Are the Developers ‘in two main camps’ or ‘in different factions within one single camp’?

It is always challenging to come out with a research that relies heavily on assumptions. Such reports can open up many questions on the underlying assumptions and data that support such assumptions.

 

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Sun Rosier – The most aggressive land bid year-to-date?

 

SPK reads the article published in the Business Times today, titled “Developers in two main camps over how much to bid for land”, with much interest. Without the benefit of reading the full report from JLL, there are a couple of questions floating in SPK’s mind.

Are the Developers ‘in two main camps’ or are they ‘in different factions within one single camp’?

This is probably a question relating to the use of words and language. The words ‘in two main camps’ seem to give readers the impression that there are major differences in opinion between the developers. This is probably a good attention catching headline. But if we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, the research is telling us that almost all the new future projects will be launched at higher prices from the current level. In this sense, the developers are probably aligned with their outlook and it is just a matter of how hungry they are to replenish their land bank and bid for land. It might be more appropriate to say that the developers are “in different factions within one single camp”?

How meaningful is the above-mentioned observation? Probably not much, since any developers who succeed in winning the bid would obviously hold an optimistic outlook of the market. If not they would not have bid so high for the land, isn’t it?

What might be a more meaningful study? Probably a study of the winning bidders against the losing bidders, or a study of the active participants in the collective sales market or GLS tender against those developers who have sit out of the recent tender biddings.

Challenges in doing a market comparison on an adjusted basis

To be fair, a lot of effort has been made by JLL in making sure that the comparison of future launch price of new projects against 2017 transacted prices of comparable projects is done as accurately as possible. JLL has adjusted existing transacted prices for differences in age, tenure, location and median unit size. SPK applauds the team for the commendable effort.

But without the benefit of reading the full report from JLL, some questions might come to readers’ mind. How ‘comparable’ are those existing projects against the new projects? How are the 2017 transacted prices adjusted? What is the methodology for the adjustments?

Another question to consider is whether the study has taken into the account of the “market anomaly” of resale units selling at discounts to new launches. Should we factor this into the study to find out the ‘resale discount’-adjusted price increase?

Or should we also compare the expected launch price of these 26 future new projects against each other and also against the recent new launches?

 

These additional studies might give us further insights on the outlook for the market.

 

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Jalan Besar Plaza Collective Sales – What went wrong?

It was probably 3rd time unlucky for the owners of Jalan Besar Plaza.

The Business Times reported that no bids were received for the property at the close of the enbloc tender on 10th November 2017. However, there was an expression of interest from a developer to purchase the property.

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An attempt that is doomed to fail from the start?

It is probably no rocket science to guess why there was no bidder for Jalan Besar Plaza despite the enbloc craze. Owners were asking for S$390 mil or S$2,170 psf ppr for this freehold mixed-use development. Whilst the price quantum is still within the investment appetite of most developers, its high per square foot price would probably mean very little (or no) profit potential and higher risk for a developer to redevelop this place.

Based on SPK’s estimation, a new development on the site will have a breakeven price point of around S$2,800 psf to S$2,900 psf. Such a pricing might still be achievable if the developer can strata-sell small retail units, like what we had seen a few years back in the early 2010s. But with the strata-retail resale market as good as dead now, this leaves developers with one less trick in their bags and hence making it more difficult for developers to achieve the required selling price to justify the high enbloc acquisition price.

At this asking price, SPK believes that it will be a tough sell for the owners of Jalan Besar Plaza.

Hopefully, the owners can strike jackpot if they can conclude a deal with the developer that expressed interest in the property. Anyway, there is probably no pressure for owners to sell since they are sitting on a freehold land. Owners can always sit back and wait for a good offer to come. But let’s hope they will not wait too long for it!

Keep calm and carry on waiting!

 

Are Vista Park owners hitting their jackpot this time round?

Vista Park owners have jumped on the enbloc bandwagon and launch the tender for enbloc sale today. Vista Park sits on a big plot of rectangular-shaped land with an area of 319,250 sq ft. The site has a plot ratio of 1.4 and height limit of up to 5 storeys. Maximum potential plot ratio (before bonus) would be around 446,951 sq ft. The site has a remaining leasehold of 61 years and the buyer will have to pay a lease top-up premium of S$66 million to top up the leasehold to 99-year.

Vista Park owners are asking for at least S$350 mil, which translates to S$969 psf ppr. If bonus GFA is included, price per plot will reduce to S$903 psf ppr. Each owner could take back S$1.16 mil to S$3.5 mil, and this is 60% more than what they can sell in the market.

Vista Park

News report on Vista Park enbloc can be read here.

Vista Park will be an interesting and yet challenging project for developers

Why does SPK say so?

If you look at Vista Park’s location, it seems to lack the factors to sell, such as proximity to MRT and transportation, amenities, shopping centres and schools etc. But let’s not discount the location too soon yet. Vista Park does have some unique attributes, such as its proximity to nature, exclusivity of the estate and unique hill location that offers Pasir Panjang container port views (for port lovers?).

The typical build-small-and-sell-cheap strategy may not work for this site as the location would not be particularly attractive to investors and there could also be potential issues relating to the new policy relating to traffic impact on surroundings (SPK shall discuss more on this in the next section).

Primary target market would probably be the well-to-do families staying in the surrounding landed estates, upgraders in the neighbourhood, and nature lovers. Hence, this project may require an experienced and creative developer who can come out with an interesting product to leverage the uniqueness of the location. And this would probably mean that there might not be strong competition among developers for this site, since there are so many enbloc sites to choose from and some developers would probably go for the easier-to-sell enbloc sites.

Any potential issue from the traffic impact assessment?

Access to Vista Park is via the 2-way road (single lane each way) – South Bouna Vista Road. As SPK had flagged out in his previous blog post, Vista Park seems to fall into the category that is considered at higher risk of facing restrictions in the allowable number of new units in redevelopment.

Vista Park Road

Having said so, is this a cause for concern?

Not really if the developer is not going to build to the maximum number of units and this is likely to be the case for the buyer of Vista Park if the project is positioned for owner stay rather than for investment. A sigh of relief for Vista Park owners?

Can developer still make money after paying S$350 mil for the site?

Yes, SPK would think that it is possible. SPK estimates that the breakeven price for the redevelopment of Vista Park would be in the region of S$1,350 psf to S$1,400 psf. A nearby comparable project would be the recently launched 24 One Residence, a freehold 24-unit development by Tee Land. This project was sold at around S$1,630 psf on average. If we assume that the redevelopment of Vista Park is being sold at S$1,650 psf which is at premium considering its size and probably a unique positioning of the project that could more than compensate the premium of 24 One Residence’s freehold status, the developer could potentially make a nice profit margin of 15% to 18%! Not bad isn’t it?

Thumb’s up or down?

Yes, SPK would probably give the potential enbloc of this project a thumb’s up. Good luck to all the Vista Park owners!

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Raising the bar for Collective Sales: Who are the winners and losers?

It is reported in the Business Times and the Straits Times today that with immediate effect, potential buyers, interested parties, developers or real estate agencies acting on behalf collective sales committee are required to consult the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and submit a Pre-application Feasibility Study (PAFS) on traffic impact to ascertain the number of units they can build, before submitting an Outline Application or Development Application to URA for the redevelopment of a collective sale site.

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Will this new measure derail the enbloc boom?

There is no doubt that this new measure is going to create an additional hurdle and process for the developers/owners to acquire/sell collective sales sites going forward. But let’s not forget the key fundamental that has led to the resurgence of enbloc trend so far, which is developer’s shortage of landbank. Will a developer put on hold its collective sale acquisition plans and run the risk of doing no business over the next few years? Probably not, when they have their families and staff to feed.

What is the true cost of this new measure to developers?

With so many old developments gunning for enbloc now, the current collective sales market is a ‘buyer’s market’. Developers have a lot of options to choose from. As the Business Times article rightfully pointed out, the cost and responsibility of engaging a traffic consultant to assist in the PAFS submission and approval could ultimately shift to real estate agencies marketing the sites and the owners of the collective sale sites. Owners probably wouldn’t want to be ‘penny wise, pound foolish’ in this instance, when they could potentially reap millions in profit by spending a small sum of money to prepare a traffic impact assessment to for potential buyers.

So what is the true cost of this measure to developers? Probably zero (and comes with a free TIA report)!

Are there winners and losers from this policy change?

Of course, there are!

Collective sale sites located in landed estates with only a 2-way road (single lane each way) are at high risk of facing restrictions in the allowable number of new units in redevelopment. This is, in fact, nothing new as the government had already introduced measures in the past to curb the intensity of developments in some landed areas such as Telok Kurau, Kovan, Joo Chiat and Jalan Eunos.

Typically, such developments are small in land area and they come with limited facilities. Hence, developers tend to keep the unit size as small as possible in order to keep price quantum attractively low but yet selling at a high per square foot price. To do so, developers need to be able to build as many units as they can at the smallest possible size to achieve their business objective.

In the event that developers are not allowed to build to the highest potential number of units, this means that developers have to build less units that are bigger in sizes (in order to maximise the GFA) and sell at a higher price point. It would probably be difficult to attract buyers in such a scenario and the risk to developers will be significantly higher.

So what will the developers do?

It will be business as usual, but developers will now probably chase for better located collective sale sites that have better access to public transportation, MRT and located along multiple-lane roads or near expressways (in general). Such sites have a better chance of clearing the LTA on traffic assessment impact requirements. With a re-direct of resources towards such sites, the chance of collective sale success for sites with better traffic access seems to be higher with this new policy.

It will be interesting to observe the outcome of some of the collective sale tenders over the next few months to assess whether this policy change has any effect on developer’s strategy.

Is CapitaLand ready to jump on the enbloc bandwagon?

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Singapore property giant – CapitaLand announced its earnings for the quarter ended 30th September 2017 yesterday. From reading the announcements and presentation by CapitaLand, one question came to SPK’s mind – “Is Capitaland ready to jump on the enbloc bandwagon?”

Let SPK share some of his personal insights and key takeaways from CapitaLand’s results below:

1. CapitaLand is running out of landbank and sales inventory in Singapore

Take a look at the CapitaLand’s Singapore property sales performance this year in the table below:

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Amidst the improvement in market sentiments, CapitaLand has performed credibly in the past few quarters, selling more than a hundred units of its existing property inventory every quarter.

Despite the improvement in sentiments and better sales, CapitaLand has continued to come out with marketing strategies, such as deferred payment scheme, rental rebate scheme and discounts from list price. This was probably because a significant number of units in its inventory are big size units with high price quantum. These units are still difficult to sell under current market conditions. CapitaLand might be using this window of opportunity to clear its inventory of ‘difficult-to-sell’ stocks and avoid further ABSD.

So, what is left for CapitaLand to sell in Singapore?

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As at October 2017, CapitaLand has only a remaining 141 residential units in its Singapore sales inventory. Majority of them could probably be sold out within a quarter or two if we use its past sales performance as a gauge, although some of the units may remain difficult to sell.

In its sales inventory, the majority of the unsold units (38%) are the remnant units in Sky Habitat and CapitaLand has recently introduced a 5% rental rebate, on top of the 15% discount off list price to buyers, which makes the pricing looks attractive at around S$1,400 psf. Hence, it is expected that sales of Sky Habitat will continue to remain strong and this project should sell out rather sooner than later.

You might be wondering what is the big issue even if CapitaLand does not have anything to sell. In an ideal scenario, CapitaLand would probably be better to just sit patiently on its cash hoard, bid for land at realistic prices and wait for one day when the market cools and it can then buy land at a reasonable price and start selling again.
But in reality, considerations are always different. Without new project sales, CapitaLand’s earnings will drop, at a time when other developers are going report strong earnings from new launches. This might result in a drop in Its share price and shareholders may also lose confidence in its management. Hence, replenishing its landbank might seem more urgent than before with its earnings at stake.

2. A Change in the tone of management’s forward-looking outlook guidance

Let us take a look at the written outlook guidance from CapitaLand’s management:
Feb 2017

“CapitaLand expects the impact of property cooling measures to continue to weigh on the residential market. Nonetheless, the Group will continue to selectively source for new sites to stock its residential pipeline.”

Apr 2017

“CapitaLand expects the property cooling measures to continue to weigh on the residential market. Nonetheless, the Group will continue to selectively source for new sites to stock its residential pipeline.”

Aug 2017

“CapitaLand expects the property cooling measures to continue to weigh on the residential market. Nonetheless, the Group will continue to source for well-located sites to build its residential pipeline.”

Nov 2017

“The Group expects residential property market sentiment to improve, underpinned by increased buying volume and a rise in home prices. The Group will continue to adopt a disciplined approach and source for well-located sites to build its residential pipeline.”

 

Yes, after many quarters of concerns on the impact of government’s cooling measures, the dark cloud has finally dispersed and management is now more optimistic on the Singapore residential market!

Time for CapitaLand to act?

During the last enbloc cycle, CapitaLand (under former CEO, Mr Liew Mun Leong) was one of the big players in the market, snatching up 2 big plots of HUDC sites (Farrer Court and Gillman Heights) with its joint venture partners. Will CapitaLand under Mr Lim Ming Yan adopt the same strategy to build up its landbank, and creating wealth for enbloc owners?

Maybe SPK is reading too much into it. But let’s watch this space closely.

 

En-bloc Trend – What Mr Lawrence Wong’s comments could signal to the market

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Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development, made a couple of comments on the recent enbloc trend in the Parliament yesterday. Below are some of the extracts from his comments obtained from various newspaper sources:

  • The spike could be due to how more developers are keen on replenishing their land banks given the fewer number of unsold units in the market, said Mr Wong

 

  • Mr Wong said the unsold supply has dropped from about 40,000 units in 2012 to some 17,200 units as of the third quarter this year

 

  • The successful en-bloc sales last year could have also contributed to the increase this year, encouraging more owners of ageing residential projects to initiate the en-bloc sale processes to monetise their assets, added Mr Wong

 

  • Mr Wong pointed out that the collective sales may not necessarily lead to higher sale prices in the market

 

  • The developers are also required to meet stipulated conditions or face additional buyers’ stamp duty (ABSD……That will put some pressure on them to sell at reasonable price, within a five-year time frame, said Mr Wong

 

  • En-bloc sites that are taken off the market will eventually be put back into the supply in the next one to two years, thus moderating the prices, Mr Wong noted

 

  • The government continues to monitor closely the overall property market trends very closely and would take appropriate actions to maintain a stable and sustainable market, Mr Wong reiterated

 

What would be your thoughts after reading all the above comments given by Mr Lawrence Wong?

Well, it seems that the government is taking a soft stance towards the current state of en-bloc trend at this stage. In particular, Mr Wong is ‘justifying’ the trend by mentioning on the currently low unsold supply. Mr Wong was also trying to ease the concern of rising home prices by arguing that prices are subject to supply and demand and not solely on land price. In addition, Mr Wong seems to be hinting that there is still sufficient safeguard, such as the ABSD, in place to penalise developers and keep prices in check.

In summary, SPK thinks that there is one key message that Mr Wong was trying to tell everyone:

“Don’t worry. Everything is fine (for now). Keep calm and carry on (while the government is watching).”

More estates get in on collective sale action. Who may get lucky this time?

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/property/more-estates-get-in-on-collective-sale-action

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Another day, another enbloc news. Another 3 residential estates are going for collective sale. Let us take a look at 2 of these projects – How Sun Park and Pearl Bank Apartments, to evaluate their chances of success for their enbloc attempts.

How Sun Park

Quick Facts

  • Tenure: Freehold
  • Location: How Sun Road, near Bartley MRT (12 min walk)
  • Number of owners: 20
  • Land Area: 54,942.7 sq ft
  • Zoning: 5-storey residential with 1.4 plot ratio
  • Permissible GFA: 76,920 sq ft (before bonus GFA)
  • Asking Price: S$78 mil (S$1,052 psf ppr, including development charge of S$2.92 mil)

Kopi Talk: Price quantum of S$78 mil is low enough to attract developers. Asking price of S$1,052 psf ppr is 21% lower than the price that SingHaiyi paid for nearby Sun Rosier. Considering that this piece of land is smaller in size (which means a development would come with less facilities) and has a long west-facing frontage, it is not unexpected for this site to come with a lower asking price.

But is a 21% price differential (compare to Sun Rosier’s price) a good enough price gap for developers to snatch this site? It probably does, considering the margin of safety that a developer has at this price point. Based on SPK’s estimate, breakeven price for How Sun Park would be around S$1,400 to S$1,450 psf and selling price would probably be around S$1,650 psf to S$1,750 psf. With the expectation of Chip Eng Seng’s new 99-year residential development at Woodleigh selling at S$1,720 psf to S$1,800 psf and Sun Rosier selling at an even higher price, the estimated selling price of How Sun Park would appeal to buyers due to its Freehold and proximity to the other 2 projects.

Verdict:

220px-Facebook_like_thumb    How Sun Park is likely to be sold, but owners should not expect a huge premium from developers.

 

Pearl Bank Apartments

Quick Facts

  • Tenure: 99-year leasehold from
  • Location: Pearl Bank Road, near Outram Park MRT Interchance
  • Number of owners: 280 residences + 8 commercial units
  • Land Area: 82,376 sq ft
  • Zoning: Residential with 7.2 plot ratio (Baseline plot ratio is 7.4479)
  • Permissible GFA: 613,530 sq ft (before bonus GFA)
  • Reserve Price: S$728 mil (S$1,505 psf ppr, including upgrading premium of S$195 mil)

Kopi Talk: This is the fourth time that Peal Bank has gone for an enbloc attempt. This time round, the asking price of S$728 mil is slightly lower than the S$750 mil that owners were asking for back in 2011. Would this make Pearl Bank an attractive enbloc opportunity for developers now?

Let us take a quick look at the numbers. Asking price of S$728 mil works out to be around S$1,505 psf ppr after adding in a lease upgrading premium of S$195 mil. That means a whopping S$923 mil for a 82,376 sq ft of mid-size prime land! A new development on the Pearl Bank site will need to be built high, and come with sky facilities due to land constraints and to leverage on its unblock views in order to make the development more premium and sellable (probably Sky Habitat would be a good reference). But all these would come at a higher construction costs to developer. Base on SPK’s estimate, such a project would probably breakeven at S$1,900 psf to S$2,000 psf and developer will need to sell at S$2,200 psf for a decent margin. Despite Pearl Bank’s prime location, it might be a challenge to achieve such a high pricing for a 99-year leasehold in current market. Moreover, the investment quantum is huge. Hence, the risk-reward for this site might not be optimal for most developers.

Verdict:

897px-Not_facebook_not_like_thumbs_down     Pearl Bank still looks too expensive for any sensible developers to absorb. But let’s hope a rich foreign developer comes in and make it fourth time lucky for the owners!

 

Good luck to all the enbloc owners!

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The information and opinion contained in this blog posting above are based solely on the personal analysis of Singapore Property Kaki (“SPK”) and is for general information purposes only. SPK assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of this blog posting. In no event shall SPK be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages or any damages whatsoever, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other torts, arising out of or in connection with the use of the content in this blog posting. SPK reserves the right to make additions, deletions, or modification to the contents at any time without prior notice.

Happy reading!

Kopi Talk – Leasehold favoured over freehold properties in current en bloc fever

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/leasehold-favoured-over-freehold-properties-in-current-en-bloc-fever

 

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SPK briefly talked about this observation in an earlier blog post – Deep diving into the Singapore enbloc scene (Part 1) and coincidentally, The Business Times did a full coverage on this topic this morning.

Below is a summary of the expert views quoted in the Business Times article:

  • Industry players see insufficient supply from government land sales (GLS) and strong purchasing demand for mass-market private homes among the biggest factors
  • Larger leasehold sites that can achieve greater economies of scale and churn out substantial revenue
  • The collective sales cycle started from the mass market. This came on the back of strong purchasing demand for mass-market private homes from Singaporeans
  • Many of the HUDC owners are in their 60s and would want to cash out of their ageing properties that have depleting leases
  • The urgency among owners of former HUDC estates may explain their land rates being more reasonable than some freehold properties
  • 10-15 per cent price premium that freehold properties tend to command over leasehold properties also present a hurdle to quantum-sensitive buyers and investors

Probably one of the important factors that led to this change in trend was missed out in the coverage by Business Times – the introduction of Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (“ABSD”) remission rules in 2011. Under the ABSD remission rules, developers who complete and sell ALL their units within five years of the acquisition date of a site will not have to pay ABSD on the purchase of land. In the event that they fail to do so, they will incur a 15% on their land cost. A 5% interest rate per annum will also be levied.

In the past, developers prefer to buy Freehold sites as they can landbank the sites and have greater flexibility and control over their launch strategy. But with the ABSD remission rules, land banking is not feasible anymore. Also, with the run up in property prices and a 10-15% price premium of a freehold project over leasehold projects, affordability of freehold projects may be an issue which could lead to slow take-up rate, and, in turn, result in ABSD on their land cost if they can’t fully sell their projects within 5 years. On the other hand, leasehold projects are more affordable and take-up rates tend to be stronger than leasehold. Hence, from a risk management perspective, it would have made more sense for developers to go for leasehold sites instead.

The owners of ageing leasehold properties would probably have the government to thank for this round of leasehold enbloc frenzy!

Kopi Talk – 9,300 new homes from enbloc sites? Let’s not get worried too soon

9,300 new homes to result from slew of en bloc sales, warn URA – The Business Times

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http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/9300-new-homes-to-result-from-slew-of-en-bloc-sales-warns-ura

Kopi Talk:

Yes, the headline number of 9,300 new home supply looks bad and this figure could even be higher than what URA estimated. A reverse engineering of URA’s estimate seem to imply the following key assumptions in URA’s estimate:

  • URA has not assumed that the developers will go for the bonus GFA scheme, which is a fair assumption as it is at the developer’s discretion to decide whether they would like to subject themselves to the scheme requirements and apply for the bonus GFA;
  • An assumed efficiency of 85%;
  • An average unit size of 820 sq ft per unit

Pessimistic Scenario: 10,800 new units from enbloc sites

Let us take a more extreme, ‘pessimistic’ view of the supply outlook, assuming that all of the developers apply for the 10% bonus GFA scheme and maximise their efficiency to 90% that is already the norm in today’s developments. Average unit size assumption looks reasonable, especially when a lot of the enbloc plots are big in size and will have a good mix of small and large units. Under this ‘pessimistic’ scenario, we could be looking at a potential 10,800 new units from enbloc sites, which is 1,500 units or 16% more than what URA has estimated.

Looks bad? Let’s not get worried too soon. A significant number of the enbloc sites are in the Outside Central Region and developed mature estates, where demand tends to be primarily driven by new homeowners and upgraders purchasing for own stay, with a smaller proportion of buyers for investments. New homeowners and upgraders are likely to be more location-specific in their purchases. They may look for a place closer to their current homes or childhood homes, or somewhere near their parents, for example.

Hence, SPK thinks that as long as the enbloc site is located in an established matured estate, with limited new residential supply and if developer comes out with a good product and reasonable price, the new development should still see healthy demand from buyers. Moreover, there is also a potential demand from the enbloc sellers who might be keen to re-investment part of their profits in the new development, due to sentimental reasons or familiarity with the neighbourhood.

More new condo options for Kovan and Hougang residents

However, there might be some cause for concern on the potential new condo supply in District 19, which is the current enbloc hotspot. 3 of the biggest enbloc projects – Rio Casa, Serangoon Ville and Florence Regency, are located within close proximity in the Kovan and Hougang area. Even though these are matured estates, it is still unsure how much of these new condo supply can be absorbed by the buyers. SPK estimates that these 3 projects could potentially yield a total of 3,600 units (which makes up about 34% of the total potential new supply from enbloc sites), which is quite a large number of units to be absorbed for the area.

But, let’s look at the brighter side of things! If you are staying in Hougang or Kovan, there will be ample choice of new condos for you to choose from in 1 or 2 years time!

Keep calm and start saving!

Kopi Talk – Crystal Tower enbloc – 3rd time lucky for the owners?

Crystal Tower up for en bloc sale at S$138m – The Business Times

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/crystal-tower-up-for-en-bloc-sale-at-s138m

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Kopi Talk:

Crystal Tower had 2 previous collective sale attempts back in 2011 and 2012, when asking prices were S$155 mil (S$1,600 psf ppr) and S$150 mil (S$1,458 psf ppr). This 3rd time round, the asking price of S$138 mil (S$1,406 psf ppr) looks more palatable to developers.

The current asking price would translate to an estimated breakeven price of about S$1,900 psf, and at an average selling price of the new units at S$2,300 psf, the developer would enjoy a nice profit margin of 18% base on SPK’s estimates. Not bad in the current competitive market for land. The is still room for developers to increase their bid to secure the land, and developers can still bid up to S$144 mil (4% above asking price) and yet maintain a decent 15% margin. Downside risk seems limited as in a worse case where the developer has to sell at breakeven price, it is unlikely to be an issue for a freehold development in the area. S$138 mil is also a reasonable quantum to acquire a piece of prime land in Orchard Road area. There should be sufficient interests from developers for this site.

If the enbloc sale goes through, the 18 owners of the 2,713 sq ft unit will each receive S$4.6 mil, the 9 owners of the bigger 3,261 sq ft unit will each get S$5.0 mil and the single penthouse unit owner will receive S$9.2 mil. Current penthouse owner bought the unit for S$4.05 mil in 2006. If the enbloc goes through, the owner gets to profit S$5.15 mil, or an attractive annualised return of 7.7% per annum. The penthouse unit is currently put on sale at S$9.8 mil.

Probably a 3rd time lucky this time round? Let’s wait for the results on 28th November.