Former HUDC estate Rio Casa up for en bloc sale

This article is more than 12 months old

A former HUDC estate in Hougang Avenue 7 that has been privatised is now up for sale.

Owners of Rio Casa, formerly called Hougang N3, are expecting offers above $450.8 million, which translates to a price of about $586 per sq ft per plot ratio.

Unit owners would receive in excess of $1.5 million each through the sale of the estate, which has 73 years left on its lease, said Mr Ian Loh, head of investment and capital markets for Knight Frank, which is marketing the 286-unit site.

While the reserve price is "confidential", the $450.8 million asking price excludes a top-up premium of about $57.5 million for a new 99-year lease, and a premium of $141.5 million for intensification of the 396,231 sq ft riverfront site.

Mr Loh said the collective sale committee got the requisite 80 per cent consent needed for the sale in about three weeks, which he said was a "record time" in his career. The estate elected its sales committee last August.

The site has more than 200m of riverfront and greenery views, and is in an area with schools such as Holy Innocents' Primary and High School and CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity.

Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of South-east Asia research at Edmund Tie and Company, said the asking price is on the higher side but still within the "reasonable range" of his estimates.

He felt that this is a sweet spot for sellers, as property sentiment is improving, with "a pick-up in activity, but prices have not followed suit".

Sellers are not always keen to sell during a price boom, as it will be harder for them to buy another property, he added.

Dr Lee added that there will be interest in the site as the Government Land Sales sites on offer will be hotly contested.

"However, developers may be concerned about the take-up rate, as it is not near any MRT stations, and there is a nearby development, Kingsford WaterBay, which has unsold units," he added.

Still, the riverfront attribute of Rio Casa will draw interest, he said, as not many developers have riverfront land bank, which can boost sales if they can come up with an interesting concept.