Yet another en bloc sale launch with ex-HUDC estate Florence Regency up for tender

SINGAPORE – Former HUDC estate Florence Regency is up for collective sale at a minimum price of S$600 million, the latest offering as en bloc fever heats up in Singapore.

Its sole marketing agent JLL announced on Tuesday (Aug 22) the launch of a tender exercise for the 336-unit estate along Hougang Avenue 2.

Just a day earlier, owners of another privatised housing estate – Normanton Park – announced its collective sale while over the weekend, came news that Park West condominum owners were making a third try to garner enough signatures.

This is the first collective sale attempt by the owners of Florence Regency, which was built in the late 1980s. It took less than three weeks for more than 80 per cent of the owners to sign the collective sale agreement, said JLL.

Under URA’s Master Plan 2014, the Florence Regency site is zoned residential with a gross plot ratio of 2.8.

With a balance lease term of some 71 years, the 389,236 square foot site could potentially support a total gross floor area of over 1.1 million sq ft or an estimated 1,100 to 1,300 apartment units, said JLL.

With a minimum bid price set at S$600 million and with current estimated differential premiums of about S$249 million, the land cost reflects about S$779 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf/pr).

JLL said this compares favourably with prices achieved last month with the collective sale of Serangoon Ville and the Serangoon North Avenue 1 government land sale (GLS) site at S$861 psf/pr and S$965 psf/pr respectively.

“With very strong demand from developers for both the GLS sites and collective sale projects currently, owners of Florence Regency are optimistic that the well located site would attract premium bids and are expecting offers from developers of between S$615 million and S$650 million onwards,” said Tan Hong Boon, JLL regional director of capital markets.

“There are good reasons for the owners’ optimism as the Florence Regency site is in a superior location, with good attributes and of good size that appeals to mid-to-large developers to capitalise on the economies of scale. However, it is not too large to risk missing the 5-year deadline for the 15 per cent Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty remission,” Mr Tan added.

Florence Regency is near Hougang MRT Station, which will become an interchange station when the planned Cross Island Line is completed, the bus interchange and Hougang Mall. It is also within walking distance of Kovan MRT Station along Upper Serangoon Road.

Located within 1 km from Holy Innocents’ Primary School, a Special Assistance Plan school and in close proximity to the French School of Singapore.

Mr Tan added: “In fact, the key selling point of the site is its 270-degree unblocked views of the surroundings, being located next to landed housing estates and across the Hougang Stadium and the Sports & Swimming Complex.”

The tender for Florence Regency closes on Sept 27.

This year to date has seen seven successful en bloc sales worth a combined S$2.5 billion compared to just three deals last year worth S$1 billion. These include residential projects One Tree Hill, Rio Casa, Eunosville, Albracca, Serangoon Ville as well as Goh & Goh mixed-use building and Citimac industrial complex.