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Serangoon North HUDC goes private

The Serangoon North HUDC Estate has been privatised, clearing the path to a possible collective sale of the entire estate to private property developers.

SINGAPORE: The Serangoon North HUDC Estate has been privatised, clearing the path to a possible collective sale of the entire estate to private property developers.

It is the 14th of 18 HUDC estates to be privatised.

Privatisation is in progress for three other estates at Hougang North Neighbourhood 3, Hougang North Neighbourhood 7 and Potong Pasir, while the remaining development, Braddell View, is still gathering support.

The privatisation is initiated by residents and a requisite 75 per cent majority support was subsequently achieved by them.

One analyst said developers may still be attracted to en bloc sales, especially for sites in mature estates, such as the Serangoon North HUDC.

That is because developers are unlikely to get such land parcels under the government land sales programme.

"The current market conditions are of course, not that good for en bloc. In fact, in the last two to three years, the en bloc projects that have come to the market with values of S$500 million and above… have not found any investors or developers.

“But this HUDC project going into privatisation now -- the timing might be relatively good in preparation for future en bloc in the next upturn.

“Maybe in two years’ time, they would have prepped themselves ready to sell to a developer for an en bloc,” said Ku Swee Yong, CEO of Century 21.

Modification works on the Serangoon North HUDC estate have begun.

Located at Serangoon North Avenue 1, the estate comprises 244 units across seven blocks.

Its pro-tem committee said privatisation was already on the cards some 7 to 8 years ago, in a bid for residents to have greater control in managing the estate.

But an en bloc sale is not an immediate concern, although the committee does not rule it out.

"En bloc will be something that no one wants to rule out, if the opportunity is right. The main challenge would be to garner the level of support required.

“Unlike a privatisation, this one will have a so-called limitation of "within one year, you must complete the en bloc sale”, otherwise everything will go back to ground zero again,” said Richard Goh, chairman of the Pro-Tem Committee. 

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