Ex-HUDC estate Florence Regency could fetch over $650m

The site of the former HUDC estate Florence Regency could support a total gross floor area of over 1.1 million sq ft or about 1,100 to 1,300 apartment units, said sole marketing agent JLL. The tender will close on Sept 27.
The site of the former HUDC estate Florence Regency could support a total gross floor area of over 1.1 million sq ft or about 1,100 to 1,300 apartment units, said sole marketing agent JLL. The tender will close on Sept 27.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Florence Regency owners set minimum price of $600m; bid follows recent strong land demand from developers

Former Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) estate Florence Regency is up for collective sale at a minimum price of $600 million, the latest offering as en bloc fever heats up in Singapore.

Its sole marketing agent JLL announced yesterday the launch of a tender exercise for the 336-unit estate in Hougang Avenue 2.

Just a day earlier, owners of another privatised housing estate - Normanton Park - announced its collective sale, while at the weekend came news that Park West condo owners were making a third try to garner enough signatures.

This is the first collective sale attempt by the owners of Florence Regency, built in the late 1980s. It took less than three weeks for more than 80 per cent of owners to sign the collective sale agreement, said JLL.

Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned for residential use with a gross plot ratio of 2.8.

With a balance lease term of 71 years, the 389,236 sq ft site could support a total gross floor area of over 1.1 million sq ft or about 1,100 to 1,300 apartment units, said JLL.

With a minimum bid price set at $600 million and with current estimated differential premiums of about $249 million, the land cost reflects about $779 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). JLL said this compares favourably with prices achieved last month with the collective sale of Serangoon Ville and the Serangoon North Avenue 1 government land sale (GLS) site at $861 psf ppr and $965 psf ppr respectively.

"With very strong demand from developers for both GLS sites and collective sale projects currently, owners of Florence Regency are optimistic that the well located site would attract premium bids and are expecting offers from developers of between $615 million and $650 million onwards," said Mr Tan Hong Boon, JLL regional director of capital markets.

"There are good reasons for the owners' optimism as the Florence Regency site is in a superior location, with good attributes and of good size that appeals to mid-to-large developers to capitalise on the economies of scale. However, it is not too large to risk missing the five-year deadline for the 15 per cent Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty remission," he added.

The site is near Hougang MRT Station - which will become an interchange train station when the planned Cross Island Line is completed - the Hougang Central Bus Interchange and Hougang Mall.

It is also near Kovan MRT station, within 1km of the Holy Innocents' Primary School and near the French School of Singapore.

Said Mr Tan: "In fact, the key selling point of the site is its 270-degree unblocked views of the surroundings, being located next to landed housing estates and across the Hougang Stadium and the Sports and Swimming Complex."

The tender will close on Sept 27.

Seven collective sale transactions - One Tree Hill Gardens, Rio Casa, Eunosville, The Albracca, Serangoon Ville, Goh & Goh Building and Citimac Industrial Complex - valued at $2.5 billion have already been done so far this year, surpassing the three deals worth $1 billion for all of last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2017, with the headline 'Ex-HUDC estate in Hougang up for collective sale'. Print Edition | Subscribe