With asking price of S$2.5b Mandarin Gardens set to break record for largest en bloc sale

If everything goes according to plan, Mandarin Gardens condominium is all set to become Singapore’s largest collective sale ever. The 99-year leasehold development in Siglap sitting on sites close to or over one million sq ft, has set a S$2.48 billion price tag in a fresh attempt at a collective sale.

According to Channel NewsAsia which claims to have seen the documents, C and H Realty has been appointed as marketing agent to handle the en bloc sales process. An Extraordinary General Meeting is also set to be called within two weeks to approve the sale conditions.

Mandarin Gardens

Analysts believe that if the reserve price of the en bloc sale for Mandarin Gardens is met, it would raise the benchmark for en bloc collective sales islandwide. Even if the reserve price for Mandarin Gardens may be the highest land price ever in terms of absolute quantum, it correlates to the large piece of land, which could build about 3 million sq ft when multiplied by plot ratio.

Developers interested in bidding for collective sales of Mandarin Gardens have to be mindful of other cost factors like development charge and Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty, which may push up the actual costs for them even higher. With the upgrading premium, the actual bill for the developer could be pushed to be in the region of $3 – $4 billion.

The record for the biggest successful en bloc sale to date is held by Farrer Court. It went for $1.3388 billion when a consortium bought the 838,488 sq ft estate and redeveloped it into the D’Leedon condo.

ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak commenting on the collective sales of Mandarin Gardens earlier said that it is a “tough sell”.

“I have never seen a sale of anything so big, like this (Mandarin Gardens), in the East Coast. It’s so big that even the big boys may want to go in as a joint venture to basically share the risk.”

The attempt to sell Mandarin Gardens en bloc failed 10 years ago when the sales committee pushing for the collective sales of the condominium was accused of trying to control the management council running the estate and voting down proposals to upgrade estate facilities.

Are these same people at it again? Or are these a different group of people? How will these people avoid the past accusations of being high-handedness?

Mandarin Gardens – An enclave for Indian Expatriates

Mandarin Gardens, is also an exclave for many Indian Expatriates as well as new citizens who came from India. In 2016, there were some stress points that were created when Indian nationals constituted the majority in the management committee of the Condominium development. The conflicts are pretty much a clash of culture as the Indian committee members approved many projects and ran the condominium as if it was their playground and promoted a bit more Indian centric activities as opposed to the norm. Singaporeans retook the committee later after being alerted to some of the ways of the committee members.

Many new citizens who have bought into Mandarin Gardens would be sitting on this windfall if the en bloc sales go through. Hopefully this will not lead to a loss of capital for Singapore in the form of capital repatriation out of Singapore.

With such a high percentage of Indian nationals as well as new citizens who originally came from India, will the En bloc sales of Mandarin Gardens push up the prices such as City square residences around Little India as these home owners look for other places to stay? Or will they move further eastwards to East Coast road or Tanjong Rhu?

Will Mandarin Gardens be the Single Biggest Uniting force to let property developers come together and work together?

The last we spoke about the issue, it was a case of too many developers and too few Government land sales plots. As no developer want to wind down their business, they bid increasingly higher to win land bids. The ability to price higher depends on whether there is a recession or not and whether people have sufficient choices of units to choose from.

Almost every condominium is “raising their hands” (Kee Chiu) to be sold En bloc and this is one giant of an En bloc sale. This is like 3 or 4 projects worth of condominium in 1 deal.

Are we trying to fish for a giant developer such as Century garden or maybe Forest City type. These kind of developers could hail from China. They could easily move many units to Chinese buyers. In a new twist, the new condominium would go from “Mumbai” Gardens to “Chinese” gardens.

This is like an entire town in one condominium project, maybe it can have it’s own school, it’s own clinics, own police stations, own cinemas, own LRT tracks within the compound.

Fancy the new project being able to house 3,000 to 5,000 units? And each house having 4 people. That’s like an entire Electoral ward in a condominium. And maybe you can have your own MP stay within your condo as well. And the Condo manager is also your Management committee chairperson and your MP.

But it could also signal the start of developers cooperating to share bigger projects and consolidate their work force. There are too many developers and too many units in Singapore, least we want another property glut which we believe is coming, developers can work together and prevent bidding over the top. The only beneficiary is the Singapore government, not the people, nor the developers.

Additional reporting: Paul Ho

Read about the En bloc sales process here: –

En Bloc Sales Process Singapore – A Definitive Step-by-step Guide

Written by Ravi Philemon


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