"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.

ST Letter : No benefit from collective sales

20 Feb 2011,

I refer to the special report on the experiences of former Gillman Heights residents ('For better or for worse'; Feb6).

The five residents interviewed have all suffered financial or emotional losses from the collective sale of their homes.

As a resident from a condominium unit about to vote on such a sale, I too have been told by the agents trying to sell my condo that I will have to downgrade from my 1,700 sq ft apartment to a 1,300sq ft one if I wish to buy a new property.

My current apartment has three bedrooms plus a maid's room. I will have to downsize to a two-bedroom unit (with no maid's room) or buy an HDB flat - and still be out of pocket after the sale. If I wish to buy a new apartment in the area, I will have to pay about $1million more than what I am selling for.

Whom does a collective sale benefit? Would it not be better to upgrade our existing apartments (I am told it would be about $30,000 per resident) rather than move?

The economics simply do not make sense - and many residents realise this only too late.

If a collective sale pays 30per cent above the market rate, which is the current rule of thumb for developers, it would be better to be prudent and hold off the sale, or face a loss.

In fact, I have friends from Gillman Heights who were out of pocket by more than half a million dollars when they had to move to a similar location. The market continued to move up in the two years before they got their money - as is the case for practically every collective sale I know of.

Harry Tham

ST Letters : En bloc issue raises many questions

20 Feb 2011,

I felt sad on reading the special report on those who sold their apartments en bloc ('For better or for worse'; Feb6).

As expected, there were positive and negative stories. This is to be expected in any collective sale, when not all agree to the deal.

Nevertheless, the issue again raises many questions. For example:

· What is a home? To some, it is not just a house but a place where one can put down roots and bond with one's neighbours, or where one was brought up.

· Does money matter so much that financial gains become more important than everything else?

· Does the right of those who support the sales rank higher than the right of those who do not want to make the change? Should an 80per cent level of consent be the deciding figure? Should it be 100per cent?

· Is Singapore so land-scarce that we need so many collective sales?

· Do such sales improve the quality of life in Singapore?

· Government-built HUDC housing allows people to have a good home at an affordable price. Why do we allow this to be taken away from some people?

My view is that collective sales have created part of the liquidity problem as well as the housing problem here.

People should have the right to remain in their homes until the buildings are no longer suitable to live in.

Ang Miah Boon

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