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.

GILLMAN HEIGHTS

10 brave Gillman Heights minority owners are taking their case to the Court of Appeal to be heard on 3 February 10.00 am.
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According to my source, one of Michael Huang's arguments was that Phases I and II ex-HUDC estates had TOL issued and the car parks already belonged to owners, whereas phases III and IV (eg Tampines Court) did not have Tol issued and so the owners did not own the carparks - so privatisation costs had to be paid by the owners for the purchase of the common property (carpark). Mr. Huang therefore argued that the new rules under Section 126 relating to ex-HUDC in the LTSA 2007 were therefore 'gap-filling' and 'amendments' and not merely 'clarifications'. The original 1999 LTSA therefore did not apply to HUDCs,
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Interesting.
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The Court of Appeal reserved judgement for Gillman Heights, to be delivered on Mon 09 Feb 2009, at 4.00pm. Where's there's delayed judgement - there's always hope!
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Feb 09, 2009

The Gillman Heights minority lost their appeal. The 3 Judges agreed with the High Court that the LTSA rules (1999) applied to all Strata Titled properties, including ex-HUDCs. On the matter of TOP/CSC - the Law took a purposive and not a literal reading to the rules. It admitted there was a flaw in the drafting of LTSA 1999.
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HUDCs, none of which were issued TOPs (temporary occupation permit) and had CSCs (certificate of statutory completion) issued only when privatisation works were completed, were therefore still covered under section 84A(1)(a) of part VA of the LTSA(1999).
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The Court dismissed the Appeal with half-costs.
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Kok Chong Weng and Others v Wiener Robert Lorenz and
Others (Ankerite Pte Ltd, intervener)[2009] SGCA 7

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From the ruling:

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61. To summarise, our conclusions on the two issues before us are as follows:
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(a) Section 84A(1) applies to all strata developments, including privatised HUDC estates
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(b) The age of the strata development is the touchstone of the collective sale scheme.
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(c) The TOP and CSC referred to in section 84A(1) are nere a means to determine the age of the development and whether 84A(1) (a) or 84A(1)(b) is the applicable provision to a collective sale.
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(d) The use of "TOP" and "CSC" (as a reference to their technical meanings) in s 84A(1) was a drafting flaw as a leteral interpretation and application thereof would have created a casus omissus (in respect of privatised HUDC estates) and frustrated the legislative purpose of s 84A(1) to apply to all strata developments, which by definition included privatised HUDC estates.
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(e) A purposive interpretation may be applied to rectify the flaw by reading into s 84A(1) the necessary test or words to enable the age of GH to be determined by reference to the date on which GH was completed and fit or ready for occupation.
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Really sorry guys, you fought a good fight, and you did all that you could within the confines of the law to save your homes. I salute you. It's a disappointing, though not unexpected, ruling. No doubt, you will all take it well, apply your positive attitude to the next phase of your lives and make the best of the situation. Life goes on after all.
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Half costs at the High Court level are better than full costs, which were what were awarded initially until SC Michael Huang persuaded the court that the points raised were of public concern. Both sides pay their own costs at the Appelate Court.
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There is no doubt in my mind that this is yet another ex-HUDC estate sold for a song. Not only have the minority owners been forced to sell their homes against their will, they are being compensated by a psf price at least 40-50% below current resale private apartments prices in district 04 . There is no way they can replace their homes with a similar private property the area - they have been robbed.
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Gillman's Story:

CapitaLand pays $548m for Gillman Heights
The huge Gillman Heights estate, which failed to find a buyer at its tender last August, was picked up by property giant CapitaLand yesterday for a whopping $548 million.
The amount is $19 million above the estate’s reserve price, which is also what its owners demanded last year.
The National University of Singapore, which owns 305 units at the former HUDC estate along Alexander Road, will reap more than $250 million from the sale.
It uses the Gillman Heights apartments for off-campus accommodation for staff and graduate students.
Other owners will each get about $890,000 for the apartments and about $950,000 for the bigger two-storey units.
The sale is the largest residential collective sale in terms of value, land size and number of units, said Ms Tang Wei Leng of DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, which represented CapitaLand in the negotiations.
The estate, which covers 836,432 sq ft, has 607 apartments and one shop.
CapitaLand will build a 24-storey project with about 1,200 units. ‘We plan to have the first phase ready for launch in 2008,’ said Ms Patricia Chia, chief executive of CapitaLand Residential Singapore.
The sale was done via private negotiation, with DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) representing the buyer and NRA Real Estate representing the sellers.
DTZ entered the picture after the huge estate failed to attract any buyers at its tender last August.
However, the property market has picked up significantly since then, enabling it to attract the higher offer.
The Gillman Heights price translates to about $363 per sq ft per plot ratio. This includes a $90 million payment to top up the lease to 99 years, from about 77 years, and increase the plot ratio to 2.1.
Waterfront View, at 809,037 sq ft and with 583 units, had held the title as the largest former HUDC collective sale. It sold for $385 million in the middle of last year.
Meanwhile, owners of other privatised HUDC estates such as Tampines Court, Lakeview, Pine Grove and Farrer Court continue to work towards collective sales.
About 70 per cent of Farrer Court owners have backed a collective sale for $900 million, excluding additional costs such as a hefty development charge.
Tomorrow, Mount Everest Properties will launch One Balmoral at $130 million for sale by tender.
Source : Straits Times – 7 Feb 2007 
ChannelNewsAsia - 20 Feb 2007
STB nod for Gillman Heights en bloc sale
Business Times - 22 Dec 2007
Another bid to stop sale of Gillman Heights
A GROUP of minority owners at the Gillman Heights condominium is making another bid to stop the $548 million collective sale of the huge estate in Alexandra Road.
They filed a High Court appeal yesterday against last month’s decision by the Strata Titles Board (STB) to approve the sale to CapitaLand and other parties.
Among other things, the 22 disgruntled owners are appealing on the grounds that the sale of Gillman Heights should require consent from 90 per cent of owners, rather than the usual 80 per cent.
The rules say consent from 90 per cent of owners is required for estates less than 10 years old to be sold en bloc. For older estates, 80 per cent is needed.
The conflict over the required consent for Gillman Heights comes because it is a former Housing and Urban Development Company estate, said the minority owners’ lawyer, Mr Richard Tan, from legal firm Tan Chin Hoe & Co. It has engaged Senior Counsel Michael Hwang to act for the minority owners.
The minority owners point out that although the estate was completed in 1984, it was privatised only after a seven-year process that ended in 2002. They argue that this should be the date from which the age of Gillman Heights is calculated.
Majority owners say that 87.5 per cent of owners at the condominium signed the collective sale agreement, which places it outside a 90 per cent consent mark, Mr Tan said.
However, the minority owners are also contesting this figure. They say the original sale agreement expired before the STB heard the sale application while the subsequent supplementary agreement had signatures from less than 80 per cent of owners.
Another bone of contention is the estate’s price, Mr Tan said.
He said the majority owners’ valuation report valued the condominium at $530 million as of last February, when the estate was sold. But a separate report commissioned by the minority owners valued it at $660 million.
The Gillman Heights appeal follows similar legal battles over other collective sales.
The most high-profile case is that of Horizon Towers in Leonie Hill, where minority owners earlier this month filed a High Court appeal against STB’s go-ahead.
Other estates embroiled in legal collective sale tussles include Finland Gardens in Siglap, Regent Court in Serangoon Road and Airview Towers in St Thomas Walk.
Source : Straits Times – 17 Jan 2008
CapitaLand tells Gillman Heights owners to honour sale
Resident circulates letter to stop deal; developer warns of breach of contract.
ANOTHER collective sale dispute is brewing between the majority sellers of a condominium and its buyer.
This time, it is the owners of Gillman Heights in Alexandra Road that are locking horns with property developer CapitaLand, which agreed to buy the sprawling 607-unit estate in February last year.
The condo’s minority owners are already filing an appeal against the $548 million deal, which got the green light in December from the Strata Titles Board (STB), the body that governs collective sales.
But even some Gillman Heights majority owners, who originally agreed to sell, are not all happy about the sale.
At least one home owner has circulated letters to his neighbours, calling for a concerted application to the High Court to invalidate the collective sale agreement.
The letters, distributed at the beginning of last month to residents’ mail boxes, prompted a quick response from CapitaLand after they were brought to its attention.
It sent out at least two lawyers’ letters addressed to all Gillman Heights majority owners, warning them ‘not to do anything…that may hinder or prevent’ the sale.
These strongly worded letters, sent through law firm Rajah & Tann, identified the dissenting majority owner as Mr Jerry Lum.
Rajah & Tann also sent a six-page letter addressed specifically to Mr Lum, urging him to ‘take notice’ – in full capital letters – that CapitaLand ‘may have no option’ but to take legal action against him unless he stopped circulating the letters and organising any similar activities.
The letters stressed the sale agreement is ‘binding’ on all who have signed it and any attempt to block the sale could be viewed as a breach of contract.
A copy of the letters was obtained by The Straits Times this week. When contacted, Mr Lum confirmed he had distributed letters and had received the lawyers’ letters, but declined to comment further.
Among other things, Mr Lum argued in his original letters that the sale should require consent from 90 per cent of owners, rather than the usual 80 per cent. This is due to a dispute over Gillman Heights’ completion date.
He was also unhappy with the sale price, which he said ‘many neighbours’ feel is ’so, so cheap’. Each owner can expect to receive about $890,000 to $950,000 from the collective sale.
Although Mr Lum was the only one who signed off on his letters, the liberal use of the pronoun ‘we’ in the letters suggests he may have been writing on behalf of other like-minded, but unidentified, owners.
However, the Gillman Heights sales committee has claimed no knowledge of any activities aimed at obstructing the collective sale. It responded to CapitaLand’s letters with a letter of its own, sent through its lawyers Lee & Lee. In its letter, it said it ‘has every intention to and will carry out’ its obligations under the sale agreement.
Meanwhile, a group of 22 minority owners at Gillman Heights are appealing to the High Court to overturn STB’s approval of the sale. They filed it on Jan 16 and are awaiting the hearing. They are appealing on the grounds that the sale price is too low, and that more owners’ consent is required.
The Gillman Heights brouhaha is the latest in a series of unusual conflicts between an estate’s majority owners and its buyer. Historically, the quarrels have involved minority owners instead, who are unwilling to sell their homes.
But recent cases such as Horizon Towers in Leonie Hill and Regent Garden in West Coast Road have thrown up examples of majority owners who signed on the dotted line but later wanted to back out.
The Horizon Towers owners ended up being sued by the buyer – the suit is now on hold. The Regent Garden owners managed to get the sale dismissed earlier this week.
Letters making their rounds
THE letter-writing saga at Gillman Heights was kicked off by home owner Jerry Lum, who distributed two letters to his neighbours dated Jan 1 and Jan 3.
Mr Lum called into question the estate’s sale price and the level of consent required for its collective sale. He also flagged rising home replacement costs, saying a High Court application would hold up the sale and let residents delay finding another place to stay.
CapitaLand responded with three letters – dated between Jan 4 and Jan 9 – reminding the majority owners of their contractual obligations and warning of breach of contract.
In reply, the estate’s sales committee wrote on Jan 10 that it was unaware of and did not support activities obstructing the sale. If anyone was involved in such activities, he would have to take ‘personal responsibility’.
Source : Straits Times – 2 Feb 2008


Some Gillman Heights owners fight on for their homes
22 minority owners in bid to overturn sale; they simply don’t want to move
A GROUP of owners at Gillman Heights Condominium is fighting hard to stop the $548 million sale of the property, despite reports that hint at a market slowdown.
The deal was struck when the market was in full flight in February last year – but now, such deals to sell en bloc have dried up.
UNITED FRONT: These owners of homes at Gillman Heights showed up in court proudly sporting T-shirts emblazoned with their condo’s name as they remained bent on overturning the collective sale inked last year. — ST PHOTO: SHAHRIYA YAHAYA
The group’s stated reason for opposing the sale? They love their homes.
The owners opposing the sale of the Alexandra Road estate turned up on day one of a High Court appeal yesterday wearing specially-made T-shirts with the condo’s name emblazoned on them.
Said one: ‘We made it for the appeal to show our unity and our love for our home.’
The 22 minority owners are trying to overturn the collective sale of their estate to CapitaLand, Hotel Properties (HPL) and two private funds.
They are appealing on various grounds, including the way the sale process was conducted, how the former HUDC estate’s age was calculated and how the price was achieved.
Three other groups, representing 18 owners, are also in court. One is made up of eight owners from four units who want to know if a supplementary deal to extend the original collective sale agreement is valid. They face legal action from the buyers for alleged breach of contract.
The Strata Titles Board (STB) approved the sale of the 607-unit, 99-year leasehold estate late last year. The sale was inked in February last year at $363 per sq ft (psf) of potential gross floor area.
Owners stand to reap $870,000 to $950,000 per unit – then 40 to 55 per cent above the levels they would have got in an individual sale.
Still, some never wanted to sell. ‘We had no intention to sell,’ said one of the 22 minority owners. ‘The price was never our problem… You can’t find another place like this in Singapore.’
The 46-year-old, who declined to give his name, lives in a 1,880 sq ft unit with his family.
Mr Pang Tee Lian, one of eight owners to sign the first agreement, but not the supplementary one, said: ‘A collective sale means you can get decent proceeds. But it appears to us we would have no choice but to downgrade. And that means moving to a smaller place farther away.’
The 59-year-old did not agree to the supplementary deal as he felt the sale process had not been done properly.
‘The market has quietened down but we don’t just swing with the tide,’ said the general manager of a building facade firm, who also declined to be named. ‘It’s not so much about the money anymore. After this experience, I just want to stay away from collective sales.’
To minority owners, a collective sale is akin to a compulsory acquisition, said Senior Counsel Michael Hwang yesterday. He has been engaged by Tan Chin Hoe & Co to act for the 22 owners.
He argued that before amendments last year to laws governing collective sales, former HUDC estates had not been intended by Parliament to be covered by these laws.
Outside court, a property consultant said the owners may have trouble finding comparable replacement homes, even with the weaker market.
‘Demand for land has weakened, but if you look at individual deals, prices have yet to fall. Owners would be looking at the price they can get and not the price of the land their estate sits on.’
If they sold individually, they would still ‘be able to get the same price or more’.
The hearing continues today.
Source : Straits Times – 14 Mar 2008

ChannelNewsAsia - 17 Mar 2008

ChannelNewsAsia - 25 June 2008
Gillman en bloc sale to proceed
THE High Court has dismissed an appeal by minority owners of Gillman Heights Condominium to stop its en bloc sale.
This means that the $548 million sale of the development to CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and two private funds is set to go through.
Justice Choo Han Teck, in his judgment yesterday, said that he was ’satisfied’ that the appeal by the minority owners ‘must fail’, as they did not provide adequate reasons as to why he should stop the sale.
The Strata Titles Board (STB) had approved the collective sale of the 607-unit, 99-year leasehold estate late last year. But a group of minority owners, represented by Senior Counsel Michael Hwang, had appealed that decision.
They argued that the STB had erred in approving the sale. They said that collective sale rules do not apply to Gillman Heights, which is an former HUDC estate. They also argued that insufficient notices were put up informing owners of the proposed sale and that the collective sale agreement – signed by the consenting owners – was not validly extended before the deal was brokered with the CapitaLand consortium.
Justice Choo ruled yesterday that the law does not mean to treat privatised HUDC estates differently from other private strata developments with a management corporation. He said that a privatised HUDC estate can participate in the benefits of an en bloc sale if the requisite conditions are met. He also agreed with the STB’s ruling that sufficient notices had been posted and that the collective sale agreement had been validly extended.
The minorities had also argued that the sale was done in bad faith. They said that the National University of Singapore (NUS), which owns a sizeable chunk of Gillman Heights and had agreed to the en bloc sale, has a 15 per cent stake in Ankerite, the entity that purchased Gillman Heights.
Justice Choo noted yesterday that NUS’s relationship with the buyer – which came to light after the STB approval – was not presented before the STB at the relevant time. ‘A court deliberates only on the basis of the evidence before it,’ he said. He said that it was strictly up to the STB to judge if there was an act of bad faith by reason of the relationship between NUS and Ankerite – but that he was not persuaded that the board should hear the issue again.
Justice Choo also agreed with the STB that there was no bad faith regarding the sale price of Gillman Heights, as it was $20 million above the reserve price.
The minorities had also argued that one of the STB board members, Michael Ng of Savills (Singapore), was a real estate valuation professional who had worked on projects involving the consenting owners’ lawyers.
But Justice Choo said: ‘I am of the view that it is too tenuous an objection. Professionals cannot avoid working on the same projects. It does not follow that they necessarily agree or have reasons to be biased or prejudiced against other professionals.’
Gillman Heights owners will get between $870,000 and $950,000 per unit in the en-bloc sale. But many of those objecting to the sale say that it is more important for them to be able to keep their homes.
Source : Business Times – 26 Jun 2008
High Court dismisses appeal against Gillman heights sale
THE High Court has dismissed an appeal by owners objecting to the collective sale of Gillman Heights Condominium, which means the $548 million sale can go ahead.
CapitaLand, the lead buyer of the 99-year leasehold Alexandra Road site, can now proceed to complete the deal, provided the objecting owners do not appeal against the High Court’s decision.
Yesterday, about three months after the case was heard, Justice Choo Han Teck rejected all eight objections raised by the minority owners.
Among their contentions was a claim that the Strata Titles Board (STB) had made a mistake granting the order approving the sale, as the minimum consent rules did not apply to Gillman Heights, a former HUDC estate.
The judge said the requisite majority consent does apply to privatised estates such as Gillman Heights. For instance, the level of consent required is pegged to the age of the building, rather than the temporary occupation permit or certificate of statutory completion dates – neither of which applies to former HUDC estates.
The owners also objected to the fact that the link between the buyer and the National University of Singapore (NUS) – which owns 303 of the 607 units – was not disclosed to the STB, which approved the sale late last year.
NUS had taken a 15 per cent stake in the buyer Ankerite, whose other shareholders are CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and a private fund, after it agreed to the sale.
Justice Choo said he was not persuaded that the STB should hear the parties again on this issue.
He said there was no bad faith in this case, as the sale price was $20 million above the reserve level. The price works out to $363 per sq ft of potential gross floor area.
A minority owner, who wanted to be known only as Mr Kok, said he was still digesting the decision.
‘We will have to discuss among themselves and with our lawyer to see whether we should take the case to the Court of Appeal.’
Yesterday, CapitaLand said it looked forward to developing the site into an ‘innovative’ residential project with about 1,200 homes.
Source : Straits Times – 26 Jun 2008
Cross-appeal filed for Gillman enbloc
Ankerite Pte Ltd, the entity that purchased Gillman Heights Condominium, has filed a cross-appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Previously, the High Court has dismissed an appeal by minority owners of Gillman Heights to stop the $548 million (US$402 million) sale of the development to CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and two private funds.
The Strata Titles Board (STB) had approved the collective sale of the 607-unit, 99-year leasehold estate late last year. But a group of minority owners, had appealed that decision.
Ankerite, an indirect associated company of Capitaland, is 50 per cent owned by CRL Realty, with the balance shareholding held by HPL Orchard Place and two private funds.
Capitaland said yesterday that further details will be announced in due course.
The STB had approved the collective sale of the 607-unit, 99-year leasehold estate late last year.
Source : Business Times – 25 Jul 2008


CapitaLand appeal on Gillman deadline
CAPITALAND, the lead buyer of Gillman Heights, has asked the Court of Appeal to review one point of a High Court ruling that allowed the estate’s collective sale to proceed.
Its move comes after a group of 10 minority owners from the estate filed an appeal over the sale earlier this week.
CapitaLand bought the $548 million Gillman Heights site together with Hotel Properties and two private funds. The sale was opposed by some owners but was eventually given the go-ahead by the High Court.
But in dismissing the objecting owners’ appeal, the Court also ruled that the sale committee could not agree to extend the deadline for obtaining the Strata Titles Board’s approval to Feb 5.
This was despite a supplemental collective sale agreement that had made a valid extension of the deadline to this date.
It is this point that CapitaLand is focusing on. Its legal move is to protect itself if the point is raised by the minority owners at the court hearing.
A spokesman said: ‘The filing of the cross-appeal is primarily technical and the aim is to preserve and strengthen our position in the Court of Appeal hearing.’
Source : Straits Times – 26 Jul 2008
Final bid by 10 owners to end transaction
A LAST-DITCH attempt by 10 minority owners of units in former HUDC estate Gillman Heights to stop its collective sale was heard by the Court of Appeal yesterday.
This appeal is the last recourse for the owners who have fought the $548 million sale at every turn since it was approved by the Strata Titles Board (STB) in 2007. Some owners had appealed against STB’s decision previously in the High Court, but this was dismissed by Justice Choo Han Teck last June.
The fate of the 607-unit, 99-year leasehold estate at Alexandra Road will be sealed today, as the judges are due to make a ruling at 4.30pm.
Senior Counsel Michael Hwang, engaged by law firm Tan Chin Hoe & Co to act for the 10 minority owners, argued yesterday that collective sale laws introduced in 1999 by Parliament had not been intended to cover HUDC estates.
Another point of contention at the hearing was the date used to calculate the age of the development. This determines if the estate needed an 80 or 90 per cent level of consent to be sold en bloc.
Currently, 80 per cent is needed if the development is more than 10 years old, 90 per cent if it is less than that.
Mr Hwang argued in the packed courtroom that because Gillman Heights obtained its certificate of statutory completion only in 2002, it needed 90 per cent. Currently, about 87.54 per cent of owners have signed the collective sale agreement.
Representing the majority owners, Mr Quek Mong Hua of Lee & Lee said, however, that it was an ‘indisputable fact’ that Gillman Heights was completed in 1984, making it more than 22 years old in 2007.
Senior Counsel Andre Yeap of Rajah & Tann, acting for the purchasers – CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and two private funds – argued that as homes in HUDC estates, upon privatisation, become strata-titled units, they are covered by the 1999 laws on collective sales.
Analysts that The Straits Times spoke to said the $548 million price tag is ‘more attractive now than before’ given the current market situation.
Owners stand to reap about $870,000 to $950,000 per unit from the sale. Chesterton Suntec International’s Mr Colin Tan said that the current market favours the sellers, while buyers CapitaLand might have to put redevelopment plans on hold.
For some owners at the estate, however, it was never a question of money. One said at the earlier High Court hearing: ‘The price was never our problem…You can’t find another place like this.’
Source : Straits Times – 4 Feb 2009
Gillman En bloc sale to go through
Business Times - 9 Feb 2009
Channel NewsAsia - 9 Feb 2009
Today -10 Feb 2009
Straits Times - 10 Feb 2009
Gillman en bloc sale to proceed
Business Times - 10 Feb 2009
Last minute hitch threatens sale of Gillman Heights
THE troubled $548 million Gillman Heights collective sale that was due to be settled yesterday was stalled by a last-minute hitch.
The sale, which has dragged on for two controversy-wracked years, was supposed to have been signed off by last night but the owners’ lawyers told The Straits Times that the buyers did not complete the deal.
The buyers – a group called Ankerite and led by property giant CapitaLand – raised some issues out of the blue on April 30 relating to routine funds held by the condominium’s management.
Now, some owners at the 607-unit estate in Alexandra Road fear that the buyers have got cold feet and are using the funds issue to back out.
Earlier reports indicated that owners stood to receive between $870,000 and $950,000 for their units.
The sale – first inked in early 2007 – was thought to be a done deal in February after the Court of Appeal dismissed a last-ditch plea by minority owners to overturn the transaction.
But Ankerite’s lawyers Rajah and Tann wrote to the sales committee on April 30 about money left in the management corporation’s (MCST) management fund. These funds go to the buyers on completion of the sale.
Rajah and Tann wanted $750,000 transferred back into the management fund from the sinking fund and the move approved by residents at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) before the completion date.
An MCST member who declined to be named said it was ‘ridiculous’ to request an EGM at such short notice. Residents are usually notified weeks ahead.
He also noted that Rajah and Tann did not raise the issues until April 30 – just two weeks before the May 15 completion date and two months after the appeals court gave the green light.
Ankerite’s April 30 letter also raised another contentious point – a separate on-going suit by a local contractor against the MCST.
The MCST had set aside almost $700,000 in the management fund to settle the case but Rajah and Tann requested that $2.3 million be allocated.
The MCST has since settled the suit for around $400,000. This meant it had no need to allocate the $2.3 million but it did transfer $750,000 into the management fund. This was done so that there would be ‘no excuses’ for the buyers not to complete the sale, said the MCST member.
Law firm Lee and Lee, which is acting for the sales committee, notified Rajah and Tann in a letter seen by The Straits Times that the issues raised had been resolved even though there was ‘no legal basis to claim the disputed sums’.
It also warned against delaying or deferring completing the sale of the 99-year leasehold estate.
A CapitaLand spokesman confirmed yesterday that during the ‘due diligence process’, it had ‘raised queries relating to a number of issues’. ‘With the view to…the completion of the acquisition soon, CapitaLand has been in constant discussion with the sales committee.’
Ankerite initially comprised CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and two private funds, but CapitaLand will buy up the 10 per cent holding of one private fund for $21.7 million. This will make Ankerite an indirect unit of CapitaLand.
Resident G. Kaur said some neighbours were anxious to see the deal done as they had committed to other properties, ‘but for some residents…it means that they can get to enjoy living in their homes a while longer than expected’, she added.
Source : Straits Times – 16 May 2009

6 comments:

  1. I thought it is on the 9th Feb?

    ReplyDelete
  2. you win some, you lose some. Decision was made to sell collectively according to guidelines. Everyone went in with eyes open. Property buy/sell is risky business. If price goes down, buyer do not expect you to compensate losses. When price goes up, seller bears the risk. You can harp about minority owners being forced to sell but this is a COLLECTIVE sale, a Singapore special. cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  3. A Singapore special it certainly is!

    I think the word COLLECTIVE is a misnomer, though. It puts an air of consensual agreement to the deal when nothing could be further from the truth. A large number simply do not consent. It's a Singapore Greater Group Sale.

    You are mixing 2 aspects to the sale here:
    1. the property market
    2. the majority rule

    1. No one can argue against the property market being a very risky business, and it is best to buy and sell within a reasonable period of time. One shouldn't set the price in 2006, sell in 2007 and collect the proceeds in 2008; in the real world that would be considered crazy and you are just asking for trouble! But that is the essence of en bloc. It isn't a slight risk - it is an enourmous risk and is INHERENT in the en bloc structure and rules! It is always best to hedge against a rising market and never sign in the hope of a market collapse. Foolish, foolish, foolish.

    2.The recent Madoff debacle is another example of sensible people handing all their wordly wealth over to a seemingly 'mensch' guy. En bloc owners hand over their most valuable hard-earned asset to a gung-ho group of strangers without checking credentials, motivation, and capability. After that, they don't read the fine print and are surprised when they are shunted out of the way and are threatened with lawsuits if they complain!

    In past en blocs owners went into en bloc with their eyes SHUT!

    Now that Tampines Court, Horizon Towers and Gillman Heights et al have lit the path - perhaps a lot more owners' eyes have been opened to the hidden dangers - all thanks to minority owners.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here we go again! Why keep on glorfying the minority owners ? Tampines CT unit is now worth $500K +, thks to them?

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's a pity you haven't grasped the concept of enbloc premium and/or replacement cost. Even in this anaemic market it would take over $1 million (still well below your enbloc price)to buy another similar sized private unit.

    I am happy to be ensconced in my 1700 sqft private apartment, untouched by the vagaries of a fickle property market since I have no intention of selling - and am utterly relieved not to be in the throes of moving to far flung Woodlands or a 5 room HDB in Pasir Ris!

    I'm happy, you're not. Let's call it quits.

    Horizon Towers next.
    My guess is; it will be a Go.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hmmm, fair comments here? ... talk to the owners of farrer court, lincoln lodge, green meadows, tulip gardens, leedon heights.... they have a different story to tell. Heard the minority was really effective in jacking up the reserve price. The owners are having the last laugh.

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