Collective sale fever bubbles over

Collective sales are brewing in the Balestier area
Chef-restaurateur-turned-tai chi instructor P K Tan has always liked the Balestier area. Besides its proximity to the CBD, the main attraction is that properties there are predominantly freehold. “Apart from East Coast, Farrer Park and Geylang, Balestier is the only city fringe area that offers mainly freehold property,” says Tan, 67.
He likes projects with sizeable units and that sit on large and regular-shaped freehold plots. Besides his primary residence — a 2,508 sq ft, four-bedroom unit at Mandalay Towers — he also has an investment in Balestier: a three-bedroom unit in the 72-unit Balestier Regency on Jalan Ampas that he bought more than a decade ago. He likes the project, as all units are three-bedroom and measure 1,453 to 1,475 sq ft each. Tan was recently informed by a neighbour, however, that Balestier Regency was attempting a collective sale.
Balestier has become a hotspot for collective sales this year. Besides Balestier Regency, collective sales are brewing in several other ageing apartment blocks in the area. On Kim Keat Road, the 34-unit Victory Heights is said to be attempting an en bloc sale. The 78-unit Boon Teck Tower on Boon Teck Road is also attempting an en bloc sale and in the process of collecting signatures to obtain the 80% consensus to proceed. The collective sale process has also started at the 89-unit Kemaman Point on Jalan Kemaman.
Tan was looking to buy a second investment property in Balestier, and he was eyeing AVA Towers, a 124-unit freehold condominium built in 1993, because all the units are three-bedroom apartments ranging from 1,173 to 1,281 sq ft. He was surprised when his recent online search for AVA Tower yielded only one unit for sale. “I was wondering what happened to all the listings of units for sale,” he says. “They seem to have disappeared.” That was when he realised that owners at AVA Towers were also exploring a collective sale.
Mandalay Towers, a low-rise 56-unit apartment block completed in 1974, comprises four-bedroom units of 2,500 sq ft