Cairnhill Mansions in collective sale bid

THE owners of an ageing District 9 residential property are launching their fourth attempt at a collective sale.

Cairnhill Mansions’ 61 owners will begin the process next June with the aim of getting the requisite 80 per cent backing before the option expires a year later.

The 50-year-old freehold building, which sits on a prime site near Goodwood Park Hotel, has 60 apartments and a penthouse.

The last attempt at a collective sale coincided with the rollout of property market cooling measures in 2011.

The owners failed to find a buyer at the reserve price of $361.5 million, or about $2,308 per sq ft of potential gross floor area. Earlier collective sale attempts were in 2005 and 2007.

Sale committee chairman Charles Ho said the building’s ageing infrastructure is costly to maintain and can be a hazard: A resident was recently trapped in the lift for four hours.

“Old electrical wirings are hazards. Carpark shortages, inefficient use of space, water seepage during heavy rain are all inconveniences. Replacement costs are high and have to be funded by owners. Even if the place is upgraded, there is a limit to how much it can be brought up to date,” he added.

Retiree Andy Lim, 65, who has lived at Cairnhill Mansions for about 20 years, said its antiquated design features can be inconvenient. “The lift lobby is on the second floor, instead of the ground floor,” said Mr Lim, adding that he plans to buy a smaller unit in the same area if the en-bloc sale is successful.

Developers are constantly on the lookout for prime freehold sites and collective sales are one of the few ways to acquire such a parcel, said Ms Elaine Chow, executive director and head of research at Chestertons Singapore.

However, “given the lacklustre luxury residential market, developers will not be able to bid as aggressively as before”.

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