Windfall, but got to move again

For Madam Careene Tan, who just moved in, it won't be easy to find a similarly sized apartment within same price range.
For Madam Careene Tan, who just moved in, it won't be easy to find a similarly sized apartment within same price range.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Investor Careene Tan, 58, found her ideal home in a spacious three-bedroom apartment in Normanton Park after a year-long hunt.

But barely two months after moving in with her two dogs and splashing out $30,000 on renovations, Madam Tan received news of a startling windfall last Thursday.

The former Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) estate was sold en bloc for $830.1 million - one of the biggest collective sale deals seen here.

The estate, which was sold to Chinese developer Kingsford Huray Development, has 488 units.

This means Madam Tan will stand to receive a gross price of between $1.68 million and $1.86 million for her 1,270 sq ft unit, if certain conditions are met. Given that she had paid $1.03 million for the apartment, it was a sweet deal.

The downside, however, is that she will have to start looking for another home all over again.

Madam Tan, who moved into Normanton Park in August, recalled: "I was looking for an older estate because these areas usually have bigger units and larger common areas, where I can walk my two dogs."

YEAR-LONG HUNT

I was looking for an older estate because these areas usually have bigger units and larger common areas, where I can walk my two dogs.

MADAM CAREENE TAN, who moved into Normanton Park in August.

For her, Normanton Park was ideal as its compound was spacious and Kent Ridge Park is also within walking distance.

She visited eight units within the estate before deciding on the fourth-floor unit overlooking the pool. Previously, she lived in a condominium in Clementi.

It will be a challenge to find a similarly sized apartment within the same price range, said Madam Tan.

For instance, at another former HUDC estate, Braddell View, a unit with a slightly larger floor area of 1,453 sq ft was priced at $1.23 million, she told The Sunday Times.

The Normanton Park collective sale is the latest in a string of 12 such deals since the beginning of this year. Last Wednesday, Amber Park, a 200-unit development in Amber Gardens, was sold to two companies within the privately-held Hong Leong Group for $906.7 million.

Said Madam Tan: "I think I can continue living here (at Normanton Park) for about two years, so I will start looking around later."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 08, 2017, with the headline 'Windfall, but got to move again'. Print Edition | Subscribe