Ex-HUDC estate Ivory Heights preparing for collective sale, seeking S$1.34b

Ex-HUDC estate Ivory Heights preparing for collective sale, seeking S$1.34b
Owners voted to sell at an extraordinary general meeting and are seeking at least S$1,343,700,000 for the 825,502 sq ft development comprising 654 units. Photo: Google Maps
Published: 6:45 PM, October 9, 2017
Updated: 4:51 AM, October 10, 2017

SINGAPORE — Ex-HUDC estate Ivory Heights is moving to catch the wave of collective sales, with homeowners eyeing a reserve price of S$1.34 billion for the 825,502 sqft site.

More than 8 in 10 owners at the second extraordinary general meeting on Oct 1 voted to sell, said marketing agent SLP International Property Consultants on Monday (Oct 9).

Collective sale committee vice-chairman Richard Hui said it is likely that the required 80 per cent support of subsidiary proprietors for the collective sale will be secured “fairly quickly”.

The Jurong East St 13 property is among several developments eyeing a reserve price above the S$1 billion mark in recent months. Owners of Singapore’s largest privatised HUDC estate, Braddell View, were reportedly seeking a collective price over S$2 billion in September.   

Analysts were not surprised at Ivory Heights’ steep asking price, given the property’s large land area and its prime location near Jurong East MRT station and the future Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail terminus.

The estate comprises 654 housing units ranging from 1,668 sq ft to 1,948 sq ft. The 99-year leasehold property was built in the 1980s.

The price homeowners are seeking reflects a land rate of about S$979 psf per plot ratio, based on the existing built-up area with equivalent plot ratio of 1.86. The rate includes an estimated differential premium of S$160 million to top up the lease to 99 years.

According to the 2014 Urban Redevelopment Authority Master Plan, the site’s gross plot ratio is 1.6.

Analysts expect high interest from developers, pointing to the hunger for large sites in recent months. 

“Developers are keen because securing a large site would mean that they would be able to maximise the land by building more units, and hopefully profit from it,” said Mr Chris Koh of Chris International. Bidders would likely need deep pockets and developers could form consortia to submit bids, he said.

The 702,164 sqft Tampines Court was sold in August for S$970 million and the 660,999sq ft Normanton Park was sold last week for S$830.1 million.

"With few residential property launches in the Jurong East precinct, the last being J Gateway in 2013, there is probably limited supply of new private residential units in the area," said Mr Wong Xian Yang, Assistant Director Research & Consultancy at OrangeTee. "There may be pent up demand for new launches in the area given the growth prospects of the Jurong Lake District," he said.

Analysts were optimistic that the 80 per cent threshold would be met quickly.

Said International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong: “The older residents may not be as willing to uproot and move out but if there is a good payout that will allow them to retain cash for retirement as well as downsize to a more manageable home, I don’t see why they will resist.” There is also a sizeable group of owners – perhaps 30 per cent – who own the property as an investment, he said. 

Residents might be “tempted to sell off” their units, given growing maintenance costs, Mr Koh added. 

Of the 18 former HUDC estates in Singapore, 11 have been sold. Besides Tampines Court, Rio Casa, Serangoon Ville, and Eunosville were sold this year, making it the most in any given year.

The 618-unit Farrer Court, which was sold in 2007 for S$1.34 billion, fetched the highest price.