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.

MARKET NEWS

Private home prices outstrip peak of '96
Business Times: Jul 02, 2010
HDB resale prices rising faster 
Straits Times: Jul 02, 2010
Home prices 'set for healthy gains'
Jun 29, 2010

Prices of mass market homes, especially Housing Board flats, are set for healthy gains this year, according to a Citigroup report.

However, HDB resale prices, which provide a strong base for the mass private market, are likely to stay firm due largely to the generally low supply since 2003, it said. Citi expects both HDB resale prices and rents, as well as mass market private home prices, to rise 5 per cent to 10 per cent by the end of the year.

'With capital gains from existing Housing Board flats at a seven-year high, coupled with low mortgage rates, we believe new sales are likely to remain strong in the mass market,' it said.

Mass market private home prices should be capped at $900 to $1,000 per sq ft (psf), though there is a chance they may overshoot, it said.

Considering the high bids and breakeven costs for recent government sites, developers are likely to keep selling private homes at a minimum range of $850 to $1,100 psf and HDB executive condos at closer to $750 psf.

NOTE: anything less than a replacement unit is totally unacceptable in an en bloc. There should be no forced downgrades, no loss of living standard.

This replacement cost can either be in CASH or 1-for 1 exchange

Look at the new developments, they are impossibly small, high density estates with greatly diminished common property. 


But for those who think downsizing is a good idea... think twice.

How to make the most of a small apartment

Q: I HAVE four kids aged 13, 11, seven and five, and we live in an apartment with only two bedrooms and no storeroom.
We have many things, including books, CDs, photos, shoes, stationery and toys, which we had gathered over the years and my husband and I are still buying new items for our children on a regular basis.
We kept all the old toys as it is such a waste to throw them away – they are good-quality toys and still in good condition. It is the same case with books. My daughter loves buying books and we do not want to kill her interest in reading by asking her to stop spending on books.
hen there’s also the textbooks, assessment books, lesson notes, examination papers, all of which we are keeping to hand down to our younger kids.
We are running out of cupboard space for all these items, so much so that I have to keep some of the toys in the children’s wardrobe, along with their clothes; under their study table; and even on the steps on their double-decker bed.
Shoes are another headache.
My children have at least three pairs each, not counting the ones that the older ones cannot wear anymore (which we are keeping for the younger ones). Then there are the shoes belonging to my husband and me.
I hope the professionals can suggest ways we can organise all our things and, if possible, tuck them away neatly.
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A: Your two-room apartment is indeed small for a family of six but, with some planning, you would be able to maximise the space and find your things easily as well.
Cluttered living spaces are difficult to maintain, so let’s aim to keep the apartment as spacious as possible but, at the same time, have all the most frequently needed items within easy reach.
You should first consider what you really want to keep. If you are unlikely to ever use something again, it should be disposed of, to free up space.
Next, designate storage zones and prioritise them according to accessibility within your apartment.
For each storage zone, you need suitable storage equipment, for example, hangers, plastic bins and shelves.
You will also have to consider whether to store items on a higher level to maximise the space up there. Naturally, higher storage areas are not as accessible as those that are within reach, so they are best used for items that are seldom used.
When it comes to storage equipment, it is most practical to use something that is strong and durable. But you should also consider getting something that would improve the aesthetics of your home. Therefore, you may want to invest in good-looking furniture for the more visible areas.
The next step is to decide what you want to keep but do not use regularly. These items should go into the storage areas that are less accessible – they could be outside your home.
Things that you need to use more regularly should be stored in the apartment within the designated storage zones.
Organising your things can take quite a bit of time, but it will save you time searching for them later had they not been stored in an organised manner. Do label your boxes clearly so that it will be easier for you to find your things later.
For items that have sentimental value which you cannot bear to junk and yet do not want to keep in the apartment (as they take up too much premium space), you may want to consider self-storage service.
Self-storage can help by allowing you to keep these items in a purpose-built location.
You should select a storage facility in a location that is most convenient for you either near your workplace or near your home – so that should you need to retrieve your things, you don’t have to travel too far to get them.
Source : my paper – 30 Jun 2010
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How ridiculous is it to buy into your dream home  and find there is not enough space for your shoes! Even more ridiculous to be told to buy extra storage space above and beyond the extravagant price you might have paid for your home! This lady must not live in a HDB.. .I have yet to visit a 3 room HDB with no store room. 
I walked into one of these showrooms and instantly noted the drawbacks - no doors, 1 room knocked down to give the impression of space, furniture fit for dwarfs, an American full sized bed masquerading as a queen size,  read the details and saw cheap plastic foldable doors on the kitchen toilet, and no kitchen space for the fridge! And this in a million dollar plus apartment!  tsk tsk

If there are people who value facilities over personal space then they really should sit down and and have a long hard think.
  • Enjoyment of facilities is usually short term. After a few months owners generally find they use them less and less. Facilities are common space. 
  • Facilities come with a high monthly fee - do you really want to pay $250 -$300 for a pool you hardly ever use or your children have outgrown?
  • Your square footage of personal space is yours and yours alone to enjoy. Size is a determining factor when buying/selling your apartment - facilities are peripheral and not calculated into the price directly.
  • Are you being seduced by marketing tactics and glossy pictures and ignoring the practicality of viewing an apartment as your future living space? In other words, are you buying into a lifestyle that will lose it's shine eventually, leave you wanting  and sap your bank account for the rest of your working days? 
For those who think an enbloc will enable them to buy into a luxury home have not done their sums.

All an en bloc will do is allow you to visit the fancy showrooms and drool over the European bathroom fixtures but NOT buy into the new development on your old site - unless you fork out double the price or are content with a mickey-mouse sized apartment with your sale proceeds. If you do either of these things then you have effectively
  • reduced by half your personal living space
  • emptied you bank account
  • taken out yet another yoke of a mortgage
  • reduced your share of any common property as a new development will typically be high density
  • Increased your monthly overheads
  • hobbled your retirement savings (if any)
And in the meantime, the developer is laughing all the way to the bank - having bought the penthouse for his family members!

For those who say owners can downgrade to HDB and pocket the difference

Well, downsizing for retirement needs might be a legitimate excuse for selling out. But it should only be a matter of choice not a REALITY for all. It becomes a reality because the CSA binds owners for 24 months, locks them into selling their estate at a set price. Sure, the sale committee promise to try and sell for higher - but it rarely happens and there are dozens of unhappy past enblocs to prove that point! Who the hell sells anything by locking in the price for 2 years???? 

And what happens to the price of HDBs  in an area where there is an en bloc? They shoot through the roof  because canny HDB owners also want to cash in on the wave of  displaced en bloc owners looking for a replacement unit in the area. Prices go up and those that end up in HDB are left feeling somewhat duped.




18 comments:

  1. Anonymous30 June, 2010

    You did not mention that tc does not have a pool, tennis court... a condo w/o the condo facilities.

    These may be unacceptable to you but others may have differing opinion.

    - for those who purchase tc for investment, it may be a good time to cash out.
    - for owners who prefer the cash and opt to purchase a hdb (lateral move)
    - for those to seek a better lifestye thru new condo with pool, tennis, gym, sauna, etc, and willing to pay the premium (upgrade).

    it actually depends if 80% wants out..

    ReplyDelete
  2. A family does not live in a pool - a family needs space in their apartment. A pool is peripheral to daily needs. An owner who swops 1700sqft of personal space for something half the size so as to have access to a minature pool needs to have his head examined. A pool is a common facility shared by up to 500 owners. Your home square footage is your own.

    Lifestyle is a word coined by the developers to sell an idea to the masses - to plant in their tiny minds that space does not matter - all that matters is a pool and BBQ pit for a happy life. Those who live with such facilities pay through the nose in monthly maintenance fees and must wonder if it is really worth it. Pools nowadays in practically every new launch are miniture sized (3 m wide) with some located on the rooftop. Tennis Courts have gone the way of the dodo. A gym is a cheap facility even TC can afford - and SPs can have one if the they vote for it at the next AGM.

    All ads for new developments feature young childless couples in white, sipping wine and oh so much in love, with an obligatory western woman lounging in a bikini by the pool in the background . Internal pictures feature furniture - as if a bedroom consists of a bed only, or a living room a sofa.

    I have noticed the phrase 'affordable quantum' used more and more - a concept divorcing price from size.

    If 80% buy the hype - then it will be a sorry day for TC.

    PS. I run a website for a property agent selling these awful new places.. they are seriously getting worse and worse. Mechanised parking ...a maintneance nightmare in the making for any estate! Cascading water ... what ever for! Serenity corner... a bench. BBQ pit ...what's so special about that?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous30 June, 2010

    the fact is that money talks when it comes to value... we can talk about space and more space but that is not what people prefer..

    the money is going to new and smaller units, more facilties, good finishing, themed development....this is where the current purchaers see value

    of couse there are those who prefer space but based on the trend, there are not many that put premium on this... or maybe the shortening lease is affecting the value of tc.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous30 June, 2010

    blaming the developer is not entirely fair...

    buyer has to perform due delligence and take responsibility for their choise. the buyer can choose not to buy what she does not like. No one is putting the gun to her head.

    The are many older development to choose from if she so desire other criteria.

    I live in a development with ample space, facilities and 999 lease.

    I enjoy it but i do notice many prefer newer but smaller

    ReplyDelete
  5. Don't be so naive! The TREND is set by the developer - the buyer has little choice in the matter; that is all his hard earned money can buy.It is not a chicken and egg situation - in this case the Chicken definitely comes first.

    It was only after intense lobbying by concerned citizens that the rule regarding bay windows and planter boxes was recently reviewed. You will see less and less of these features from now on not because of changing consumer trends, but because the developer now has to pay for them (they were free in the past, but sneakily charged owners through the nose ...all pure profit).

    Pity the poor woman in the paper today - a cry of help from someone who has a smalll apartment and now hasn't got enough storage space even for her SHOES!

    Tampines Court could convert the void decks into lots of storage units for poor new condo owners .. and charge them a monthly fee! Yeah!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous30 June, 2010

    developer force the lady to purchase the small apartment?

    ReplyDelete
  7. 'I live in a development with ample space, facilities and 999 lease.'

    Your argument is lacking in detail. You do not say how many bedrooms you have or how many children live with you. A couple in a two bedder will do fine.. but when the kids come along, well...

    If you do not stay in Tc, may I ask why you are so interested in my blog?

    'developer force the lady to purchase the small apartment?'

    Not relevant to the point
    ,
    ,
    ,
    As much as I enjoy sparring with anonymous commentators (though I wish people would use monikers at least) my proper work is piling up and I must sign off.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous30 June, 2010

    there are many development with larger units and space... chuan park, lakeview condo, cashew park, cashew heights, hazxel park, sky@eleven, and the list goes on.... there is choice.. do not entirely blame the developer... a little balance will do fine.

    why am i interested? I like the beyond part of the title and i like to balance some of the bias views i see here.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your choices are interesting; old developments similar to TC teetering on enbloc.

    So, for TC, the choice is to sell up and move to another old estate and go through the hassle and uncertainty of another en bloc again. Nomads looking for a place to finally call home.

    Chuan Park: 99 year leasehold , 27 yrs old: ENBLOC POTENTIAL

    Lakeview condo: ex-HUDC, 99 yrs, 33 yrs (1977): ENBLOC POTENTIAL

    Cashew Park: 999 yrs, 33 yrs (1983): ENBLOC POTENTIAL

    Cashew Heights: 999 yrs 18 yrs (1992): ENBLOC POTENTIAL(Cashew Heights owners plan a second collective sale, Apr 12, 2010

    HAZEL PARK: 999 YRS 9 YRS (2001) 696 UNITS

    SKY@ ELEVEN; 2010 - you must be joking..

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous01 July, 2010

    i was merely highlighting that there are options if you wish to have larger units and/or with space.

    How do you classify whether a development has enbloc potential?

    The new rules makes it very difficult for any of the above to have a successful enbloc. anyone can say 'enbloc potential' but can it really happen? I do not forsee any development with > 400 units going enbloc for the next 5 years, maybe more.
    Do you seriously classify tc as having enbloc potential under the new rules?


    - Sky@eleven have many units that are over 2k sqf. If you like spacious units

    - cashew heights last eogm to select the csc did not even meet quorum and was dissolve

    - Parkwest (another so called condo with enbloc potential) could not even find a marketing agent to make a proposal.

    There are condos with space (internal and external) if you bother to take the effort.

    ReplyDelete
  11. All older estates are advertised as having 'en bloc potential, even units in TC. It is part and parcel of the usual list of selling points - whether the estate is anywhere near ripe enough is an internal matter.

    Actually, I have lost the drift of the argument.

    Yes, there are still old condos out there with space and TC is one of them, they are becoming fewer and fewer - and yes you can buy into new condos with space but only if you have plenty of moolah.

    My point (originally) was that why bother selling your spacious TC unit and

    a)move somewhere newer and substantially smaller
    b)Move to somewhere newer and equally large but have to fork out hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars more.
    c) move to somewhere equally old and go through the uncertainty of another enbloc.

    New units don't stay new forever.
    Families grow.
    Space matters.

    SKY@ ELEVEN
    You really don't know the make up of TC if you can even suggest we could afford such a high end property!!!!!!!

    Besides, all units are sold out - subsales between $1250- $1400 psf!!!!!!!!!!!! The smallest unit (1851 sqft) for $2.3 million!!!!

    From the website:http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_536810.html

    Jun 7, 2010
    SPH unveils Sky@Eleven

    SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) unveiled its maiden residential project - Sky@ Eleven in prime district 11 off Thomson Road - on Monday and said it is looking for more development sites.

    The freehold project, developed by SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary Times Development, obtained Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) last month.

    Launched in the midst of a hot property market in January 2007, it achieved an average price of $975 psf. All 273 units were snapped up within 30 hours of the launch. The highest price recorded at $1,200 per sq ft was a benchmark level for the Thomson area then.

    Prices have since risen. In April, sub-sale units at Sky@Eleven were being transacted at between $1,250 psf and $1,400 psf. Sky@Eleven features large units, which are built from the fifth storey onwards. They range from 1,851 sq ft to 2,820 sq ft, with the duplex penthouses at 4,844 sq ft to 5,597 sq ft.

    The principal designer and architect for the project is Mr Ti Lian Seng, who led the award-winning DP Architects to design the apartments. Mr Ti also designed Marina Square and was part of a team behind the iconic Esplanade Arts Centre.

    At Monday's completion ceremony, SPH's chairman, Dr Tony Tan said that while SPH is known for delivering quality media products, the completion of Sky@eleven has proved that the firm is able to deliver more than just media products. 'It is a testament to SPH's growing versatility, dynamism and willingness to seek out opportunities to create shareholder value. Sky@eleven also reflects the type of high quality product that SPH is well known for,' he said.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous01 July, 2010

    In my earlier post, I sited reasons by tc owners want to sell include:

    - for those who purchase tc for investment, it may be a good time to cash out.
    - for owners who prefer the cash and opt to purchase a hdb (lateral move)
    - for those to seek a better lifestye thru new condo with pool, tennis, gym, sauna, etc, and willing to pay the premium (upgrade).

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous03 July, 2010

    Do not be naive and be fooled by condos that term themselves enbloc potential. Anyone can call their condo enbloc potential but buyer have to do their homework.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous03 July, 2010

    the CSA does not lock to a selling price. it is the minimum price...
    check out recent enblocs like pender court, culford gardens, etc. They are above the reserve price.

    Balance please.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 'the CSA does not lock to a selling price. it is the minimum price...check out recent enblocs like pender court, culford gardens, etc. They are above the reserve price.'

    I am tiring of answering comments from newbies to the scene and who haven't bothered to read the blog in depth and who don't realise that TC has been through the entire process and we KNOW what RP really means: minimum price = what tyou can expect to get as it is an open secret..

    As for your examples, you keep throwing up examples that prove my point!

    Pender Court, a 48-unit condominium off West Coast Highway, has been sold en bloc for $95 million. The price is shy of the owners' asking price of $100million to $108 million.

    Culford Garden in Siglap has been sold en bloc to Fragrance Properties for $39 million. The tender attracted four offers, all of which were within the asking range of $37 million to $40 million.
    You can find the relvant newspaper links on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It may very well be that the owners of recent successful en blocs are happy with the price - no one knows the details - and no objections to the STB have been made public as far as I know. But many en blocs in the past had to take the long arduous route of STB/High Court to try and block very, very bad sales. Most were unsuccessful, a few succeeded. It is not for nothing that the LTSA HAD to be amended amid the uproar - and even with the new amendments, some of the old loopholes remain ominously open.

    If you have never experienced an en bloc, it is unlikely you will comprehend the tiny details that make a huge difference; preferring instead to have a blind faith in the system and expect all will work out well in the end.

    Where lots of money is to be made, you should expect lots of shenanigans.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous03 July, 2010

    newbie?
    have you ever been in an enbloc committee that went thru the entire process?
    Asking price by owners is always above the reserve price. for individual apt, you will normally ask above your expectation.

    tc's bad experience will not be repeated due to the new rules that ensures greater transparecy so please do not bring up the past which is irrelevant.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The past is never irrelevant, especially if there is a sliver of a chance that past sins may be repeated. There is no absolution or pity for ex-sale committee members and any new sale committee will have to contend with the sour legacy they left behind.

    Like it or not, their every action or inaction will be posted on this blog. Comparison with enbloc round 1 is unavoidable and past mistakes will be trotted out if there is relevancy. This blog is a repository of information (some of it respectfully kept in draft) that is just a mouse click away.

    An intelligent, educated, honest bunch of NEW faces will be given a chance to prove themselves. Any old face can expect a roasting from me for sure.

    This is the end of this thread of comments.
    Thank you for your participation.

    ReplyDelete