Pine Grove gets 80% vote for en bloc

It could be third time lucky for Pine Grove estate along Ulu Pandan Road.

MediaCorp understands that the condominium’s third attempt at an en bloc sale received the necessary 80 per cent majority approval last Saturday.

According to residents, the reserve price is set at S$1.7 billion, setting the stage for Pine Grove to become Singapore’s largest residential collective sale, beating the 2007 record for Farrer Court.

“It’s a good time to sell because the estate is getting old, and it will be expensive to upgrade the old lifts, sewerage pipes and wiring in future,” said a resident, who declined to be named.

The next stage of the en bloc attempt is the preparation of tender documents, but the votes have to be first audited by the appointed law firm Lee & Lee.

There is also a “cooling off” period where residents who had signed can withdraw their consent to sell within a week.

MediaCorp understands that Jones Lang LaSalle, which is the marketing agent, is unlikely to launch a sale this year, and will likely wait for more favourable market conditions.

“Since 2008, most en bloc sales have been less than S$100 million,” said Nicholas Mak, Executive Director of Research and Consultancy, SLP International. “This shows that developers are now more cautious and the risk appetite is not so high.”

Analysts believe that potential buyers are likely to take a consortium or joint-venture route so as to spread the risk.

A collective sale also faces challenges from a successful Government Land Sales programme.

“Developers sometimes prefer the straight forward government sale of sites,” said Donald Han, vice chairman, Cushman & Wakefield, Singapore. “The collective sale process on the other hand can become protracted.”

Signatures for the sale have been collected from Pine Grove owners over various sessions since 15 November 2009.

The reserve price of S$1.7 billion could work out to between S$2.1 million and S$2.75 million per unit, depending on the size of the apartment and the development charge.

There are 660 units at the former HUDC estate, which covers over 893,000 square feet of land area.

The current record for an en bloc sale is held by Farrer Court, located along Farrer Road, also a former HUDC estate. It was sold in 2007 for S$1.34 billion, and had a development charge of about S$500 million.

Observers said Pine Grove could attract a similar development charge.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 16 Nov 2010

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