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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.

Urban renewal or suburban rip-off?

Oh my, oh my - on a fact finding mission, and out of sheer curiosity I visited the showflat of the latest condominium launched in our area - to check out how the idea of (sub)urban renewal translates into reality. The developer bought the land at $240 psf and paid off 583 owners $660k each for their 1700 sq ft units (average) They will build 1600 units in their stead at the following starting prices:
2 bedroom - 980 sq ft - starting from $690K
3 bedroom - 1313 sq ft - starting from $860 K to $1 million
4 bedroom - 1593 sq ft - starting from $1.1 million
Penthouse - 2992 sq ft - starting from $2.5 million
By those prices, Tampines Court, 3 + 1, 1700 sqft, park view, should fetch $1.3 million at least. We may not have a swimming pool, but neither are we cheek to jowl with 1599 other units in the estate. We are surrounded by trees, have out own internal park and another one just next door and are truly blessed with that rarest commodity of all - S-P-A-C-E. I predict, a luxury condominium in the near future will not boast a swimming pool, sauna, gymnasium etc as their main selling point - after all they are so commonplace now - but instead will be emphasising spaciousness and exclusivity; in other words, Tampines Court as it is now.
I took a peek at the 4 bedroom type show flat; at $1.1 million it is way above the average heartland budget. It feels so much smaller than 1500 sqft. They cheated by knocking down one of the bedrooms, making it into a study with no walls - hence enlarging the feeling of the living room and dining area. The kitchen is tiny, there's actually no room for the refrigerator, microwave or conventional oven. You wonder where even the toaster might go! The bathtub (only in the 4 bedroom up) is for stick insects and there's a strange pull down bed in a windowless cubbyhole with a steel door off the kitchen which I was told was for the maid, should there be one. Being skinny would be an advantage for negotiating your way around the bed in the master bedroom. I looked around and tried to imagine where one would put the ironing board (in the toilet perhaps?), the laundry basket (hanging from the ceiling?), the piano (out on the balcony?), the sideboard (ditto), the glass cases,  the mountains of books and the rest of the detritus of 25 years of family life.... and well, there was nowhere; there was hardly enough room to swing a cat. (and I have 2!) And what is with all the bay windows? - pointless, useless, unusable space wasters. A modern 1,500sqft is so, so much smaller that what you imagine.

One positive point: a big balcony.
I came to the conclusion that only the very skinny with money to burn, preferably having no children and who own nothing in this world save an artistic vase or two, could comfortably live in the homes of the suburban renewed. That, or investors hoping for a quick flip.
If suburban renewal is for the good of Singapore, which part of Singapore society is actually benefiting? Not us suburbanites, the heartlanders, the very people who willingly (majority) or unwillingly (minority) place their homes on the altar of UR.

When ex-owners cannot afford to move back into the greatly expanded estate due to price inflation, then that is not suburban renewal. That, my friend, is exploitation.

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