Sunday, October 7, 2007

Leonie Studio

Where clean lines and form merge with innovation

Leonie Studio is a 32-storey condominium with sleek glazed modern architecture located at the prime residential area at Leonie Hill, directly behind Orchard Cineleisure and Ngee Ann City mall.

Leonie Studio consists of 97 stylish units with only 4 apartments per floor. The living area has a spacious balcony and the master bedroom has full glass curtain wall. All apartments has top quality finishes and fittings, well integrated kitchen with built-in refrigerator, oven, washer cum dryer and retractable clothes hanger.

Address : 21 Leonie Hill
Tenure : 99 years Leasehold
District : 09
No. of Units : 97
Year of Completion : 2006
Developer : Guoco Land Pte Ltd

Best Buildable Design Awards 2007
Award Winner - Residential Non-Landed Buildings Category (for projects with GFA < 25,000m2

A habitat in prime district 9

Leonie Hill is a stone's throw away from Orchard Road shopping and entertainment hub, Orchard and Somerset MRT Station. It offers quick accessibility to the city and Central Business District (CBD). The entertainment establishments of popular Mohamed Sultan Road are also located nearby.


Orchard MRT Station (NS22)
437 Orchard Road Singapore 238878
How Far? 0.55 km

Somerset MRT Station (NS23)
1 Somerset Road Singapore 238162
How Far? 0.84 km

Tiong Bahru MRT Station (EW17)
300 Tiong Bahru Road Singapore 168731
How Far? 1.50 km


Takashimaya Shopping Centre
391 Orchard Road Singapore 238872
How Far? 0.51 km

Ngee Ann City
391 Orchard Road Singapore 238872
How Far? 0.51 km

Wisma Atria
435 Orchard Road Singapore 238877
How Far? 0.57 km

Great World City
1 Kim Seng Promenade Singapore 237994
How Far? 0.57 km

Mandarin Shopping Arcade The
333 Orchard Road Singapore 238867
How Far? 0.57 km


Zion Road Block 86 Food Centre
86 Zion Road Singapore 160086
How Far? 0.85 km

Hard Rock Cafe (HRC)
50 Cuscaden Road Singapore 249724
How Far? 0.86 km

Beo Crescent Market And Food Centre
38A Beo Crescent Singapore 169982
How Far? 1.22 km

Phunk Bar
11 Mohamed Sultan Road Singapore 239010
How Far? 1.22 km

Havelock Road Block 22A Food Centre
22A Havelock Road Singapore 161022
How Far? 1.23 km


Overseas Family School (Private School)
25F Paterson Road Singapore 238515
How Far? 0.29 km

River Valley Primary School
2 River Valley Green Singapore 237993
How Far? 0.67 km

APSN (Jervois Senior School)
22 Delta Avenue Singapore 169833
How Far? 0.82 km

APSN (Delta Senior School)
20 Delta Avenue Singapore 169832
How Far? 0.84 km

Tourism Management Institute of Singapore
(TMIS@Palais Renaissance)
390 Orchard Road Singapore 238871
How Far? 0.89 km

Leonie Studio has recreational facilities like a swimming pool, wading pool, BBQ area, gymnasium and a Sky terrace garden with panoramic vista located at the 24th floor.

-Swimming Pool
-Wading Pool
-Reflective Pool
-Sky terrace garden with panoramic vista
-BBQ Area
-Covered Car Park
-24 Hours Security

Thomson Residents Upset Over Plans For Funeral Parlour In Their Backyard

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 07 October 2007

Residents in Thomson are upset over plans to build a funeral parlour in the area and they expressed their unhappiness to the Transport Minister on Sunday.

Minister Raymond Lim was holding a dialogue session with the residents after his community visit to the Thomson Division.

The session almost got derailed by a lively exchange on the intended building of a funeral parlour in Sin Ming.

Residents asked why the URA and HDB want to build another funeral parlour in the area when there are already many funeral parlours in the area.

They also wanted to know how this would adversely affect the prices of their houses and whether the government would compensate them for the drop in property prices.

In fact, the issue has been brewing for months now.

Residents did meet URA representatives but they were disappointed.

One resident said: "When they tell me that the meeting was like something (that has been) finalised, (it) reminded me of the show 'Just Follow Law'. Somebody upstairs say, build it there, so build it there. If this is something so important in Singapore, why there? Why not Orchard Road area?"

Another resident said: "I agree when he (URA representative) said that as a result of ageing population, we needed more funeral parlours; (it) made sense.

URA plans to build a funeral parlour on the empty plot of land (foreground)

"What the residents are against is: why Sin Ming? Are we now creating the area into a funeral hub? He said, 'having such a beautiful facade is going to help'.

Related Video Link -
Thomson residents upset over plans for funeral parlour in their backyard

"Another shocking thing I hear from one official is that 'it's going to look like it's Disneyland'. Come on, death is something that should be dignified, not a Disneyland concept. So that was another disappointment for the residents."

A third resident said: "According to somebody who gave me this (information), in the central region - we are in the central region - (there are) 21 funeral services. There are another two in the northeast and one in the east. A lot of places do not have funeral parlours, so why Sin Ming? One of the strongest reasons URA gave is that it's central. I don't know why it is central. There is no MRT service going there and buses servicing the road are also very few."

MP Hri Kumar, who was at the dialogue session with Minister Lim, addressed the concerns of the residents.

Mr Hri Kumar acknowledged that the siting of the funeral parlour was a difficult issue.

But he said the decision is not final and that discussions are still going on with the authorities on ideas such as having a commercial building on the adjoining plot to block the view of the funeral parlour from residents.

Mr Hri Kumar added that there would be no Disneyland concept.

"This Disneyland idea, not sure how it came about, maybe a poor choice of words. As I understand it, there is no Disneyland concept. It's not going to be a rollercoaster ride into the parlour," he said.

He also explained why the authorities chose Sin Ming.

Mr Hri Kumar said: "In the unfortunate incident of someone passing away, relatives and friends from all over the island will want to come and pay their respects, and the feedback from the funeral parlour operators is that when you have a parlour in the outskirts, in a very difficult or very inaccessible part of the country, it makes life difficult for residents from around the country to go and visit and pay their respects."

He said that when HDB and URA tendered out some land in Yishun for a funeral parlour some years ago, it failed because operators said it was not commercially feasible as it was too far out. - CNA/ir


Typical and ordinary is fine for some, but for those who prefer to immerse themselves in the art of creation, there's 2RVG. Where a mesmerising structure commands attention the moment you see it. Comprising 60 exclusive units of 1 and 2-bedroom apartments. 2RVG is designed for those with refined palates. With a certain grace and serenity, the contemporary living spaces and intimate privacy provide a sophisticated canvas for a unique urban lifestyle

It could be a lifestyle; a location or the spacious interiors. Then again, maybe it's everything that we offer.

Designed to complement a stylish lifestyle for only a very few, the interiors of 2RVG make a clear modern statement- fresh and chic. Each thoughtfully designed residence radiates toward bay windows overlooking the city skyline and laid-back environs. Prepare dinner and entertain friends in the designer kitchen or be pampered in style by the luxurious spa bath. In addition, the digital key access to your home and housekeeping servoce* are among the many amenities available at 2RVG.
* Terms & Conditions Apply

Address : 2 River Valley Grove
Tenure : Freehold; Foreigners Eligible
District : 09
No. of Units : 60
Year of Completion : 2006
Developer : Affluence Properties Pte Ltd
Architect : Diego A. Molina; Ong & Ong Architects

Unit sizes:
1 bedroom loft - 2 bedrooms - 683 - 893 sq ft

City living has always implied elegance, style and energy. Located at River Valley Grove; 2RVG certainly measures up to that standard. And it offers more. Here, you'll find some of the city's most popular destinations, restaurants and nightlife abound, along with the diverse shops and galleries offering everything from the funky to the awe-inspiring. Plus, you're perfectly perched close to MRT stations and the CBD. If location is a consideration, accept nothing less than 2RVG.

Who cares if the location is in District 9 and near to Orchard Road, Or the serene environs and happening hip places to hang out are closeby...


Somerset MRT Station (NS23)
1 Somerset Road Singapore 238162
How Far? 0.68 km

Orchard MRT Station (NS22)
437 Orchard Road Singapore 238878
How Far? 0.86 km

Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station (NE6-NS24)
11 Orchard Road Singapore 238826
How Far? 1.33 km


Great World City
1 Kim Seng Promenade Singapore 237994
How Far? 0.40 km

Cineleisure Orchard
8 Grange Road Singapore 239695
How Far? 0.62 km

Mandarin Gallery
333 Orchard Road Singapore 238867
How Far? 0.64 km


Zion Road Block 86 Food Centre
86 Zion Road Singapore 160086
How Far? 0.61 km

Phunk Bar
11 Mohamed Sultan Road Singapore 239010
How Far? 0.85 km

S11 Cuppage Terrace
21 Cuppage Road Singapore 229452
How Far? 0.90 km


River Valley Primary School
2 River Valley Green Singapore 237993
How Far? 0.28 km

Overseas Family School (Private School)
25F Paterson Road Singapore 238515
How Far? 0.64 km

Inlingua School of Languages
1 Grange Road Singapore 239693
How Far? 0.66 km

When was the last time you stepped into your home and minutes later you're comfortably immersed in the lap pool by the communal deck, where you can relax and gaze out at the surrounds. For those who like to surf the web in the opem, the pool area with wireless access provides the ideal setting. Or get in shape at the fitness corner followed by a delightful BBQ get-together with friends. Indeed, the creature comforts at 2RVG make life so wonderfully livable

-Swimming Pool
-BBQ Area
-Fitness Corner
-24 Hours Security
-Covered Car Park

Leonie Hill Residences

Leonie Hill Residences is a 29-storey architecture with clean forms and curved lines, Leonie Hill Residences features 80 luxurious apartments with only 3 apartments per storey proffering exclusivity. In this modish sanctuary, one can also take pleasure in the penthouse featuring a garden roof terrace with jet pool that promises relaxation and enjoyment in complete privacy.

Apartments at Leonie Hill Residences render a picture of contemporary styling with built-in wardrobes from Panelz, light timber flooring for bedrooms, sunken bath in master bathroom and the curved balcony in living and master bedrooms.

The interiors of Leonie Hill residences accentuate the sense of luxurious contentment with concealed air-conditioning in the living and dining areas, and master bedroom. With an imported quality kitchen from Siematic - a renowned German brand, the fully equipped ultra-modern kitchen includes a refrigerator, microwave oven, convention oven, cooker hob and hood all integrated tastefully into the apartments.

Address : 1 Leonie Hill Road (Former Site of Wilmer Court)
Tenure : Freehold
District : 09
Year of Completion : 2005
No. of units : 80
Developer : Sino Holdings (S) Pte Ltd (Tiong Aik Group)

Units sizes:
2 bedrooms: 106 sq m (1,141sqft)
3 bedrooms: 129 - 131 sq m (1,389-1,410sqft)
Penthouses: 259 - 398 sq m (2,788-4,284sqft)

Leonie Hill Residences is located at No. 1 Leonie Hill Road tucked away in a secluded higher ground in the Leonie vicinity. Being generally on higher ground than other apartments, you can enjoy the good view and breeze if you live here.

This condominium is located near to the Central Business District. It is only 6 minutes walk to the Somerset MRT station, Orchard Road shopping malls, supermarkets, bookstores and restaurants, residents of Leonie Hill Residences therefore enjoy both the quiet retreat and city life.

Situated in Singapore's sought-after residential District 9 and within minutes to the city's most popular entertainment shopping area - Orchard Road, Leonie Hill Residences eminent locale is one of the prime reasons one would aspire to live in an urban precinct.


Orchard MRT Station (NS22)
437 Orchard Road Singapore 238878
How Far? 0.71 km

Somerset MRT Station (NS23)
1 Somerset Road Singapore 238162
How Far? 0.73 km


Great World City
1 Kim Seng Promenade Singapore 237994
How Far? 0.44 km

Cineleisure Orchard
8 Grange Road Singapore 239695
How Far? 0.58 km

Takashimaya Shopping Centre
391 Orchard Road Singapore 238872
How Far? 0.59 km

Ngee Ann City
391 Orchard Road Singapore 238872
How Far? 0.59 km


25F Paterson Road Singapore 238515
How Far? 0.54km

25 Paterson Road Singapore 238510
How Far? 0.64km

2 River Valley Green Singapore 237993
How Far? 0.66km

-Infinity Lap Pool
-Wading Pool
-Tennis Court
-BBQ pits
-Children's Playground
-Function Room
-Basement Car Park
-24 Hours Security

Kim Yam Heights

Kim Yam Heights is a high-rise condominium situated in-between Mohamed Sultan Road and River Valley Road. It is close to Singapore River, Fort Canning Park, National Museum & National Library. For the partygoers, the entertainment belt of Mohammed Sultan Road will charm you on Saturday nights.

Kim Yam Heights is near to the popular UE Square Mall and Clarke Quay, where specialty shops, restaurants, pubs and clubs, Shop N Save supermarket, Delifrance cafe, pharmacy and restaurants are located.

Address : 42 Kim Yam Road
Tenure : Freehold
District : 09
No. of Units : 130
Year of Completion : 2000
Developer : Cavendish Realty Pte Ltd (Bonvest Group)

Unit sizes:
3 bedrooms: 114 - 129 sq m
4 bedrooms: 144 - 168 sq m
Maisonette: 152 - 205 sq m

Due to its excellent location, it takes around 5 minutes to drive to Shenton Way and about 8 to 10 minutes to walk to the Somerset MRT Station from Kim Yam Heights.

Map Source -


Somerset MRT Station(NS23)
1, Somerset Road Singapore 238162
How Far? 0.74 km

Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station (NE6-NS24-CL(U/C))
11, Orchard Road Singapore 238826
How Far? 0.98 km

Clarke Quay MRT Station (NE5)
10, Eu Tong Sen Street Singapore 059815
How Far? 1.02 km


UE Square Shopping Mall
81, Clemenceau Avenue Singapore 9239917
How Far? 0.46 km

King's Centre
390, Havelock Road S9 169662
How Far? 0.54 km

Clarke Quay
3, River Valley Road Singapore 179019
How Far? 0.62 km


River Valley Primary School
2, River Valley Green Singapore 237993
How Far? 0.34 km

Stansfield College
11, Penang Lane Singapore 238485
How Far? 0.78 km

Outram Secondary School
3, York Hill Singapore 168622
How Far? 0.79 km

-Swimming Pool
-Tennis Court
-Children's Playground
-BBQ Area
-24 Hour Security
-Basement Car Park

Emily Residence

Emily Residence - an exclusive world of tranquil living in the heart of town. Where the lush serenity of nature beckons at your doorstep, juxtaposed calmly against the excitement of city living. Where you can wine, dine, and party till late, and yet be back in the comforts of home in a matter of minutes.

Emily Residence, a stylish freehold residential development rising next to Mount Emily Park. With just 38 apartments available, five will feature their own private gardens in the sky.

Emily Residence is situated in the prestigious district 9 that's also rich in heritage and marked for arts, cultural and educational institutions such as National Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore Management University (SMU) and the National Library.

Developers : M.E.Holdings Pte Ltd
Address : 3 Mount Emily Road
District : 09
Tenure : Freehold
No. of Units : 38 units
Expected TOP : 31 December 2006
Expected Date of Legal Completion: 31 December 2008

As Emily Residence is just a stone throw away from the Plaza Singapura, Park Mall, Paradise Centre, amenities such as supermarkets, food centres and shop are within a short walk away.

Apart from that, there are also pubs and small restaurants at Prinsep Street within walking distance. It is also near to Tekka Mall. This project is within walking distance to the Singapore Management University (SMU).


60 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 229900
How Far? 0.30 km

11 Orchard Road Singapore 238826
How Far? 0.70 km

220 Victoria Street Singapore 188022
How Far? 0.85 km


665 Buffalo Road Singapore 210665
How Far? 0.29 km

48 Serangoon Road Singapore 217959
How Far? 0.31 km

1 Sophia Road Singapore 22814
How Far? 0.32 km

68 Orchard Road Singapore 238839
How Far? 0.37 km

Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road Singapore 238839
How Far? 0.37 km


Tekka Market And Food Centre
665 Buffalo Road Singapore 210665
How Far? 0.29 km

Albert Centre Market And Food Centre
270 Queen Street Singapore 180270
How Far? 0.64 km

Pek Kio Market And Food Court Centre
41A Cambridge Road Singapore 211041
How Far? 1.34 km

Traders' Market
3E River Valley Road Singapore179024
How Far? 1.52 km

Jalan Kukoh Market And Food Centre
1 Jalan Kukoh Singapore 161001
How Far? 2.03 km


99 Wilkie Road Singapore 228091
How Far? 0.34 km

1 Victoria Lane Singapore 198423
How Far? 0.89 km

12 Winstedt Road Singapore 227978
How Far? 1.05 km

60 Barker Road Singapore 309919
How Far? 2.27 km

38 Bencoolen Street Singapore 189654
How Far? 2.5 km

250 Middle Road Singapore 188983
How Far? 2.34 km

-Swimming Pool
-Wading Pool
-BBQ Area
-Water Feature
-Basement Car Park
-24 Hours Security


《联合早报》Oct 6, 2007


在澳洲上市的马来西亚发展商澳洲海外投资控股集团(UOA Group),看准本地投资者对马来西亚房地产的兴趣浓厚,将在今明两天于本地的SMART投资和国际房地产展销会上,推出位于孟沙区(Bangsar)的优质办公楼。

位于孟沙区轻轨列车站对面的Menara UOA Bangsar,占地7万8339平方英尺,属于99年地契,于今年初动工,预计在2009年第一季完工,售价为每平方英尺700马币。

Menara UOA Bangsar由两栋高楼组成,每栋楼都拥有商业中心、私人套房、健身房等设施。高38层楼,拥有410个单位的大楼将售出。另外一栋22楼高的办公楼则由集团出租,之后将纳入集团旗下在马来西亚上市的UOA房地产投资信托(UOAREIT)。

Can Mum Block Sale Of Jointly Owned Home?

Source : The Sunday Times, October 7, 2007

Q. I MARRIED recently and I am trying to move out of a home that I bought with my mother. The property was purchased for $800,000 and we recently entered into an agreement to sell it for $600,000. The buyer has already exercised his option to purchase.

My mother is having second thoughts and might try to block the sale. She contributed to the initial 20 per cent down payment, while I took a loan and was solely responsible for servicing this loan. I also took care of all the related expenses for the property, such as utilities and maintenance fees.

In terms of ownership, my wife has a 1 per cent share, while my mother and I have a joint tenancy agreement.

1) If my mother refuses to sell, what can I do besides getting a court order? Now that the buyer has exercised the option, what is the next step to completion? Do I still need my mother’s signature?

2) In terms of property division, how is any profit or loss calculated? Which of the following items need to be taken into account?

- My mother’s cash contribution
- My Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution
- Payment to the bank for the loan
- Renovations to the home
- Stamp duties
- Bank penalties for redemption of the loan

There will be no cash proceeds from the sale. The bank will take the first charge to redeem the outstanding loan. The remainder will be paid back into my CPF account.

3) What is the next thing I should do to ensure that the sale goes through?

A. ONCE the option is exercised by the buyer, the agreement becomes binding on the sellers, who are obliged to proceed with the sale.

There is probably only one other document that needs to be signed before completion can take place: the transfer document in favour of the buyer. All the three sellers - you, your wife and your mother - need to sign this document to effectively transfer ownership of the property to the buyer. If your mother refuses to sign, the right accrues to the buyer to obtain a court order directing her to do so.

The option is an agreement that governs the rights and liabilities between seller and buyer; it is not an agreement between the three sellers vis-a-vis each other. Thus, it is the buyer, not you, who will have the right to get a court order for your mother’s signature.

Your lawyers will help you to ascertain the amount that will have to be paid to the bank and to the CPF Board, and what additional sums will be payable by the sellers on completion, if any.

The sale proceeds will cover only the bank loan and the refund to the CPF Board. Your mother’s cash contribution and any money paid for stamp duties and renovations to the home are ‘monies lost’, and the three of you will have to resolve among yourselves how to settle this loss.

In my opinion, you have no recourse against each other for apportionment of the loss. The three sellers will have to prepare money for the payment of any bank penalties, which will be payable on or before completion.

You might try persuading your mother to proceed with the sale by explaining to her the possible consequences if she chooses to back out.

She needs to understand that the sale is subject to the terms laid out under the Law Society of Singapore Conditions of Sale 1999. One of the conditions of sale provides that if the sellers fail and/or refuse to proceed with the sale, then the buyer can elect to obtain either a court order to force the sellers to complete the sale, or an order against the sellers for an award of damages.

If the buyer elects to claim for damages, the measure of damages payable by the sellers to him will be assessed by the court. This will mainly be the difference between the market value of the property on the date that the buyer elects the remedy of damages and the sale price of $600,000.

It would therefore not be profitable at all for your mother to back out of the sale. In fact, she might get into an unnecessary legal entanglement that could result in losses for and damages against all three of you.

Lie Chin Chin
Managing Director
Characterist LLC (incorporating Lie Kee Pong Partnership)

Advice provided in this column is not meant as a substitute for comprehensive professional advice.

Mad Dash Before New En Bloc Rules Took Effect

Source : The Sunday Times, October 7, 2007

With just one day’s notice of the start of new rules, agents scrambled to secure last few owners’ signatures to seal collective sales.

IT WAS real estate’s version of The Amazing Race: In just five frantic hours on Wednesday, Mr Jeffrey Goh had to convince eight people at three different properties to back a collective sale.

Fall short and months of hard slog by the head of investment sales at Newman & Goh would have been for nothing.

With the clock ticking down to midnight - when new collective-sale rules would be enforced requiring uncompleted sales to be restarted - Mr Goh and his team scrambled like fighter pilots.

Mr Goh worked the phones from the office, concentrating mainly on a conference call with an owner based in Shanghai, while his colleagues fanned out to the other locations on a charm offensive.

At 10.45pm, the last owner from a River Valley estate gave his consent.

At 11.30pm, the Newton Lodge owner in Shanghai faxed the collective-sale agreement with his signature on the dotted line.

There was still a hold-out at an Orchard Road estate but, finally, the word came through - it was a ‘yes’!

Said Mr Goh: ‘You won’t believe it, we got that signature at 11.35pm.’

By midnight, they had secured the required 80 per cent owners’ consent for all three properties.

The mad dash was triggered by the surprise announcement last Wednesday that new collective-sale rules, which were passed by Parliament two weeks ago, would take effect the next day.

The new rules make the collective-sale process more transparent. For example, members of a sale committee have to be elected at a general meeting, and the sale agreement must be signed by owners in the presence of a lawyer.

But it also meant that those who had not gathered consent from the required number of owners - 80 per cent of owners by share value, or 90 per cent for estates less than 10 years old - would have to restart the entire process.

The lack of much notice about the start date for the new rules caught out many in the industry.

‘It came as a total surprise,’ said Mr Goh, who found out only at 5pm on Wednesday about the new laws kicking in. ‘We thought it was going to be in mid- or late October.’

Marketing agents were knocking on doors, cajoling owners right up to the last minute.
‘We had to go over matters of apportionment again and slowly explain to owners why things were done in a certain way,’ said Mr Goh.

Credo managing director Karamjit Singh said:

‘For the last few signatures, it’s about going and reaching out on a personalised basis.’

His company was hoping to close six deals in the last few months. Four made the deadline.

Among them was Chestnut Ville in Upper Bukit Timah where the last signature was secured at 10pm on Wednesday.

Sale committee chairman Tan Bak Choon, 59, was relieved that they made it.

With the new rules, he said, ‘lawyers and agents are definitely going to charge more’.

Some estates, such as Robin Court in Bukit Timah, did not take any chances. Mr Ivan Chua, 36, chairman of its sale committee, said the last signature was secured on Sept 20, when the amendment Bill was being pushed through Parliament.

He had been working for two years to get the sale of the 15-unit estate through and reckons it was the impending change that finally tipped the scales.

The Sunday Times has learnt that at least five properties made the midnight deadline - but others fell short.

Mr Steven Ming, director of investment sales at Savills Singapore, said his team missed out on a couple of signatures for one development despite working up to midnight.

‘We were one or two units shy. It was very disappointing,’ he said. He declined to name the development.

But for Mr Goh, the adrenalin rush in the hour leading to midnight was one to savour: ‘It was nerve-wracking and exciting. Just like the last 50m dash in a race.’

They made it in time

Robin Court
Newton Lodge
Amber Park
Thomson View
Villa delle Rose

They missed out

Clementi Park
Pine Grove
Botanic Gardens View

That personal touch

‘For the last few signatures, it’s about going and reaching out on a personalised basis.’

MR KARAMJIT SINGH, managing director of Credo, which was hoping to close six deals in the last few months. Four made the deadline. The last signature was secured at 10pm on Wednesday

Narrow miss

‘We were one or two units shy. It was very disappointing.’

MR STEVEN MING, director of investment sales at Savills Singapore, whose team missed out on a couple of signatures for one development despite working up to midnight


Mr Jeffrey Goh, head of investment sales at Newman & Goh, found out only at 5pm on Wednesday about the new laws on collective sales kicking in the next day. He had three deals to tie up.

The last owner from a River Valley estate gives his consent for a collective sale.

The Newton Lodge owner in Shanghai faxes the collective- sale agreement with his signature.

A hold-out at an Orchard Road estate finally says ‘yes’ - less than half an hour before the deadline.

Ang Mo Kio Attracting Many Suitors, High Prices

Source : The Sunday Times, October 7, 2007

District now a top draw for its accessibility, amenities and job opportunities nearby.

A RECENT battle over a condominium site should silence those who still doubt whether Ang Mo Kio is becoming a property hot spot.

The land attracted 14 suitors and eventually went for more than $200 million - probably a record bid for a suburban district plot.

Such is the growing appeal of the district. Homes in Ang Mo Kio, well positioned just north of central Singapore, command a premium compared to those further out.

Four-room resale flats sold at a median price of $260,000 in the April-June period, 30 per cent higher than those in Yishun.

ERA Singapore’s assistant vice-president, Mr Eugene Lim, estimates that prices of resale Housing Board (HDB) flats in Ang Mo Kio have grown 10 to 20 per cent so far this year.

Private housing is thriving as well.

Consultancy Knight Frank said prices at Castle Green condo along Yio Chu Kang Road grew 39 per cent this year to hit $584 per sq ft (psf) in the July-

September period, while Grandeur 8 in Ang Mo Kio Central 3 rose 26.8 per cent to $606 psf.

It is a sign of things to come, given the advantages Ang Mo Kio has to offer.

Key among these advantages is Ang Mo Kio Hub, a mall in the heart of town that is integrated with an air-conditioned bus interchange. It was completed last year and sits just across the road from the Ang Mo Kio MRT station.

Knight Frank’s director of research and consultancy, Mr Nicholas Mak, puts that development on par with major regional retail centres like Causeway Point, Tampines Mall and Jurong Point.

Ang Mo Kio Hub even has an edge over them, as it is far closer to the central business district - about 15 minutes by train from Orchard Road.

This means good demand from tenants wanting to be in flats close to the action. Four-room flats rented for a median $1,000 from April to June, while five-room units went for $1,300.

Upcoming developments may add more vibrancy to the area. The HDB last month put up for sale a plum 1.7ha plot along Ang Mo Kio Street 52, which private developers can use to build about 550 homes.

Private companies are being involved in designing, building and selling public housing in two other projects elsewhere in Singapore - and the idea looks a winner.

The first consisted of condominium-like flats in Tampines that sold like hot cakes last year, while the second, in Boon Keng, is expected to be equally well-received.

The Ang Mo Kio plot is expected to get just as enthusiastic a response.

Add to this the dogfight over a 0.6ha private condominium plot near Ang Mo Kio Hub along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8.

Far East Organization trumped 13 rivals with a record bid of $202.9 million, or $601 psf per plot ratio.

Far East’s break-even cost is estimated to be around $900 to $1,000 psf, which means apartments will likely be priced at a record $1,100 to $1,200 psf.

Savills Singapore director of marketing and business development Ku Swee Yong believes this could lead to higher prices in the area if sellers use future condo units there as a pricing benchmark.

All in, Ang Mo Kio is ‘one of the few housing estates in Singapore’ that is accessible, has well-developed amenities and job opportunities in clean and well-organised industrial estates nearby, says Mr Mak.

PropNex senior associate manager Lester Tan and ERA’s Mr Lim expect HDB prices in the area to rise by 10 to 20 per cent by the end of next year.

Mr Mak, meanwhile, expects condo prices to grow by 25 to 30 per cent this year and by 15 to 20 per cent next year.

The Horizon Towers Show

Source : The Sunday Times, October 7, 2007

Starring five legal eagles and a cast of residents

PUT five senior counsel in one courtroom and you can be sure that sparks will fly.
Add personal relationships into the mix and you will get one heck of a fireworks display.

Over the past week, five legal heavyweights have been cooped up in Court 4B of the Supreme Court building, arguing over a multi-million-dollar collective sale gone wrong.

The star-studded line-up has, at times, led to fiery spats among the opposing counsel, with the presiding judge, Justice Choo Han Teck, having to step in to play peacemaker.

The case itself is interesting enough without the lawyers' witty and caustic remarks.

The Strata Titles Board (STB) rarely disallows a collective sale, but it did just that for Horizon Towers after a defective application put paid to the $500 million deal.

Now the buyer, Horizon Partners Private Limited (HPPL), a consortium led by Hotel Properties Limited, is suing the owners for up to $1 billion.

The courtroom was packed every day. At any one time, there were at least 20 lawyers from six different firms before Justice Choo and extra seats had to be wheeled in for them.

The list of lead counsel read like a Who's Who of the legal community: Mr K. Shanmugam, one of the youngest senior counsel appointed in 1998; Mr K.S. Rajah and Mr Michael Hwang, who were among the first 12 senior counsel appointed in 1997; Mr Chelva Rajah and Mr Andre Yeap.

Considering that there are only 32 senior counsel who are practising lawyers, having five in one case is rare.

Widely regarded as one of the country's top litigators, Allen & Gledhill's Mr Shanmugam, 48, appeared to be receiving the brunt of the throwaway remarks from opposing counsel which have littered the hearing.

This was not surprising, considering that his client, the buyer, is being seen as the bad guy by the other parties - the majority owners, who are being sued for up to $1 billion, and the minority owners, who do not want to sell.

Another sticking point is the relationship between Mr Shanmugam and two other senior counsel involved in the case.

Representing four minority owners is his former father-in-law, Mr K.S. Rajah.

And his ex-boss at Allen & Gledhill, Mr Hwang, acts for another minority owner.

On the first day of the hearing, Mr Shanmugam obtained permission from the court to air his client's case even though buyers are usually not heard in hearings on whether a collective sale should go through or not.

That prompted Mr K.S. Rajah to comment that 'all and sundry' should not be allowed to 'do this and that'.

Mr Shanmugam shot back: 'Firstly, I am not all and sundry. Next, I'm not doing this and that. I've a graver interest in the matter than he does.'

On another day, Mr Shanmugam claimed that Mr K.S. Rajah and his clients were engaging in delaying tactics.

Mr K.S. Rajah retorted: 'I hate to interrupt my learned friend in full flight, in all his investigative work. But what has all this got to do with the appeal?'

The 77-year-old later added: 'While we are all here talking about the appeal, all my learned friend is concerned with is HPPL's case.'

Mr Hwang was no less cutting to Mr Shanmugam. The two had worked together in Allen & Gledhill for many years until Mr Hwang, now 63, left in 2003 after 34 years at the firm.

Now running his own firm, Mr Hwang has moved on to focus on arbitration work. But the talk then was that Allen & Gledhill was not big enough for both of them.

In court, Mr Hwang said Mr Shanmugam had 'overstayed his welcome' in the hearing by giving a 'shopping list' of what the court should order.

Not taking this lying down, Mr Shanmugam later said that Mr Hwang was 'fully capable' of conjuring up an argument in 'his silken ways'.

'And I meant that as a compliment,' he added as an aside.

Mr Hwang shrugged off those comments and, after a while, got up to leave. This prompted Mr Shanmugam to quip: 'See? Mr Michael Hwang is leaving. He must be upset by my insults.'

When Mr Shanmugam asked to be allowed to speak after Mr Chelva Rajah on Wednesday, Mr Hwang was the first to object, followed by Mr K.S. Rajah.

Mr Hwang felt Mr Shanmugam should not get a 'second bite of the cherry'.

If Mr Shanmugam got another go, he said, then all the other lawyers should also be given another chance to respond as well.

And even when Justice Choo gave the lawyers two options for how they wanted to respond - either each would get five minutes more time to talk or would respond in writing - the two men could not see eye to eye.

Mr Hwang wanted written submissions; Mr Shanmugam wanted to do it orally. The former won this round because he had the other lawyers on his side.

But despite the excellent show put on by the lawyers, the lead actors in this matter were really the 210 occupants of Horizon Towers.

Every day, at least 50 of them would fill up the public gallery at the back of the court.

On the first day, there were more residents who turned up than seats and some were not allowed in. Many of them turned up on all four days, staying right through the proceedings. And they did not sit impassively.

Once, when Mr Shanmugam was about to interject, Justice Choo stopped him before he could start, leading to mutterings from the crowd: 'Yes, sit down!'

Mr Shanmugam then asked the judge to remind the public gallery that 'this is not a circus'.

There were also audible sneers from the crowd when Mr Shanmugam declared that his client was 'not in the business of suing'.

Each time a decision went against Mr Shanmugam, they would cheer and hushed exclamations of 'Yes!' would ring out.

One resident who did not sign the en bloc agreement said it was not personal.

'Our 'cheers' during the hearing are the reaction of the average layman who feel they have been wrongly pushed into a corner by a large corporation,' he said.

Instead of making $2.3 million to $4 million each from the en bloc sale, Horizon Towers occupants may have to pay out double that amount if the buyer wins the lawsuit.

But a housewife, who sat through all four days of hearings, said she enjoyed the face-off and witty exchanges between the senior lawyers.

'We are glad we have so many other senior counsel facing Mr Shanmugam as we have heard how good he is,' she said.

'Can you imagine a young lawyer doing it? He would have been slaughtered.'

But now, the time for theatrics is over.

The lawyers have had their say in court and it is now down to the judge to make a cool decision.

And he is unlikely to decide this based on which lawyer produced better theatre.

For those who have been entertained, the issue is this: Did it matter that the application to the STB did not contain the signatures of three majority owners when even without them, the minimum 80 per cent of residents' approval had been obtained?

The Horizon Towers finale will be staged early this week. Watch for the reviews.