Collective sale of Elizabeth Towers launched with reserve price of $630m

Collective sale of Elizabeth Towers offers unobstructed views of the Orchard Road skyline overlooking the three-storey landed housing estate

collective sale
image: Edmund Tie & Company

Edmund Tie & Company (EDMUND TIE) announced on 22 November that it is offering the collective sale of Elizabeth Towers – a prestigious freehold residential site commanding the most prime and prominent spot on Mount Elizabeth, off Orchard Road in coveted District 9. EDMUND TIE is the sole marketing agent for the collective sale.

Elizabeth Towers occupies a rare corner plot with a site area of 54,317.9 sq ft, enjoying unobstructed views of the Orchard Road skyline overlooking the three-storey landed housing estate.

The site boasts unparalleled exclusivity and convenience, located in an affluent residential enclave and within a two-minute stroll to Orchard Road, Singapore’s premier shopping and lifestyle district, where a plethora of dining and lifestyle offerings are conveniently available at its doorstep.

The site of the collective sale is in the vicinity of upscale shopping malls

In its immediate vicinity are upscale shopping malls including Paragon, Ngee Ann City and ION Orchard, private clubs including Tanglin Club and The American Club, premium healthcare facilities at Paragon Medical Centre, Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre and Camden Medical Centre, as well as lifestyle destinations at Singapore Botanic Gardens and Dempsey Hill.

Under Master Plan 2019, the freehold land parcel is zoned for Residential use with a building height of up to 36 storeys. The site can be redeveloped up to its verified existing gross floor area of 252,438 sq ft or plot ratio 4.65.

Elizabeth Towers enjoys excellent connectivity being within a five-minute stroll to Orchard and Somerset MRT Stations serving the North-South Line. Centrally located, the site is within 10 minutes’ drive to Raffles Place and 18 minutes’ drive to Singapore Changi Airport. The site also enjoys easy access to the rest of Singapore via the Central Expressway that is located just a minute’s drive away.

The site of the collective sale is in the area of distinguished schools

The distinguished Anglo Chinese School (Junior) is located within 1km radius from the site while St Joseph’s Institution Junior, Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and St Margaret’s Primary School are located within 2km.

Singapore luxury residential market has witnessed strong buying demand in the past year. Some notable transactions of luxury homes recorded this year include the sale of a 8,385 sq ft penthouse at Hilltops at S$33.5 million (S$3,995 per square foot). A 3,057 sq ft apartment at The Ritz Carlton Residences changed hands at S$15 million (S$4,907 psf) in October this year. All twenty units at EDEN were sold in March this year at a total of S$293 million or an average price of $4,827 per square foot. In May, a penthouse of 5,899 sq ft at Park Nova was sold at S$34.438 million (S$5,838 psf). Just last month in October, a penthouse of 12,077 sq ft at Les Maisons Nassim was sold at S$75 million (S$6,210 psf).

Executive Director of Investment Advisory at EDMUND TIE, Ms Swee Shou Fern commented: “Elizabeth Towers enjoys an exceptional location nestled in the prestigious Mount Elizabeth residential enclave in the heart of the Orchard Road shopping and lifestyle hub, offering the best of convenience and exclusivity. This is a trophy corner plot offering the successful bidder a rare opportunity to create an ultra-luxury residential landmark in the heart of Orchard Road.”

The reserve price for Elizabeth Towers is $630 million. Priced at a compelling land rate of approximately $2,400 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) taking into account the 7% bonus balcony area and coupled by its exceptional location and site attributes, we expect very keen interest from local and overseas developers vying for Elizabeth Towers.

The tender for the collective sale of Elizabeth Towers closes on Wednesday, 15 December 2021, at 3pm.

Mr Paul Ho, chief officer at iCompareLoan, said: “A lot of things can go wrong in a collective sale. The recent Ampas Apartment owners failure in bid to keep $4.75m deposit after buyer called off en bloc sale is a good example.”

The owners of the 43-unit Ampas Apartment will have to refund a $4.75 million deposit that a unit of Oxley Holdings had paid for in an en bloc sale that it later called off after the High Court dismissed a suit brought against Oxley Jasper by 42 of the 43 owners, who contended that they were entitled to keep the deposit.

Keeping track of collective sale milestones

As an SP, you should always keep track of all the milestones leading to the conclusion of your en bloc sales-  milestones like when your Sales Committee (SC) was formed, Extra-Ordinary General Meetings, Updates from SC, etc. Most importantly don’t rely on any knowledge or information you may have gleaned from your en bloc experience in the past.

The en bloc regulations have been more firmly tightened, and the process strictly regulated in the past few years.  The tighter laws we now have means the responsibilities of the SC, the property consultants, and the lawyers, are all well defined, which provides for better transparency of the en bloc processes.

IT’S NOT OVER TILL IT IS OVER

Don’t think that just because a qualified developer has made a bid at or above the reserve price, and just because the SC has agreed to accept the bid on behalf of the SP, the transaction is considered done. Some SP may still raise objection to the en bloc sales and if they do, the Strata Title Board (STB) is obliged to hear their case. The entire en bloc transaction can be stopped from proceeding further if the dissenters can prove that the SC  did not abide by correct procedures.

TIME TO MOVE OUT

Once the STB gives the stamp of approval for the en-bloc sales, the winning developer will have to give you at least 6 months for you to move out of your property. The funds from the en bloc sales would also have been transferred to you by this time, but a significant portion of your proceeds will go towards offsetting any existing loans you may have with the bank, as well as any CPF funds used for purchase of your previous unit. The 6-month period may be sufficient time for most SP to arrange sufficient finances to find another suitable home.

CONSIDER ALL OPTIONS

Whether you are considering to rent or to downgrade to a smaller apartment, consider all options carefully.

Illustration: Here is how En bloc can lose you money

  • Bought a property (Completion) for $1m in 01 June 2017 to stay near parents.
  • Renovation spent $100,000 01 July 2017
  • The Enbloc deal for $1,300,000 is signed on 01 Sep 2017.
  • Seller Stamp Duty (SSD) is payable around 15 Sep 2017. Seller stamp Duty (SSD) of 12% = $156,000.
  • Date of actual completion of the deal is estimated to be 30 Aug 2018.
  • Sales proceeds of balance of $1,300,000 for the property to be received around 30th Aug 2018.

While you wait for your en bloc completion, another property that you were planning to buy at $1,000,000 rose to $1,100,000 in 30 Aug 2021. This means you have to pay an extra $100,000 due to this wait.

Transaction

En-bloc Sale Price                                             =          $1,300,000

Bought Price                                                      =          $1,000,000

Gross Profit                                                 =         $   300,000

Costs involved

Seller Stamp Duty @ 12%                         =          $ 156,000

Renovation Cost                                          =          $ 100,000

Waiting cost to buy new Condo                =          $ 100,000

Other moving costs, time and effort         =          $   20,000

Penalty on Home Loan 1.5%                    =          $   15,000

Loss interest on SSD @ 4%                     =          $     6,240

Total Costs                                                   =          $ 397,240

LOSS                                                             =          $   97,240

As a result of En bloc your potential joy turned into nightmare. Instead of making $300,000 profit, you ended up losing $91,000 and ended up having to move house again. The lifestyle disruption is huge.

Remember that everybody’s needs and comfort-levels are different. Just because one housing option works for someone, it doesn’t mean that the same option will work for you and your family. As soon as you are sure that your en-bloc sales will conclude without any hassle,  you should be speaking to a trusted property advisor. The advisor would be best placed to guide you through your next housing option.

Mr Ho said, “En bloc sales process takes easily 18 to 40 months to complete, and in a rising market, the prices of properties could easily have risen by 5 to 10% a year, rendering the premium obtained from en bloc not worth it.”

Written by Ravi Chandran

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