En Blocs are either windfall or tragedy for Singaporeans, and in recent days, massive amounts of money both local and foreign have been poured into en bloc purchases all over Singapore.
We’ve already counted 17 en bloc purchases in 2018 alone, but what’s really striking is how this heady mix of money and relationships have conspired to change the lives of ordinary people in big ways.
At $980 million, the Pacific Mansion en bloc is one of Singapore’s largest en bloc deals in the market. Homeowners at Pacific Mansion will walk away with $3.26 to $3.48 million, and while most are happy, some of the newer owners will need to fork out an extra Seller’s stamp duty due to the fact that they haven’t been holding the unit long enough before it was sold in the en bloc action.
Here’s the most interesting fact of the whole deal though: Both key men in the deal are cousins, and this purchase is most definitely a family affair!
Kwek Leng Beng of Hong Leong Investment Holdings, and Quek Leng Chan of Singapore listed Guocoland are key stakeholders, while their other family members also hold stakes in the companies.
Pearlbank Apartments took a long time to arrive at its en bloc decision, but when it finally did, CapitaLand bought it the 1976-built condominium for $728 million. The 288 unit condominium was already falling apart, so this seemed like a good deal for residents.
But did you know that even with the building in disrepair, the residents actually blocked its first three en-bloc sales from successfully taking place? It’s excellent location in Outram was a stopping point for plenty of the residents. Many of the residents were also not willing to give up the spacious units and superb closeness to Chinatown.
Residents at Amber Park walked away with in 2017 with large amounts of money. Their collective sale was successful, and they were able to take home between $4.3 to $8.3 million for their apartments in the 200-unit development.
CDL forked out over $906.7 million to get the deal done, but it was one hard deal to do.
The condominium was placed en bloc multiple times, first in 2009 and subsequently in 2015. However, it wasn’t until 2017 that they were able to close the deal. Even then, residents reported that they were constantly stalked and harassed by agents from Jones Lang Lasalle, who would lie in wait to pester residents coming home from work.
Situated in the very prime District 10 location of Bukit Timah, City Towers is a 77 unit development with some great surroundings. Near Stevens and Newton MRT, with popular schools nearby and great amenities, it’s no surprise that en-bloc occurred for this building.
Homeowners here also took home a good sum of money, with the biggest winner netting $11.5 million.
What is surprising is the buyer. Most of the en-bloc purchases so far were either done by local companies or led by them, but this one is different. This deal was done by Li Ka-Shing’s Cheung Kong Empire, and they paid out a hefty $401.1 million for this deal, making it one of the largest foreign purchases of property in Singapore.
Outside of the prime district lies the quiet but spacious Eunos Mansion. The property was built in 1982, and is made up of 105 units. Asking for a reserve price of $218 million, the residents got more than what they asked for, with the buyer paying $220 million for the 111,735 sq ft site.
What’s interesting about the buyer is that its a group not commonly known for en blocs. In fact, it’s more commonly known for its budget hotels. The Fragrance Group was able to execute this $220 purchase, and will be able to enjoy taking advantage of the undersupply of housing in the area and the freehold status of this plot of land.