SINGAPORE - Braddell View, the largest of Singapore's 18 HUDC estates and the last to be privatised in March this year, is planning to jump on the en bloc bandwagon.
The 918-unit estate is holding an extraordinary general meeting on Oct 10 to form a collective sales committee to kick-start the process.
Sources told The Straits Times that the en bloc owners hope to sell the sprawling 1.124 million sq ft development for at least S$2 billion. If successful, this would easily eclipse Pine Grove's S$1.65 billion en bloc attempt.
The record holder for a successful en bloc sale is the 618-unit Farrer Court's S$1.34 billion collective sale back in 2007.
The 99-year lease Braddell View development has 63years left on its lease.
En bloc fever is hotting up here. Just last week, the sprawling 660-unit Pine Grove near Ulu Pandan Road appointed Huttons Real Estate Group as its marketing agent and is now hiring lawyers to work on the collective sales agreement.
If Pine Grove pulls off its collective sale, it would be third-time lucky for the owners who tried and failed in 2011 and 2008.
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 (ABSD) will pose a challenge, analysts said. This could affect the price developers are prepared to pay for the site.
"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 the sites for sale."
Projects such as The Interlace and d'Leedon, which were built on large sites sold during the 2007 en-bloc boom, are still left with unsold units, Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of the ZACD Group, pointed out. These two projects were built on the former Gillman Heights and Farrer Court respectively.
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 stepmom lives just three floors below us," he said.
"We haven't decided on the en bloc issue. 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."