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Grange Heights relaunches en-bloc bid with price unchanged

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The reserve price remains S$820 million, the same as in the second tender exercise that closed without a deal on Oct 29, 2018.

GRANGE Heights is the latest condominium to relaunch an en-bloc sale bid, as property owners make another stab at hawking their homes in a decidedly chillier market.

Homeowners will re-open a collective sale tender for the St Thomas Walk freehold property on Wednesday, according to an announcement from marketing agent Colliers International the day before.

The reserve price remains S$820 million, the same as in the second tender exercise that closed without a deal on Oct 29, 2018. On a unit basis, this price tag translates to S$1,948 per square foot (sq ft) per plot ratio, including bonus balcony gross floor area.

No development charge is payable for the 136,676 sq ft site, which has a gross plot ratio of 2.8.

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Singapore authorities introduced snap cooling measures for the real estate sector in July 2018, amid a rash of en-bloc hopefuls hitting the market. The Urban Redevelopment Authority later tightened its rules on the maximum number of units in non-landed residential developments outside the central area too.

But Colliers noted that Grange Heights will not be subject to the new average size requirement of 85 square metres (914.9 sq ft), as it is located in the central region. The site could yield as many as 508 new apartments in various sizes, pending the authorities' approval, the marketing agent added.

Grange Heights joins other properties where owners are again trying to sell their homes en bloc after no buyers were hooked in 2018. Their collective sale committees have taken different tacks: Horizon Towers, which like Grange Heights is in the Orchard Road area, is asking once more for S$1.1 billion; others, such as Park View Mansions, lowered their reserve prices.

But other projects, which have yet to secure homeowners' mandate to launch a tender and are facing looming deadlines, have seen more bullish approaches. The Dairy Farm estate hiked its reserve price from S$1.69 billion to S$1.84 billion, while Pine Grove's was raised from S$1.72 billion to S$1.86 billion.

Ho Siew Lan, chairman of the Grange Heights collective sale committee, said in a statement that the owners have agreed to keep the reserve price unchanged, instead of raising it, as they are "well aware of the shift in market sentiment since the new cooling measures kicked in".

"We remain cautiously optimistic about the tender and draw confidence from Grange Heights' competitive and realistic pricing as well as its exclusive location and superior site attributes," she added.

Colliers managing director Tang Wei Leng said: "The Grange Heights site has excellent attributes, which will appeal to both local and expatriate buyers, and should be well sought-after in view of the limited number of new launches within its immediate vicinity.

"In addition, we believe it presents an opportunity for the developer to position itself for future market uplift when new supply completion shrinks substantially beyond 2023."

She was referring to Colliers' industry expectation that most ongoing and upcoming residential projects will be finished by 2022, and potentially leave annual new-supply completion short of the 10-year historical average of 12,900 units from 2023.

Grange Heights now houses 114 apartments and maisonettes and six penthouses, ranging in size from 1,884 sq ft to 4,575 sq ft. Each unit owner could make between S$5.24 million and S$10.76 million.

The new tender exercise for Grange Heights collective sale tender closes on March 11 at 3pm.