Braddell View plans to join collective sale rush

Braddell View was privatised in March after a hard-fought process that spanned 18 years because of the need to "harmonise" the leases of two separate plots of land that make up the estate.
Braddell View was privatised in March after a hard-fought process that spanned 18 years because of the need to "harmonise" the leases of two separate plots of land that make up the estate.ST FILE PHOTO

Largest of 18 former HUDC estates hoping developers will pay $2b for sprawling site

Braddell View, the largest of Singapore's 18 former HUDC estates, is planning to jump on the collective sale bandwagon, just months after it was privatised.

The 918-unit development is holding a meeting on Oct 10 to form a collective sale committee to kickstart the process.

Mr Alex Teo, chairman of the Management Corporation Strata Title, told The Straits Times yesterday that they hope to sell the estate for more than $2 billion - a price that would dwarf Pine Grove's $1.65 billion attempt at selling en bloc.

The sprawling 1.124 million sq ft development has 63 years left on its 99-year lease.

Braddell View was privatised in March after a hard-fought process that spanned 18 years because of the need to "harmonise" the leases of two separate plots of land that make up the estate.

Now, many owners want to capitalise on the en bloc fever that has been building in the market this year. "We did a survey on Aug 18 on whether the residents wanted to sell the property en bloc. Out of 400 who responded, about 82 per cent wanted to go for it," Mr Teo said. "Based on the target price of above $2 billion, each owner can probably get above $2 million on average," he said.

Ms Alice Liew, 58, a Braddell View resident for 31 years, said: "We were quite encouraged that we got privatised. Now that that hurdle is out of the way, we are all excited about the next phase - which is selling en bloc.

  • BRADDELL VIEW

  • Property type: Apartments

    Developer: HUDC

    Tenure: 63 years left on 99-year leasehold

    Number of units: 918

    Privatised in: March 2017

    Target price: Above $2 billion

"We really love this place because of the space, its central location. It's near Braddell, Marymount and Caldecott MRT stations. It is very convenient but the estate is getting quite old.

"But if we don't get the right price, and have to end up with a much smaller unit in Punggol or further out, then I won't be in favour of the sale..."

Ms Liew, who owns a 1,800 sq ft apartment, acknowledged that there are a number of other developments at various stages of a collective sale process.

"We have a very big piece of land. I'm not sure if one developer can take it upon themselves to develop it. They have to consider what's profitable for them, and we have to consider what's reasonable for us," she added.

The residential site has a 2.1 plot ratio, so a project of up to 3,000 units could be built there, according to analysts. Mr Teo said there are talks under way to raise the plot ratio to between 2.8 and 3.2.

Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at Edmund Tie and Company, noted: "The market can only absorb one or two big sites. Because the site is so big, developers will need to factor in expected costs if they cannot finish selling the completed units."

Selling all the units within five years of buying the land to avoid additional buyer's stamp duty will pose a challenge, analysts said. This could affect the price developers are prepared to pay for the site.

SURVEY RESULTS

We did a survey on Aug 18 on whether the residents wanted to sell the property en bloc. Out of 400 who responded, about 82 per cent wanted to go for it... Based on the target price of above $2 billion, each owner can probably get above $2 million on average.

MR ALEX TEO, chairman of the Management Corporation Strata Title.

"Braddell View is attractive, given its central location and proximity to a number of MRT stations. But there are so many en bloc sites available," Dr Lee said. "There's Pine Grove and Normanton Park. It could depend on which one is faster in launching their site for sale."

Projects such as The Interlace and d'Leedon, which were built on large sites sold during the 2007 collective sale boom, still have unsold units, Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of the ZACD Group, noted.

Chef Bjorn Shen, 35, owner of Artichoke restaurant, said he has lived at Braddell View since he was 17.

"We love where we are. I bought over my late grandfather's unit in 2013, and my step-mum lives just three floors below us," he said.

"We haven't decided on selling en bloc. We are still weighing the pros and cons, but having to move out means we would be closing the door on a very precious part of our lives."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2017, with the headline 'Braddell View plans to join collective sale rush'. Print Edition | Subscribe