Public tender for Watten Estate condo to be launched today (July 30)
Huttons Asia, sole marketing agent of the en bloc sale of Watten Estate condo said that the 104-unit development on Shelford Road in the Bukit Timah area will be launched for public tender on July 31.
Watten Estate condo, a freehold development, is on the market for $536 million, or about $1,738 psf per plot ratio (ppr).
Factoring in the upfront non-remittable 5% additional buyer’s stamp duty will bring the land rate to $1,825 psf ppr. With 220,234 sq ft Watten Estate condo has a plot ratio of 1.4, and a total allowable gross floor area of 308,341 sq ft. It could be redeveloped into a 242-unit project with an average unit size of 1,270 sq ft.
No development charge is payable for the site in which Watten Estate is situated in because of its high baseline.
Terence Lian, head of investment sales at Huttons Asia, said: “We have engaged a team of architects to design by adopting the slopes of the undulating site so as to capitalise on its redevelopment potential. The concept incorporates our vision of what the site can be transformed into and the architects have adopted a modern vernacular design in well-spaced out buildings for best tropical comfort.”
Angela Lim, deputy head of investment sales at Huttons Asia, added: “The Bukit Timah area is perfect for family living, as it is close to green lungs such as the Botanic Gardens, MacRitchie Reservoir, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Singapore Island Country Club. Families looking for a home in the Bukit Timah area would appreciate such large and resort-styled homes with lush greenery on an undulating site.”
The tender for Watten Estate condo will close on Oct 18.
Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage officer of iCompareLoan, commenting on the en bloc sale, said: “I understand that the marketing agent has engaged an architect to study the Watten Estate condo site to propose a design for the new development.”
“Considering the fact that residential en bloc sales market has trickled down to a standstill, this initiative by Huttons Asia is commendable,” added Mr Ho.
Any en bloc sale should be concluded with minimal delay and maximum benefit to the owners. Collective sale process takes 20 to 30 months to complete and during this time, the owners typically do not have sufficient funds for down-payment and their CPF OA funds are tied up in the property, hence they cannot buy a new condominium early.
If there is a successful bidder that exceeds the minimum reserve price, the tender will be awarded. If the bid falls short of the reserve price, the collective sales committee (CSC) will be able to negotiate a sale by private treaty. The CSC will have 10 weeks maximum to complete the En Bloc Sale by private treaty. The CSC will need to seek further endorsement from the owners on the price for the Private sale.
By the time the transaction is completed in 20 to 30 months later, the property prices would have already moved up 10 to 20 per cent. This is already evidenced by sellers of older estate asking higher prices. Hence if the process takes 20 months to 30 months, owners may need to consider the cost of a replacement unit by that time, else they may want to hold up a higher selling price.
One way is to conduct a Collective Sales Agreement (CSA) as well as concurrently collect a “Non Collective Sales Agreement (NCSA)”, so that once a NCSA reaches 20%, the collective sale process is called off. There is really no point to drag on.
The rules are quite onerous and stringent and is governed by the Land Titles (Strata) Act – section 84A. Over the years, additions and amendments by the Ministry of Law to the en bloc law have made the collective sale rules even tighter.
Mr Ho said that many of the home owners who refinanced their home loans to fixed rate home loans or those with 2 years locked-in or 3 years locked-in period will incur full home loan redemption penalty. This penalty is usually 1.5% of the loan amount. This tends to affect those who have bought their properties in recent years as their loan size tends to be bigger and their corresponding home loan redemption penalty higher.
Mr Ho suggested that if one’s home is at risk of en bloc, the owner could consider a home loan where there is no locked-in penalty, but instead entails a higher housing interest rate cost. The next best option is to look for packages with a waiver of locked-in penalty due to sale of property. Such owners may contact a mortgage broker to assist them to find such packages with waiver of locked-in penalty.
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