"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.


Laguna Park ‘too expensive’
Today – 8th Sep 2009

CapitaLand’s chief executive Liew Mun Leong said yesterday that the reserve price tag of some $1.2 billion for the estate is “too high to yield affordable homes”.
I’m not very sure that at the end of the day, after paying over $800 per plot ratio, plus construction costs, plus your cost of financing, your break-even cost would be something like $1,500 or $1,600 (per square foot). “Are buyers prepared to pay for it at that location and that price? I am less sanguine than them,” said Mr Liew.
'Too high to yield affordable homes' ? - more likely 'too high to yield enormous profit for the developer'. They should be willing to lower their profit margin and do their bit for the national agenda of land maximisation - but alas, only private citizens with no political or financial clout are being asked to make that sacrifice.
I would like to see how they arrived at their 'break even' costing - considering their plot ratio is 2.8. Owners have to buy new units with the sale proceeds and anything less than $800 psf will not provide them with much choice - and even then the replacement cost is $1,600 psf in the same location! Double the price! When buying property, it is all about 'location, location location'. When selling en bloc it is all about 'replacement, replacement, replacement'. Laguna Pk owners should wait and not undersell their homes or they may become irreplacable. There is no need to rush.
And if there is no sale - well, they can luxuriate in their spacious homes and let the rat race run elsewhere.
Straits Times – 5th Sep 2009

Laguna Park goes on sale for $1.2b
Consent level reached in Dec, but now’s the right time for tender, it says
EAST Coast condominium Laguna Park was put up for collective sale yesterday with a hefty price tag of $1.2billion – potentially the second highest price ever here for such a deal.
The sprawling 30-year-old condominium has been in the headlines over a spate of vandalism attacks on residents who were not keen on the sale.
Despite its troubles, the estate attained the crucial 80per cent consent level from its owners last December.
But the tender exercise was put on hold until now ‘as major developers have only recently returned to the land market with confidence’, said its marketing agent Credo Real Estate.
If it succeeds in finding a buyer, Laguna Park will be the second billion-dollar en bloc deal here, after the 618-unit Farrer Court was sold to a CapitaLand-led consortium for $1.34billion in 2007.

Laguna’s entry on the market marks a milestone in the estate’s troubled path towards a collective sale that was made highly public due to incidents of vandalism which hit the estate last year.
Residents who spoke to The Straits Times yesterday said the estate’s once-peaceful atmosphere has begun to return.
One resident, Mr Robin Sng, who had his car damaged by a corrosive liquid, says he has still not signed up to the deal because he wants to stay on.
Even with the payout, he feels it will be difficult to get a replacement unit with the same attributes in the area.

‘Very few people now talk about the en bloc sale openly, although we know it is going on,’ he said.
Another minority owner, who declined to be named, said he was adopting a wait-and-see approach to the sale, but confirmed that some owners – who themselves were victims of vandalism – had changed their minds and signed up after considering the attractive price tag.
At the current price, most owners will receive $2.1million to $2.3million, while the penthouses will fetch between $3.5million and $4.1million, said Credo.

This price, which works out to about $1,300 to 1,400 psf depending on the unit size, is double the price such units have been fetching in recent months – about $682 psf- even in the bullish market.
Industry analysts are speculating that the overall price tag – at $1.6billion, including an estimated $400 million payable to the Government for development charges and a fresh top-up of the lease – might deter developers.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic real estate lecturer Nicholas Mak notes that the steep sum may lead to interested developers forming joint ventures.
On the timing of the sale, he said this time is ‘as good as any to launch, as developers are triggering government land sales sites and 99-year leasehold condominiums seem to be selling out’.
Like Farrer Court, Laguna Park is a former HUDC estate; it is located in Marine Parade and was privatised in 2007. The condominium has a land area of about 677,493 sq ft and a gross plot ratio of 2.8.
Credo deputy managing director Tan Hong Boon estimates that the buyer could build about 1,500 new apartments with an average size of about 1,200 sq ft.
The land price for the condominium, which has 67 years left on its lease, works out to about $844 per sq ft per plot ratio, including the $400million payable.
At this price, the successful purchaser could break even at about $1,200 to $1,250 psf, with a view of pricing the new units at $1,400 to $1,600 psf, said Mr Tan.
Chesterton Suntec International’s research and consultancy director Colin Tan said the condominium sits on an attractive site that faces the sea, but ‘it remains to be seen if it can achieve that kind of pricing’.
The tender closes on Oct13 at 3pm.
Straits Times – 3 Sep 2009
Ex-condo chief scoffs at fine for mischief
Straits Times - 22 April 2009

En bloc row official on mischief rap
He is accused of stuffing glue into padlocks and keyholes of residents
THE former chairman of the Laguna Park management committee was charged yesterday with mischief over incidents during the housing estate’s acrimonious drive to secure a collective sale.
Lee Kok Leong, a 62-year-old businessman, allegedly put glue into the padlock and keyholes in the front and rear entrances of the flats belonging to two residents last August.
At the time he headed the estate’s management committee and is understood to have been in the camp pushing for the collective sale of the sprawling 530-unit estate along Marine Parade Road.
His alleged acts of mischief cost one resident $410 to fix, and the other, $180.
Yesterday, Lee, wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and black jeans and clutching a small brown bag, listened attentively as the charges were read to him.
His lawyer, Mr Ramesh Tiwary, said he had just taken on the case and asked the court for time to make his representations.
If convicted, Lee could be jailed up to a year or fined, or both jailed and fined on each charge.
In the courtroom’s public gallery yesterday were two of the estate’s many residents who had filed police reports that their cars, mailboxes or doors had been vandalised.
The two men said they were among the residents affected by the dispute within the estate over the collective sale.
The Straits Times reported last July that at least eight cars, including a Lexus and Toyota, had been vandalised. They were all splashed with corrosive liquid or paint or had been scratched.
Mailboxes had glue jammed into their keyholes to make it impossible for residents to collect their letters.
The war that has split residents of the 30-year-old estate into two camps is not yet over.
Last month, the estate managed to surpass the 80-per-cent threshold for the sale to go through, so it now remains for an interested developer to step forward.
The asking price of $1.2 billion will mean payouts of $1.8 million to $2.3 million per unit, sharply lower than sums in excess of $3 million some owners had hoped for in 2007.
Lee’s next court date is on Feb 3.

Straits Times - 07 Jan 2009
ChannelNewsAsia - 07 Jan 2009
07 Jan, 2009

Laguna Park has reached it's 80%.
The deadline was 14 Dec 2008.
Ex-HUDC, 528 units, 667,000 sq ft, Plot ratio: 2.8
Now they have a full year in which to market their estate, find a buyer, get their RPA and bits and bobs together and make an application to the STB.
They could be the Farrer Court of the East if the sale committee members keep their heads screwed on and the majority owners are kept in the loop and, more importantly, have a say in the decision making. Let's hope that the carrot is not taken away and replaced with a bean sprout on the back of a anemic property market. A resident, Mr. Lee Kok Leong* has expressed his hope that the estate will be marketed in the 3rd quarter of 2009 rather than now - in the anticipation of a stronger market - but it remains to be seen whether or not the SC's actions will mirror the expectations of the 80%. If speculators and desperate men are in the driving seat, then I fear not.
*This is the same Mr. Lee, ex-chairman of the MC who supposedly was caught gluing residents' doors shut!! Can't the reporter find someone more credible to speak to!
The sale committee have their mandate and they will most probably not wait too long before putting the estate on the market.
There are 2 EOGMs (possibly amalgamated into one) at this point in the process (after the 80% but before launch of sale):
d) to update on total number of SPs who have signed the CSA
e) to provide information on the sale proposal and sale proceeds
It would be nice to see a complete list of the names and addresses of all the agreeing owners and the date on which they signed the CSA - in the name of transparency, of course. Perhaps an owner might write a letter into the Secretary of the MCST to table this request at the EOGM. If possible, the letter should carry as many signatures as humanly possible and a copy handed to the most eminent Marine Parade GRC MP at a meet-the-people session.
Today - 15 Dec 2008
Laguna park clears hurdle
Business Times - 15 Dec 2008
ChannelNewsAsia - 14 Dec 2008
Laguna Park for an en bloc sale?
Business Times - 12 Dec 2008
Today - 12 Dec 2008
Straits Times -24 July 2008

Straits Times - 26 Aug 2008
Straits Times - 21 Aug 2008
Straits Times-14 Aug 2008
Laguna park vandals strike again
Straits Times - 28 July 2008


  1. It is all about timing, timing, timing.. while ex-gillman residents will face challenges getting replacement, many of those who en-bloc in the last boom have benefited from their sale. Those with inventment units will also benefit. SO it is not always a negative thing... there is alsways 2 sides to a coin.

  2. Speculators and double-unit owners aside, very few ordinary single-home owners in the latter half of the last en bloc wave benefitted from the sale of their units. What appeared initially to be a good price turned out to be half of what was required for a replacement unit (and I don't mean moving to another 26 yr old estate on the throes of another enbloc!).Look at Gillman Heights owners now (and Waterfront View owners and many more similar articles I can reprint from the media..) - faced with lousy units at double the price - which i am sure no ex-HUDC-er can afford.

    Timing is VITAL - and en bloc CANNOT get the time right because of the huge time lapse between setting the RP - the sale - and the eventual deposit of sale proceeds into owners' bank accounts. No one can forsee the market on that timeline so it is folly to set the RP 2 to 3 years in advance.

  3. Two sides of the coin, you say?
    Speculators, flippers, double-unit owners, multiple home owners, develop-buyers are NOT IMPORTANT and no one cares whether they make a profit or not.

    It is the SINGLE HOME OWNER whose life savings are enmeshed in the roof over their heads that need protection from all of the above. It is NOT RIGHT that in order for some to make a quick buck, others go down the tube. .

  4. Why should the majority who could benefit from enbloc care about the single home owner who doesn't care? At the point of sale enbloc price will always be higher than what individual unit can fetch. Is it right that those who have to sell are robbed of their opportunity to sell at higher enbloc price because the single home owners only care about their own perceived financial loss cos they bought their untis during the previous peaks?

  5. Majority = sale committee
    The majority has to care if it wants the STB to approve the sale. The Horizon Tower Appellate Court decision 02 April 2009 set the benchmark on the matter:
    107 As the SC is the agent of the subsidiary proprietors collectively, there is no point at which the SC may act solely in the interests of any group of subsidiary proprietors, whether they are consenting or objecting proprietors
    ......, once the requisite consent is obtained and the interests of the objecting subsidiary proprietors become distinguishable from those of the consenting subsidiary proprietors, the SC’s role becomes that of an impartial agent acting for both camps. In other words, the SC must hold an even hand between these interests.

    108 A fiduciary relationship between an SC and the subsidiary proprietors arises from the underlying agency relationship

    154 The duty to obtain the best price arises out of the SC’s duty to act conscientiously as well as to act even-handedly in the collective interest of all the subsidiary proprietors. The duty to obtain the best sale price is particularly crucial for the objecting subsidiary proprietors.
    167 An SC cannot rely on a mechanistic or literal compliance with its statutory and contractual obligations to escape indictment for breach of its obligations as fiduciary of the subsidiary proprietors. The first principle is that an SC has to work for the benefit of all the subsidiary proprietors. This will no doubt involve going beyond just paying lip service to the relevant procedural rules under the LTSA and its mandate under the collective sale agreement. Indeed, in evaluating the conduct of an SC, the contextual conditions in which the power of sale is exercised is everything.

  6. Majority has to perform due dilligence to ensure that the process is transparent, treatment is fair and best price is obtain at that point in time.

    Whether the owner is an investor or occupying the unit. They have equal rights. Occupier does not have priority or preferential treatment. Everyone deserves fair treatment.