En bloc market in S’pore slows in 2013

The en bloc market has slowed significantly this year as developers turned cautious following the government’s cooling measures and loan curbs.

The value of en bloc transactions fell to S$1.3 billion so far this year, down from S$1.4 billion in 2012 and S$3.2 billion in 2011, according to property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle.

Eunosville is up for en bloc sale for the second time, after its first attempt was foiled by the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework which kicked in in late June.

Its marketing agent Jones Lang LaSalle says the site, which is expected to yield about 1,000 units of about 1,100 square feet each, remains attractive to home buyers.

It is therefore not changing its asking price of S$688 million for the former HUDC estate as it believes the property market is starting to stabilise.

However, some experts believe that collective sale attempts by large sites will be rare in the year ahead as developers are likely to find en bloc sales below S$200 million to be more palatable.

“These developers in the en bloc sites — they are boutique developers that may not want do a JV (joint venture) with larger developers for GLS (Government Land Sales) sites. GLS going forward, it is going to be difficult to find those below the S$200 million per plot,” said Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong.

Priced at S$72 million, Jervois Gardens off River Valley Road was also put up for en-bloc sale on Monday.

Looking ahead, market watchers expect fewer freehold properties to be put up for sale in the en bloc market. This is probably because most of the freehold properties have already been sold and redeveloped during its peak in 2011.

Still, the two developments put up for sale this week have not convinced market watchers that the en bloc market for residential property is warming up.

“The composition of what gets sold within the en bloc space is changing,” said Jones Lang LaSalle Singapore head of investments Karamjit Singh.

He added: “We are beginning to see more commercial en blocs taking place in bigger quanta. We are beginning to see the introduction of industrial collective sales — that was a non-existent phenomenon in the past.

“This year, there were three industrial collective sales that have taken place.”

Recent en bloc sales of commercial properties have helped to prop up the market.

According to Jones Lang LaSalle, out of the S$1.3 billion transacted in the en bloc market this year, industrial properties contributed about eight per cent or S$117 million.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 10 Dec 2013

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