Three HUDC estates in Hougang, Potong Pasir designated for privatisation


The government has identified three HUDC estates for privatisation.

The estates are located at Hougang North Neighbourhood 3, Hougang North Neighbourhood 7, and Potong Pasir.

The Ministry of National Development (MND) said the three estates comprise a total of 797 of apartments and maisonettes.

Real estate agents said the news could affect prices of these properties, which may rise 5 to 7 per cent.

“With privatisation, everyone will be happy (because) the price will be higher if we intend to sell,’ said Steven Tan. The HUDC estate at Hougang Avenue 7 which he’s been living in has been put up for privatisation.

Property agents said prices could inch up overnight.

Recently transacted prices in the three estates range from S$620,000 to S$735,000.

“I won’t be surprise some will say if I were to sell you the unit, then I am giving up my opportunity to cash in more if this development go en bloc. We’ve heard of developments where once it is privatised, the prices there sometimes rocket by S$100,000,” said Chris Koh, director of Dennis Wee Group.

Industry players said the en bloc potential for these HUDC estates is good because they are located in mature estates with more developed infrastructure and amenities.

The privatisation process could take up to two-and-a-half years.

But it will need support from three quarters of the residents.

Helen Lee, Protem Committee Member of Hougang Avenue 7 HUDC estate said: “The last time we did a survey in early 2009, more than 80 per cent of the residents were actually in favour of the privatisation. I think it shouldn’t be a problem getting the 75 per cent vote.”

The residents of each estate will have to form a protem committee comprising resident representatives to act on their behalf.

One stumbling block could be the privatisation cost, which include legal and survey cost, as well as cost of land transfer.

The Ministry of National Development (MND) will cap the cost of privatisation at $30,000 per flat for the three newly-designated estates at Hougang and Potong Pasir.

The MND said this is a concession to enable HUDC lessees to fulfil their aspirations to enhance their assets.

The concession will also apply to the Serangoon North HUDC estate, which is in the process of obtaining support for privatisation.

The capping of privatisation cost at $30,000 is only valid for three years, starting from 2 August 2010.

Thereafter, MND said the cost of privatisation will be adjusted to take into consideration the prevailing redevelopment potential of the land.

Observers said privatisation means flat owners will no longer be bound by some public housing rules like sub-letting, and they can sell or rent their homes to anyone.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 30 Jul 2010

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