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2 projects sold en bloc for over $658mil

Royalville attracted a total of nine bids which surpassed the $ 368m asking price. (Photo: Edmund Tie & Co)

Marketing agent Edmund Tie & Co announced on Friday (1 December) that it successfully sold two existing developments via collective sale for a total of $ 658.59 million.

In particular, Royalville in Bukit Timah Road received nine bids. Allgreen Properties’s unit Sky Top Investments submitted the highest price of $ 477.94 million or $ 1,960 psf per plot ratio (ppr), surpassing the asking price of $ 368 million.

Built in the mid-1980s, the development consists of 11 shops, 38 maisonettes and 55 apartments. Apartment owners will get between $ 3.09 million and $ 3.76 million, maisonette owners will receive $ 5.42 million to $ 6.64 million, while those with shops will obtain $ 5.67 million to $ 10.38 million.

Under the 2014 Master Plan, the 174,176 sq ft freehold site located near the Sixth Avenue MRT station is zoned for residential use with a gross plot ratio of 1.4. The winning bidder can redevelop it into a luxury condominium with up to 323 units.

Crystal Tower

A view of Crystal Tower which occupies a prime District 10 freehold site. (Photo: Edmund Tie & Co)

Meanwhile, Crystal Tower at Ewe Boon Road attracted 12 bids, with Allgreen Properties clinching the residential project for $ 180.65 million or $ 1,840 psf ppr.

Completed in the 1970s, Crystal Tower comprises 28 apartments. Each apartment owner will get $ 6.0 million to $ 6.6 million, while the penthouse owner will receive around $ 12.3 million.

Under the Master Plan, the 60,482 sq ft freehold plot is intended for residential use at a gross plot ratio of 1.6. Subject to the government’s approval, it can be redeveloped into a 130-unit condominium up to its existing gross floor area of 98,179 sq ft. No development charge is payable.

With these two en bloc transactions, Edmund Tie & Co has brokered the sale of eight development sites collectively worth $ 1.6 billion so far this year.


This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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Singapore PR lost over $50k in Airbnb scam

A Singapore permanent resident from South Korea had paid €32,154 (S$ 51,600) to rent a non-existing Paris apartment they found in Airbnb, reported AsiaOne.

Experts think that 41-year-old housewife April Cho and her spouse most likely got an email from the listing they saw on the home-sharing website that contained a link to a similar-looking portal.

The couple said they had talked with the purported property owner via live-chat and subsequently wired money from DBS Bank to an account called “Airbnb Euro Trans” in Poland for their seven-month stay.

But they realized that they had been scammed after multiple attempts to contact the owner failed and verifying the listing on the actual Airbnb website. They had also reported the incident to the police and called the bank, while the fake listing was already removed, but not a single dime had been recovered.

Miss Cho revealed that she had turned to Airbnb to look for a place to stay in the French capital because she had signed up for a pastry-making course in the famous culinary school Le Cordon Bleu. Another reason was to avoid paying property agent fees.

Now she has decided to not to use the home-sharing website again, and the couple still ended up forking out €1,500 (S$ 2,400) to an estate agent to secure a flat with a monthly rent of €3,255 (S$ 5,230).

According to the Consumers Association of Singapore Executive Director Loy York Jiun, Airbnb users must be careful about falling prey to scammers, while Airbnb has a duty to protect its users from cybercriminals. The latter should also strongly remind its users to only transact via the official website.

This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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Amicable end to family feud over three properties

A widow and her fourth son have agreed to an undisclosed settlement with his three brothers on Wednesday (1 November) after both initiated a legal case against the trio over his mother’s share in three properties and a sum of $ 200,000 owed to her by her late husband, reported ChannelNewsAsia.

“The case is already over, so let bygones be bygones. At least my mother’s expenses are covered, and if she’s happy, it’s okay,” said 55-year-old co-plaintiff Lim Chin Hwa.

In a trial that started on Tuesday (31 October), 89-year-old Tan Lwee, who lives with her fourth son, wanted to obtain a court order to dispose three properties in Jurong, Serangoon and Teck Whye that she co-owns and get her rightful share in the proceeds.

Court documents revealed that the illiterate mother of eight had not worked since 1997 and the rental income from these properties would have been her only source of income.

However, she argued that she had not received her share in rent from these properties, even though she needs to pay income tax per year.

Meanwhile, the defendants countered that their mother’s name was only included in the titles during the purchase of the properties for the sake of “convenience”. The respondents comprise youngest son Chin Sin, 46, second son Lim Chin Hong, 59, and eldest son Lim Chin Keng, who is in his early 60s.

In addition, the wheelchair-bound widow sought a court order to take possession of a $ 200,000 sum held in a joint account with her fourth and youngest son, whose signatures are needed for any withdrawals.

But she claimed Chin Sin refused to ink the withdrawal slips even though he knew that that money is solely intended for her.

Previously, Tan began divorce proceedings against her late husband in 2010 after she found out he was having an illicit affair with their maid. She discontinued the case in 2011 after he offered $ 200,000 as reparation. He later died in 2014.


This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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En bloc sales soars by over 4-fold, says MND

An aerial view of Rio Casa, a 286-unit development at Hougang Avenue 7. (Photo: Knight Frank Singapore)

Collective sales have surged from around 600 units for the whole of 2016 to about 2,700 existing private homes so far this year, revealed the Ministry of National Development (MND) during a parliamentary session on Monday (6 November).

MND thinks that the strong sales growth is due to two primary factors.

“First, more developers are keen to replenish their land banks.  There has been a healthy increase in the sales of new units in the first three quarters of the year, which in turn means that the unsold supply in the pipeline has come down. To illustrate, there are about 17,200 units as at Q3 2017, down from about 40,000 units in 2012. “

“Second, successful en-bloc sales in 2016 may have encouraged more owners of ageing residential projects to initiate the en-bloc sale process this year to monetise their assets.”

These are MND’s responses to the queries of MP for Nee Soon GRC Dr Lim Wee Kiak regarding the main driving forces for the recent spike in en bloc sales.

He also asked if whether there is a need to increase the number of residential sites offered under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, and what is the effect of the robust en bloc sales on the property market’s outlook over the next six months.

In reply, the MND said that the en-bloc residential sites sold since last year are expected to be launched for sale in the next one to two years. And these upcoming units and other key factors like population and income growth as well as prevailing market conditions will be taken into account before deciding the number of state land to be made available for sale.

Specifically, it noted that the GLS programme is updated on a half-yearly basis, with Confirmed List sites designated to be released for sale within the next six months, while Reserve List plots will be triggered for sale once a developer has committed to a minimum bid price. This implies that the latter will only be purchased by home builders if they feel that there exists underlying demand.

The authorities will also continue to closely monitor market trends and take necessary actions to ensure that the property sector is stable and sustainable, said the MND, adding that the details of 1H 2018 GLS programme will be announced by year-end.


This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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Widow sues grandson over Farrer Road family home

Claiming a 60 percent stake in the $ 4 million Farrer Road family home, 80-year-old widow Madam Lim Hoon Neo sued her 39-year-old grandson, Ang Wee Chai who had been named by her husband sole executor of the estate, reported The New Paper.

She was not mentioned in her husband’s will, in which the house was willed only to their eldest grandson and youngest son.

Madam Lim filed the suit after Ang Wee Chai has sought a court order to sell the two-storey terraced house and for his two uncles and grandmother to vacate the property.

He claims that he is merely fulfilling the wishes of his grandfather, who is the sole registered owner of the house.

Mr Ang Ho Sai, who died in 2014, and Madam Lim had five children, but one died in 1982.

They agreed to acquire the Farrer Road house in 1967 for $ 36,500.

According to Madam Lim, she contributed 60.3 percent or $ 22,000 to the purchase price.

Her lawyer, Tan Siah Yong, noted that the house was placed under the sole name of her husband since he was the one handling the transaction and the head of the family.

Based on her contribution, however, Madam Lim owns 60.3 percent of the house.

With this, Madam Lim wants the court to declare her right to live in the property until it is sold, after which she should be given 60.3 percent of the proceeds.

Ang Wee Chai, on the other hand, claims that the suit is just one of the attempt of his grandmother to thwart his efforts to administer the estate.

He revealed that Madam Lim and his two uncles had been blocking his efforts by refusing to cooperate with his attempts to dispose of the house in accordance with the will.


This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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