Safeguards in place for en bloc sales: Lawrence Wong

Safeguards in place for en bloc sales: Lawrence Wong

Amber Park at Amber Road put up for collective sale
Amber Park was sold for S$906.7 million on Oct 4, 2017, in Singapore’s largest freehold en bloc sale by dollar value. (Photo: JLL)

SINGAPORE: Of the 40 developments sold en bloc in the past three years, 13 were less than 30 years old at the point of sale, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 6).

He said most of them were more than 20 years old at the point of sale, and were small developments of fewer than 20 units each.

In terms of the number of housing units, only about 6 per cent or 240 units of the approximately 4,000 units sold were less than 30 years old.

“The main objective of the collective sales framework is to give owners the choice on whether to go for redevelopment. Such redevelopment allows rejuvenation and land use optimisation in residential developments,” said Mr Wong.

The collective sales framework imposes higher consent thresholds for newer developments.

"The Land Titles (Strata) Act requires buildings less than 10 years old to obtain 90 per cent consent from owners before allowing the collective sale to go through, compared to 80 per cent for older developments,” he added.

MP for Yishun GRC Lee Bee Wah asked if the ministry is concerned with the spate of en bloc sales recently. 

In response, Mr Wong said that there are safeguards in place. 

He said: "Even if the consent thresholds are reached, the developer would have to submit their development plans to URA for approval. URA will go through the plans and look at planning considerations and make sure that height, unit sizes are kept to regulations, that there are adequate provisions for examples are made for parking."

Only then would approval be given if indeed the consent thresholds are reached, he said.

Last year, 37 en bloc tenders worth more than S$8.7 billion were awarded, including one that set one of the biggest en bloc records at S$906.7 million.

Source: CNA/fs