Pinetree Condominium, a luxury development located in the Balmoral Park enclave, has recently been put up in the property market for en bloc sale with a reserve price of $148 million. According to the latest property news from The Independent Singapore (last updated in July 2018), the en bloc sale means that each homeowner with property investments in Pinetree Condominium is expected to receive $2.57 million to $4.09 million should it push through.

Completed in 1996 by Pinetree Condominium Pte Ltd, the development consists of 50 units spread across five-storey residential buildings. The Pinetree Condominium sits on a freehold land sized at 41, 276 sq ft and consists of primarily three-bedroom homes measuring between 1,162 sq ft to 1,851 sq ft. The site is zoned under ‘residential’ and has a plot ratio of 1.6 based on its 2014 master plan. This translates to 66,177 sq ft in gross floor area.

Pinetree Condominium sits on high ground in Balmoral Park, an exclusive residential enclave near Stevens Road. This residential area is lined with luxury developments and property investments by many of Singapore’s wealthiest individuals. Some upmarket condominiums along the Balmoral Park enclave include The Balmoral, Balmoral Hills, Jewel of Balmoral, Pinewood Gardens, and The Solitaire.

It’s only a short distance away from various shopping centres, restaurants, recreational establishments, schools, medical centres, parks, etc. It’s also notably just a one-minute drive from the famous Orchard Road shopping and entertainment belt and only a ten-minute drive from the Central Business District. The site is also well-connected through the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and Havelock Road. The closest train stations are the Newton MRT Station and the Stevens MRT Stations.

Some shopping centres within walking distance include Balmoral Plaza, Claymore Connect, Orchard Towers, Delfi Orchard, and MFK Eskootz. In addition, numerous dining establishments surround the site, including Teochew Restaurant, The Line Restaurant, Shang Palace, Waterfall Ristorante Italiano, Origin Grill, and In Piazza Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria.

There are Raffles Girls Secondary, Singapore Chinese Girls School, Chinese International School Singapore (CNIS), Chinese International School, and Anglo-Chinese School for nearby local and international schools.

There are also a few medical centres nearby, such as Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, and Singapore General Hospital.

Other landmarks near the redevelopment site include the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Newton Food Center, and Novena Medical Hub. In addition, within the vicinity are prestigious members-only clubs such as The American Club, the Tanglin Club, The Pines Club, and the Raffles Town Club.

SLP Scotia, the property agency responsible for the en bloc sale, said that the site might be redeveloped into a 12-storey residential project that consists of 75 condo units with an average floor size of 70 sq m.

The en bloc sale resulted from the recent property cooling measures implemented by the government to calm market euphoria. However, JLL Singapore, a local real estate agency, said that “the collective sales market may also be dampened as developers become wary of end-demand and are hurt by the 5% non-remittable ABSD for land purchase.”

According to another real estate agency, CBRE Singapore, property developers are the ones who will be affected the most by the changes that the cooling measures will bring in. Land acquisition costs are expected to change. Property developers must now pay 25% on land acquisition based on the land cost instead of only paying 15%.

On the other hand, DBS Analyst Derek Tan also explains that it marks the end of the current collective sale cycle. He notes that: “The revised ABSD rates greatly increase the capital commitment for developers seeking to land-bank in a period of increased uncertainty in buying volumes and heightened supply entering the market in the next two years. Their immediate strategy for upcoming launches is to re-look their pricing and launch strategy. In the longer term, if sell-through rates don’t follow through, there’s a risk of potential write-off to land values. However, this isn’t a base case scenario at the moment.”

Richard Lai, the chief financial officer of GuocoLand, notes that “the initial reaction of investors, most of which will be foreign nations, is that they’ll hold back, wait and see.” He adds that “the higher-end market products will have a much different target market. Therefore, they’ll have very different reactions compared to the more mass markets ones.”

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