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."
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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.

In reply

"If there was a general election in any democratic country, the en bloc would be said to have received a landslide victory"
Alas, this is not a general election where a simple majority of 50%+1 is required to win. This is the compulsory acquisition of other people's homes which requires 80% of the total share value by LTSA rules. So 79.99% is not a majority. Justice Lee (in his 19 March 2008 decision) stated “it is therefore not for the court to water down the protection afforded by the legislation in its present form in favour of the majority, vast though it may be."

the wishes of the overwhelming majority in any democracy must prevail over the wishes of the minority!”
-only if they comply with the rules

there will be adequate safeguards to protect the interests of minority owners. These safeguards are found in the procedures as well as in the substantive powers of the Strata titles Board".(Parliamentary Speech 2007)
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The High Court does not condone the brutish 'might is right' position - in the Horizon Towers High Court decision Justice Choo Han Teck wrote in his 11 Oct 2007 judgement that "...

"fairness requires that the law is applied consistently to everyone in similar circumstances. It gazes upon the horse as it does the horseman. It may be the appellants today who slipped, and tomorrow, the respondents. If the majority succeeds it is because it is right, not because it is the majority. Likewise, if the minority succeeds it is because it is right and not because it receives favours granted only to the underdog"

In a High Court decision on 06 Nov 2007 Justice Andrew Phang Boon Leong wrote:
'It is axiomatic that every party ought to have its day in court. This is the very embodiment of procedural justice. The appellation “procedural” is important. Procedural justice is just one aspect of the holistic ideal and concept of justice itself.'

'However, the court must be extremely wary of falling into the flawed approach to the effect that “the ends justify the means”. This ought never to be the case. The obsession with achieving a substantively fair and just outcome does not justify the utilisation of any and every means to achieve that objective. There must be fairness in the procedure or manner in which the final outcome is achieved.'

"The minority have lost the fight to prevent the majority from obtaining the 80% consensus."
That has yet to be determined. The STB hearing is in June.

"Only a minority of the minority objects at the STB"
That is true – not everyone is of the same mindset; some will persevere where others fall away, still others prefer to remain on the sidelines. This is human nature.
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"If the STB orders costs against the objectors, the objectors alone will have to bear the costs." The objectors proceeding with the hearing are fully cognizant of the costs involved, not just at the STB level but the High Court and the Court of Appeal. A court case is inherently dangerous for both sides, you just never know…

"Do all the objectors appreciate that they are risking their money for the good of the non-objecting minority owners?"
There comes a point where you have to put your money where your mouth is, regardless of the action or inaction of others. You make a stand and go forward, win or lose.

"Some of the minority (and the objectors) have themselves bought alternative flats! So why are the objectors still objecting?"
As far as I know, people are free to own as many homes as they like if they can afford to do so. Buying an alternative flat does not signify agreement to the sale, nor is it a declaration of defeat – the substantive objections to the sale remain. I believe the minority owners who have bought second homes would prefer to rent them out rather than move.

"In the process, the owners who had contracted to buy alternative flats were sued by the sellers of the alternative flats, because of the delay in the completion of the en bloc"
Any owner who buys a replacement unit before completion runs this risk. That is why it is imperative that you do NOT buy a unit if you need to use the sale proceeds for the purchase. Our en bloc lawyer has repeatedly cautioned everyone against this inherent danger and those who buy before completion and then find themselves in this predicament if the sale is delayed (for whatever reason, and there can be many) have no one to blame but themselves. Do not blame others for your own foolhardiness.

"The objector caused much misery to himself and all the other owners."
I believe you are talking about Mr.Yeo from Waterfront View. He had a very strong point to argue and it was unfortunate the ruling went against him. He did not regret his actions. Alternatively, we have Mr. Ken Lee of Airview Towers who went all the way alone and won at the STB and High Court, but lost at the Appellate Court.
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"The Property Market has fallen! At the time that the en bloc process was started, owners were looking at a substantial premium. Now, if Tampines Court is to be tendered out, the price would have fallen"
I find this statement highly amusing. I don't know if the market has fallen significantly, but we'd need to have our own sub-prime woes for it to reach TC levels. Show me an enbloc that is presently going for $260 psf pga! Tampines Court wasn’t sold, it was given away.

I notice how you didn't and couldn't say that 'at the time of sale, owners reaped a substantial premium'. It was a case of now you see it, now you don't. Not quite a case for Hercule Poirot, but definitely 'The case of the disappearing premium'.
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"Developers are looking more at state land sales instead."
This sounds like typical agent scaremongering - developers will buy land whenever and wherever they can. How much state land is left in the middle of mature housing estates? That's the whole purpose of en bloc - freeing up land in choice locations for developers to build more intensely and for huge profits. It's still all about location, location, location. As Mark Twain once said " The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." so too the demise of enbloc.
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"The collapse of the en bloc transaction was down to the majority owners’ refusal to accept the developer’s request for an ‘unconditional’ extension of time of the next 5 per cent installment payment due to them"
And all's well that ends well; it was the majority owners who happily scuppered the sale, and the group backing the developer decided it was best to cut their losses – The developer (Bravo)forfeited the 5%.


In the Finland Garden's case, the deposit was returned to the developer (Bravo) as the STB had not approved the sale. So they win some, lose some.

Amber Glades,….. S$1,140 per sq ft ppr…..Replacement units are available
How, pray, to buy a replacement unit at $1000+ psf ppr when Tampines was sold for $255 psf ppr?*
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*My understanding in this area is not strong; but this is how I estimated:
(a) Estate size = 702,162 sg ft
(b) Sale price = $395,000,000
(c) Developmental charge + Differential premium - $107m
(d) Psf = $395m + $107m / 702,162 = $715 psf
(e) Plot ratio = 2.8
(f) Psf ppr = $715 / 2.8 = $255
(g) Psf pga - $260 (as stated in newspaper reports)

2 comments:

  1. "There comes a point where you have to put your money where your mouth is, regardless of the action or inaction of others. You make a stand and go forward, win or lose." Wonder what would the objectors do if the there is indeed a crisis in Singapore and property prices drop drastically.

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  2. Let's hope the property market does continue to drop.

    If the STB grants the sale then we will leave reluctantly to look for an inferior replacement unit. A roof lost must be replaced by another roof - better to buy in a downturn than in boom time.

    If the STB throws out the sale then we can stay and will not be subjected to another round of madness in the near future. Few, if any, enblocs are conducted in property downturns. So stayers everywhere will have cause to rejoice.

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