SINGAPORE: Mandarin Gardens has failed in its en bloc attempt, about a month after raising its asking price to a record S$2.9 billion.
The leasehold condominium managed to gather around 68 per cent of signatures as of Mar 24 when its collective sales agreement expired - about 12 per cent shy of the 80 per cent mandate required to launch a tender.
In a message to owners on Sunday (Mar 24), the site's collective sale committee (CSC) said: "This being our first attempt at collective sales, we have learned valuable lessons which will certainly be very helpful in our next journey.
"A similar attempt in 2008 came to a close, as we were about to appoint the marketing agent and lawyer. At that point of time, the worldwide financial crisis was triggered by the collapse of the Lehman Brothers.
"The general feeling is that the current market sentiment for en bloc sales is heading south as evidenced by the non-bidders in the tender process of several large estates."
The 1,017-unit project first raised its asking price from S$2.479 billion to S$2.788 billion last November, after owners found that the land parcel it was sitting on was undervalued by more than S$300 million.
The CSC again raised the reserve price by 5 per cent to "better help achieve the 80 per cent consensus required", it said in a letter to owners on Feb 21.
"The CSC would like to thank all the approximately 70 per cent subsidiary proprietors who voted for the collective sales and hope you will continue to support the effort when the next round of en bloc sales is launched, hopefully in the not too distant future," the committee said.
The news comes amid a slowing of the en bloc market, which saw more than 40 projects close their tenders without a bid since the latest round of cooling measures kicked in last July, according to Huttons Asia.
If the en bloc deal had gone through, it would have been the most expensive collective sale struck in Singapore, surpassing the S$1.34 billion sale of Farrer Court in 2007.
The failure of Mandarin Gardens' en bloc attempt puts the spotlight on former HUDC Braddell View.
Marketing agent Colliers International announced last week that the 920-unit development had achieved the requisite 80 per cent consent from owners to go ahead with the en bloc.
The 1.14 million sq ft hilltop site - the largest among the 18 former HUDC estates islandwide - has a reserve price of S$2.08 billion.
The public tender will open on Mar 27 and close on May 28.