Leonie Gardens makes first collective sale attempt

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October 6, 2017 5:00 PM SGT
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With its distinctive red towers, Leonie Gardens is considered ‘the crown jewel of Leonie Hill’
At an extraordinary general meeting on Sept 30, a collective sale committee was formed for the 138-unit Leonie Gardens. The committee was empowered to appoint a solicitor and property consultant to represent owners in their maiden collective sale attempt. “This is the first time that the development will be put up for collective sale,” says Michael Tan, a member of the Leonie Gardens collective sale committee.
Developed by CapitaLand, Leonie Gardens occupies a 145,791 sq ft site with a 99-year lease from 1990. The site has a plot ratio of 2.8 and can therefore be redeveloped into a 36-storey condominium project.
Leonie Gardens is considered “the crown jewel of Leonie Hill”, says Tan. “It’s the only development in the Orchard area with flight path lights at the top of its towers.” The landscaping for Leonie Gardens was designed by Raymond Cain, who was the principal landscape architect of Belt Collins Hawaii Ltd. He had also designed the landscaping for Sentosa Island and Shangri-La Singapore.
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As Leonie Gardens sits within prime District 9 and is part of the Core Central Region (CCR), the minimum average size of 70 sq m or 753 sq ft per unit does not apply here, points out Tan. Assuming an average unit size of 650 sq ft, the Leonie Gardens site can be redeveloped into a new condo project with 627 units. If the average size is 700 sq ft, the new development could have about 580 units.
Leonie Gardens, with its distinctive twin red towers, is located near the 462-unit OUE Twin Peaks. Relaunched 1½ years ago in April 2016, OUE Twin Peaks is fully sold after it launched an innovative deferred payment scheme. Average price achieved for the two towers is about $2,714 psf, although it did achieve a high of $3,462 psf for a 570 sq ft, one-bedroom unit on the 25th floor in 2013.
The strong sales at OUE Twin Peaks have encouraged its neighbours to embark on their own collective sale process. For owners at Horizon Towers next door, it will be the second attempt in a decade. They had attempted a collective sale in 2007. The 210-unit private condo, which has a 99-year lease dating from 1979, was completed in 1984.
The most recent transaction at Horizon Towers was for a 2,303 sq ft unit on the fourth level of one of the towers that was sold for $2.368 million ($1,028 psf), according to a caveat lodged in September.
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At Leonie Gardens, completed in 1993, the latest transaction was for a 1,733 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the ninth floor. It fetched $2.3 million ($1,327 psf), according to a caveat lodged in August.
For the collective sale committee at Leonie Gardens, it will be their maiden attempt at a collective sale. “Ten years ago, we were approached about doing a collective sale, but there was no impetus then,” says Tan.
While the prime districts have borne the brunt of the cooling measures, developers have been watching this segment closely. “Statistics show that there is growing demand from local buyers in the prime districts, but the affordability band is in the $2 million to $3 million range,” says Tang Wei Leng, managing director of Colliers International.
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“Singapore will continue to be attractive to foreign buyers and smaller quantum luxury housing will certainly drive demand from foreigners, who may have stayed on the sidelines because of the cooling measures, currency uncertainty, capital control or for tax amnesty reasons,” she adds.
This article, written by Cecilia Chow, appeared in EdgeProp Pullout, Issue 800 (Oct 9, 2017)

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