Pine Grove condominium in Ulu Pandan, Singapore, has embarked on its fourth collective sale endeavor, this time with a substantial reserve price of $1.95 billion. With a remaining 60 years on its 99-year leasehold, the 660-unit former HUDC estate had previously sought a buyer in 2019, setting the bar at $1.86 billion.
Remarkably, this marks the third instance in which Pine Grove has secured the necessary 80 percent consensus from property owners to pursue the collective sale.
If successful, owners of 1,163 sq ft units stand to gain approximately $2.39 million, while those with 1,934 sq ft homes could pocket $3.2 million, according to marketing agent ERA Realty Network.
At the proposed $1.95 billion price, the land rate computes to $1,434 per sq ft per plot ratio, taking into account an additional 10 percent bonus gross floor area provided by various incentive schemes. This figure also encompasses an estimated land betterment charge (LBC) of approximately $1 billion for intensification and lease extension to a fresh 99-year term, as required by developers seeking to expand property projects.
Spanning 893,218 sq ft, the site boasts a gross plot ratio of 2.1, permitting the development of up to 2,050 new residential units, pending planning approval.
Mr. Tay Liam Hiap, ERA’s Managing Director of Investment Sales, expressed, “Pine Grove is the largest residential site, both in terms of land size and price quantum, to be launched for sale (en bloc) this year. The site is launched now because we have a year from achieving the 80 percent consensus to find a buyer for the site and make an application to the Strata Titles Board for a sale order.”
The optimism among property owners is partly based on the successful tender outcome for a government land sale (GLS) site at Pine Grove (Parcel A) in June 2022, where a joint venture between UOL Group and Singapore Land Group secured the plot with a bid of $671.5 million or $1,318 psf ppr.
However, industry experts caution that developers face increased construction costs, economic uncertainties, and the impact of cooling measures. The en bloc market also faces competition from the GLS program, which the government has expanded to stabilize prices. Some developers prefer GLS land acquisitions due to the simpler process.
In the first eight months of 2023, only three en bloc projects totaling over $665.2 million were sold, down from 11 projects worth $1.87 billion in the same period in 2022. The gap between buyer and seller expectations continues to challenge the en bloc market, with cautious bidding from developers amid high replacement costs.
The Pine Grove condominium collective sale tender is set to close at 3 pm on November 29, 2023.