the residents – many of them senior citizens who bought their units when the project was launched – got a fair deal.
The residents will have to move out by September next year.
One especially sad to leave is MrsEvelyn Venning, 83. As she is only a tenant, she would ‘lose’ her home, but have no gain in return.
Said the energetic retired teacher, who prefers to live alone rather than with her son’s family: ‘I’ve been asking around, who will take me in.
‘It’s very sad. I really love this place. Here, it’s a big family, everyone knows each other. It’s so safe, I keep my door unlocked.’
En bloc fever seems to be cooling
The 109 deals worth $13.3billion done so far this year is a big jump from the 79 deals for $8.2b last year.
But of these, 82 deals worth $10.49b were done in the first-half.
Only 27 deals worth $2.81b have been done since 1 Jul.

Source : Newpaper – 16 Dec 2007

STB approves sale of Farrer Court

December 10, 2007
The Strata Titles Board (STB) has given the go-ahead for the sale of Farrer Court to a CapitaLand-led consortium. At a price tag of $1.34 billion, it is the largest amount ever fetched for a collective sale. The approval was granted last Saturday.
The consortium – comprising CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and US-based Wachovia Development Corporation – said in June that they would pay a record-setting $1.34 billion for the 618-unit development.
This beat the reserve price of $1.2 billion but is still lower than the owners’ asking price of $1.5 billion.
Farrer Court owners had upped their reserve price from $700 million to $840 million at the start of the year, and then increased it to $1.2 billion in March.
The unit land cost to the developers for the leasehold District 10 site works out to $762 to $783 psf of potential gross floor area.
BT understands that owners of two units objected to the sale, on grounds that the price was not high enough.
The privatised HUDC estate has 618 existing apartments of two sizes – 1,615 sq ft and 1,453 sq ft – and their owners will get $2.238 million and $2.122 million per unit, respectively. Based on the apartments’ existing strata areas, the proceeds to owners work out to $1,386 psf and $1,460 psf, respectively.
Credo Real Estate brokered the sale, and law firm Rodyk & Davidson represented the majority owners.
CapitaLand wants to turn the site into a new 36-storey condominium with about 1,500 apartments, likely to be ready for launch in the first half of 2009.
Source : Business Times – 10 Dec 2007

Farrer Court seeking $1.5b in largest collective deal

August 2, 2007
COLLECTIVE sale mania is scaling giddy new heights, with home owners at Farrer Court putting the estate up for sale at $1.5 billion – a figure that would smash current records.
Just three months ago, the former HUDC estate on Farrer Road was said to be considering a collective sale for a far lower $900 million.
But amid the collective sale frenzy, prices have kept soaring since then – prompting the far more ambitious asking price announced yesterday.
If Farrer Court is sold en bloc, it would be Singapore’s most expensive residential collective sale – a record that has already been broken three times this year.
Nearby Leedon Heights, sold last month for $835 million, is the current title-holder. It beat the $548 million paid for Gillman Heights off Alexandra Road in February, and the $500 million for Horizon Towers in Leonie Hill in January.
But Farrer Court is larger than these three sites. It sits on an 838,488 sq ft plot near the junction of Farrer Road and Holland Road, a stone’s throw from the upcoming Farrer MRT Station.
Its owners revised their asking price upwards recently ‘due to market changes’, said Mr Tan Hong Boon, executive director of Credo Real Estate, which is marketing the estate.
At $1.5 billion, each owner of the 618-unit condominium stands to reap an average of $2.4 million from the sale, he added. This is more than double the $900,000 fetched by one unit in March.
Any buyer of the site will also have to pay an additional $500 million or so, which includes the development charge and a premium to top up the site’s lease to 99 years from its current remaining lease of 69 years. This will take the estate’s total price up to $2 billion, or about $850 per sq ft per plot ratio.
According to market sources, the owners have agreed on a reserve price of about $1.2 billion, excluding the development charge and lease upgrading premium. But Mr Tan expects to receive offers ‘in the region of $1.5 billion’. Some major players have already expressed interest, he noted.
‘Several large developers have been following up closely with us on the progress of Farrer Court for a few months,’ he said, adding that after yesterday’s announcement, ‘we’ve already received calls from some people’.
Given the large size and price tag of the estate, he believes developers may team up with other firms, or with funds or major contractors, to bid for the site.
Farrer Court can be redeveloped into a 36-storey development with 1,800 units at 1,250 sq ft each, said Mr Tan.
This would make the new project Singapore’s largest condominium in terms of number of units, he added. A 36-storey project would be a unique feature in the area, where most surrounding developments go up to only 12 storeys.
Farrer Court’s bid to go for an offer with a higher asking price comes as rising property prices are thwarting other collective sale attempts.
Owners of Pine Grove, another former HUDC estate in Ulu Pandan, recently rejected a collective sale that would have given them $1.2 million each.
They said home prices were climbing so quickly that the payouts were not enough to buy a similar-sized replacement home in the vicinity.
Meanwhile, other former HUDC estates are said to be gearing up to go en bloc as well. Market watchers say the process has begun in estates such as Laguna Park, Neptune Court, Lakeview and Shunfu Ville, even though the last has yet to be privatised.
Source : Straits Times – 15 May 2007

CapitaLand front runner for Farrer Court?

August 4, 2007
The tender for Farrer Court, Singapore’s first billion-dollar collective sale, closed yesterday with strong bids, industry players reckon.
Speculation was that CapitaLand was the front runner and was engaged in negotiations late last night. Credo Real Estate, which is handling Farrer Court’s collective sale, declined to comment.
GuocoLand is also believed to have taken part in the tender. It clinched the freehold Leedon Heights earlier this year at $835 million or $1,062 psf of potential gross floor area.
Farrer Court, however, has an even higher absolute reserve price, of $1.2 billion, which works out to slightly over $700 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the 99-year leasehold site. Bids for Farrer Court are believed to have clearly surpassed that.
The official expected price when Farrer Court’s tender was launched last month was $1.5 billion, or around $850 psf ppr.
The District 10 site, a privatised HUDC estate, is unique in being the only private residential site in the Farrer Road and Holland Road vicinity that is accorded a high plot ratio of 2.8 and a maximum height of 36 storeys.
Most of the surrounding sites are designated for either landed housing or low or medium-rise developments of up to five or 12 storeys.
Farrer Court boasts not only the highest asking price in terms of the absolute dollar quantum for a collective sale, it also has the biggest land area at 838,488 sq ft, for an en bloc sale site.
The maximum potential gross floor area of almost 2.35 million sq ft for the site – or about 1,800 apartments averaging 1,250 sq ft – means that a new development on the site would be the biggest condo development yet to be undertaken in Singapore, based on comments when thesite was launched last month.
Source : Business Times – 28 Jun 2007

Farrer Court sold for record $1.3b

August 4, 2007 PROPERTY giant CapitaLand is paying $1.3388 billion for the sprawling Farrer Court estate – the biggest lump sum ever shelled out for a residential site in Singapore.
Owners at the 618-unit estate will get about $2.15 million each, depending on the size of their flats, which range from 1,453 sq ft to 1,615 sq ft.
The bumper price for the former HUDC estate beat the reserve price of $1.2 billion but fell short of the owners’ asking price of $1.5 billion.
It also signals how high and how fast prices have risen this year. Farrer Court owners had revised their reserve price from $700 million to $840 million at the start of the year, only to push it up to $1.2 billion in March.
Credo Real Estate, which brokered the deal, said the sale is also the largest one in terms of land area, number of units and buildable gross floor area.
Farrer Court, which is 30 years into a 99-year lease, sits on 838,488 sq ft of land near the junction of Farrer Road and Holland Road. It is also close to the upcoming Farrer MRT Station.
It is the only site on Farrer Road with the potential to be built up to 36 storeys.
CapitaLand said it plans to build a ‘luxurious’ 36-storey condominium with about 1,500 ‘generously-sized’ flats on the site, which will be ready for launch in early 2009.
Existing Farrer Court owners will have the first right of refusal to buy units at the new development, it said.
CapitaLand president and chief executive Liew Mun Leong said the deal would further boost its residential land bank, allowing it to benefit from Singapore’s ‘growth story’.
The site also gives the developer the chance to work with world-renowned architects to create a unique landmark project, he added.
The Farrer Court tender closed on Wednesday and attracted two bids, both above the reserve price.
Credo Real Estate declined to comment on the second bid, but sources said it came from GuocoLand, which had paid a then-
record $835 million for the freehold Leedon Heights site in Holland Road in April.
CapitaLand’s price for Farrer Court works out to about $762 to $783 per sq ft (psf) of potential gross floor area.
This psf price includes about $450 million to $500 million to maximise the use of the land and to top up the lease to a fresh 99-year tenure.
The deal is subject to the approval of the Strata Titles Board and should be completed by the second quarter of next year.
CapitaLand intends to share its risks with partners but will be the lead development manager for the project.
It said yesterday that Hotel Properties (HPL), US-based Wachovia Development Corp and possibly a foreign fund will join it in the venture.
CapitaLand is likely to hold 35 to 40 per cent of the joint venture while HPL expects to take a 20 to 30 per cent interest.
HPL took a stake in an earlier CapitaLand purchase of another former HUDC estate, Gillman Heights, in Alexandra Road, which cost $548 million, or $363 psf of potential gross floor area.
The sale of Farrer Court leaves the 290-unit Pacific Mansions in River Valley Close as the only estate up for sale at more than $1 billion.
Owners of Pacific Mansions are asking for $1.18 billion or about $2,400 psf of potential gross floor area.
Source : Straits Times – 29 Jun 2007

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