Chip Eng Seng, KSH, SingHaiyi tie up again for collective purchase of Park View Mansions at $260m

Park View's previous en bloc attempt at $320 million failed in 2018. PHOTO: HUTTONS ASIA

SINGAPORE - Three Singapore developers are stepping up land banking via the collective sale market, with their latest tie-up being the acquisition of Park View Mansions in Yuan Ching Road for $260 million. 

Citing higher costs, construction delays due to labour shortage and supply disruptions, as well as macroeconomic uncertainties arising from the spike in inflation and interest rates, Chip Eng Seng told the Singapore Exchange on Thursday (July 28) that, for the Park View acquisition, it is "prudent to manage these risks by collaborating with suitable partners whenever possible".

Singapore-listed Chip Eng Seng said its partners, KSH Holdings and SingHaiyi Group, are "familiar parties with whom it has forged good working relationships through past and ongoing development projects".

They partnered in a number of high-profile deals last year, including the $650 million collective purchase of Peace Centre/Peace Mansion last December. Other partners in this deal include Ho Lee Group.

In May last year, the subsidiaries of Chip Eng Seng, SingHaiyi and Hong Kong-listed Chuan Holdings acquired Maxwell House for $276.8 million, and earlier this week, Euro-Asia Apartments in Serangoon Road was sold to a KSH indirect subsidiary for $222.18 million.

Developers may form joint ventures to pool resources and cut development costs, Cushman & Wakefield's head of research Wong Xian Yang said.

Mr Tan Hong Boon, JLL executive director, Singapore capital markets, said the uptick in activity is a continuation of the collective sale cycle that started in 2020, but had been dampened by the December 2021 cooling measures.

Some developers are confident to re-enter the market now given the strong take-up of new launches including Piccadilly Grand, Liv@MB, and AMO Residence amid low unsold inventory, analysts say.

But Ms Tracy Goh, head of investment and collective sales at PropNex, noted that asking prices for some collective sale sites have increased, and it remains to be seen if developers will bite.

On Thursday, Chip Eng Seng announced that its unit CEL Development, together with Sing-Haiyi Pearl and TK 189 Development, were awarded the collective sale tender for the 160-unit, 99-year leasehold Park View Mansions. They intend to redevelop the site into a residential project with up to 440 units.

CEL's stake in the joint venture is 40 per cent, while Sing-Haiyi Pearl and TK 189 have an interest of 30 per cent each.

Sing-Haiyi Pearl is equally owned by SingHaiyi Group and Haiyi Holdings, which are controlled by Singaporeans Gordon Tang and Celine Tang - who are also Chip Eng Seng controlling shareholders.

KSH unit Kim Seng Heng Realty owns 66.67 per cent of TK 189, while Ho Lee Group holds the remaining 33.3 per cent.

Park View's previous collective sale attempt at $320 million failed in 2018.

Its $260 million sale price translates to a land rate of $1,023 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), including the estimated differential premium and lease top-up to a fresh 99 years.

Located near Lakeside and Chinese Garden MRT stations, the development, which is within the Jurong Lake District, sits on a land area of 191,974 sq ft and is zoned for residential use with a gross plot ratio of 2.1. It can be redeveloped up to a gross floor area of 403,145 sq ft.

Mr Tan said he expects collective sale sites will continue to fill the gap "given the relatively low supply of residential sites from the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme".

But collective sale sites that are overpriced may fail, he warned.

Mr Wong expects a majority of deals done this year to be for small- to medium-sized sites, with "some larger sites transacting successfully if the price is right".

"It is unlikely to be a blockbuster year for en bloc deals because developers are cautious given the new property curbs and uncertain environment.

The year so far has seen 10 residential collective sale deals totalling $1.9 billion, a far cry from the 2017/2018 cycle which saw more than $10 billion in deals done, Mr Wong said.

While land banking will continue, collective sale activity could slow next year as unsold inventory levels rise, GLS supply continues to ramp up, and if demand slows in the face of an economic slowdown, he added.

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