Chief Editor December 29 2021

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High Point enbloc success and failure

Hong Kong developer Shun Tak Holdings has abandoned the S$556.7 million enbloc deal of High Point after Singapore government introduced a slew of new property cooling measures.

High Point condo was completed in 1973 and located at 30 Mount Elizabeth which is a Prime District 9 in Singapore.

It has a freehold site area of about 47,606 sq ft with a verified gross floor area (GFA) of 211,976 sq ft.

The condominium encompasses 57 apartments and 2 penthouses over 22 storeys. 

Based on the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Masterplan 2019, the site was established to be a residential area that could go up to 36 storeys’ high. The potential bird’s eye view with the sky-scraping property features unsurmountable views of the greenery and CBD skyline that beats the fatigue out of you after a long, tiresome day at work.

High Point is located at a fine spot of walking distance to main road leading to the Orchard shopping belt, where it entails a shopping paradise and a food galore for the young and the youthful old. There are also other amenities that are a stone’s throw away include Mount Elizabeth Hospital, private clubs like Tanglin Club and the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

With these abovementioned qualities that High Point has, it is no wonder that Shun Tak Holdings laid eyes on this beauty with their decision to “expand our portfolio and foothold in Singapore” as mentioned by Shun Tak’s chairman and managing director, Pansy Ho. However, there are other stakes involved with every opportunity that is laid.

What caused the fallout of the High Point enbloc deal?

Savills Singapore has mentioned in a statement that High Point condo had the third-highest land price per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) of approximately $2,537 psf psr in the whole of Singapore’s history.

Shun Tak’s plans of redeveloping High Point into a luxury condominium by 2027 seem to suggest that they were thwarted by the latest property cooling measures that were announced by the Singapore government.

These measures include the higher rates of additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) of about 5 to 15 percentage points, where it includes all entities. The ABSD refers to the charge on taxes with every residential property purchased for all entities, excluding Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) who are buying their first residential property.

Foreign buyers in particular will have to pay an ABSD of 30 per cent regardless whether it is their first or second property, up from 20 per cent previously. 

For property developers, the remittable ABSD also increased by 10 per cent, which lead to higher opportunity costs where the liabilities include not just 35 per cent ABSD (previously 25 per cent) but also the interest that comes along with it should they fail to complete the residential project and sell all the units within 5 years of land acquisition.

It's worth noting that the tender for High Point closed before the cooling measures took effect on 16 December 2021, therefore Shun Tak is subject to the old scheme of 25 percent remissible ABSD.

The aggressive property cooling measures meant that Shun Tak Holdings had to withstand higher risks amidst the uncertain COVID-19 times so it would rather forfeit a one million dollar tender deposit as opposed to holding on.

About Shun Tak

Shun Tak is a Hong Kong property developer founded by casino tycoon Stanley Ho and is helmed by his daughter Pansy Ho. In May 2021, it launched Park Nova in Tomlinson Road and the recent transactions were at an average of more than S$4,500 psf.

Shun Tak owns the commercial building, 111 Somerset, which comprises of retail, office and medical suites at Somerset Road.

Pansy Ho, Shun Tak's chairman and managing director, said in a media release on 9th December that the collective sale of High Point will expand their portfolio and foothold in Singapore.