Channel NewsAsia

Most Braddell View flat owners give consent to privatisation

The Braddell View management committee said more than 80 per cent of flat owners have agreed to the privatisation of the HUDC estate, as of January 28.

SINGAPORE: The Braddell View management committee said more than 80 per cent of flat owners have agreed to the privatisation of the HUDC estate, as of January 28.

This is already more than the 75 per cent mandate required for privatisation. 

Residents have to pay a top-up to harmonise the two leases on which the estate is built, which have different expiry dates.

The committee said according to the chief valuer from Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), the indicative top-up value given in September last year was S$13.47 million.

Braddell View was put up for privatisation by the government last week. It is the last HUDC estate to be put up for privatisation.

The management committee had started getting consent for privatisation after its Extraordinary General Meeting held in November last year.

This was after more than 98 per cent of those who attended approved the resolution.

There are 918 flats and two shops in the estate.

Alice Liew, who has lived at Braddell View for 27 years, said: "We will feel more comfortable that it's our own estate finally, and hopefully, the property price may go up a bit.”

One issue that has to be resolved before privatisation could take place is the different expiration of the two leases. They have to be topped up so that they both expire in 2080.

Based on the indicative valuation, owners of flats built on the older land parcel, or Phase One, are expected to pay S$12,000. Residents under Phase Two will pay S$8,000.

The management committee plans to meet with the Housing and Development Board next week to discuss the next step and get a definitive top-up price.

The committee said it hired two private valuers in 2012, who both gave an estimate of S$8 million for the top-up, compared to the S$13.47-million figure it received from the chief valuer.

Alex Teo, chairman of the Braddell View management committee, said: "According to present circumstances, the economy and property prices, everybody is keeping their fingers crossed -- (for)... a much lower top-up price."

The committee said there have also been some owners who had raised concerns about paying the top-up premium.

Mr Teo said: "A lot of these retirees have been living quite some time without jobs and without income. These retirees don't have any children around. We’ll try to figure out how to help these residents."

The committee plans to hold a financial seminar once the final top-up value is determined to educate and present owners their financing options -- which include tapping their CPF or taking a loan from banks.

It also plans to use part of the estate's sinking fund to subsidise some of the costs.

There is currently around S$6 million in the fund.

Teresa Ng, who has been a Braddell View resident for almost 19 years, said: "The sinking fund can help close to half of the deduction of the privatisation fee so that it's affordable."

The whole privatisation process is expected to take about 15 months, barring any unforeseen circumstances. 

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna