A CONSORTIUM led by Oxley Holdings has acquired Serangoon Ville, a former HUDC estate in Serangoon North Avenue 1, for S$499 million in a collective sale. Offers of S$400 million to S$430 million had been expected.

This collective sale brings the year’s number so far to seven, in deals worth S$2.5 billion; for the whole of last year, only three deals worth S$1 billion were closed. The rest of the year is likely to yield another few billions more as the collective sales market roars back to life, amid a transactions-led property recovery and limited land up for grabs in state tenders.  Oxley takes up a 40 per cent stake in the consortium; the balance is equally split among Lian Beng Group, Unique Invesco Pte Ltd and Apricot Capital. Unique Invesco is a 37.5 per cent indirect associate of KSH Holdings; Apricot is the private investment firm of Super Group’s Teo family.

Speculation is now rife that the Oxley-led consortium will take part in the public tender for the Serangoon North Avenue 1 site offered under the confirmed list of the government land sales (GLS) programme. This tender closes on Thursday.

The four companies – Oxley Holdings, Lian Beng Group, KSH Holdings and Apricot – had in May teamed up to acquire Rio Casa, a former HUDC estate in Hougang, in a collective sale for S$575 million.

The purchase price for Serangoon Ville works out to a land rate of close to S$835 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), given the estimated differential premium of S$195 million payable to the state for a top-up to a fresh 99-year lease and for the intensification of the 296,913 sq ft site to a gross plot ratio of 2.8.

Owners at the 244-unit Serangoon Ville are expected to pocket S$2 million on average, said ERA Realty, which brokered the deal.

Locational attributes were key considerations for the bid, Oxley Holdings executive chairman and chief executive Ching Chiat Kwong said.

Some 1,200 units are expected to be built on the site. “The project will provide affordable condominium housing for the masses,” he added.

Notably, Serangoon Ville is near Hundred Palms Residences, the 531-unit executive condominium along Yio Chu Kang Road which sold out within seven hours on Saturday.

Colliers International Singapore managing director Tang Wei Leng described the purchase price for Serangoon Ville as “aggressive and bullish”, reflecting the sentiment for Singapore’s property market.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said: “This serves as yet another indication that developers are of the view that the property market’s down cycle is almost over.”

Having diversified actively outside of Singapore in recent years, Oxley is making a swift comeback in the Singapore market, where it has acquired three other plots this year.

Besides snapping up Rio Casa through a consortium, it acquired in May a property at 494 Upper East Coast Road from its owner for S$10.5 million; this month, it acquired a freehold property at 231 Pasir Panjang Road for residential redevelopment for S$121 million.

JLL regional director for capital markets Tan Hong Boon said: “The en bloc fever will go on for a while as developers still cannot find sufficient land. The second-half 2017 GLS is probably not enough to satisfy their appetite.” Former HUDC sites tend to be popular with developers, since their locations are preferred by upgraders, who now form the majority of the end-buyers, Mr Tan said.

Owners at another privatised HUDC estate, the 336-unit Florence Regency in Hougang, as well as at the freehold Amber Park condominium have crossed 70 per cent consensus for their collective sales agreement. Both projects are marketed by JLL.

Knight Frank said on Wednesday that owners of the 12-unit freehold Dunearn Court in the prime District 11 are asking for S$38.8 million in a tender to be launched the following day. This will translate to a land rate of around S$1,443 psf ppr.

Ian Loh, executive director and head of investment and capital market at Knight Frank, noted that redevelopment sites are now highly sought after, particularly boutique redevelopment sites with gross development value (GDV) of below S$100 million.

He said of Dunearn Court: “The purchaser could potentially configure the maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) of approximately 26,884 sq ft into 32 apartment units with an average size of 753 sq ft, subject to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s approval.” The tender for Dunearn Court closes on Sept 6.

Already up for sale is the freehold Villa D’Este condominium in Dalvey Road, launched by CBRE last week. Owners are asking for S$96 million for the prime District 10 property comprising 12 apartments; this translates to about S$1,730 per sq ft on the land area of 55,480 sq ft.

At Tampines Court, which is also launched for sale, owners of the privatised HUDC property are eyeing S$960 million, with each owner standing to receive about S$1.7 million from the sale.

The revival in the en bloc market has stoked more property owners into thinking of making a windfall from their ageing homes.

Normanton Park owners are due to meet this Saturday to approve the collective sale agreement with a reserve price of S$800 million, unchanged from its initial attempt in October 2015, said S S Chopra, who chairs the collective sales committee.

Over at the iconic Pearl Bank Apartments in Outram, owners are looking at a reserve price of S$728 million for the 288-unit building. Colliers is working on this, on top of Jervois Gardens, Parkway Mansion, City Towers and The Balmoral.

Owners of Lakepoint condominium near Lakeside MRT station are said to have formed a collective sale committee, a news report from online portal PropertyGuru said on Wednesday.

Source: The Business Times, 27 July 2017, “Oxley-led consortium acquires Serangoon Ville for S$499m in collective sale”.

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