Tag Archives: Lippo Group

UOB suing over inflated housing loans

Singapore’s High Court has allowed United Overseas Bank (UOB) to proceed with legal action against two property agents, five individuals and Lippo Marina Collection (LMC), a subsidiary of Lippo Group, reported The Straits Times.

The defendants are being sued by the bank for their alleged failure to disclose the lavish furniture rebates offered by the developer to buyers of 38 apartments at the Marina Collection condominium.

UOB claims that because they were not informed about the rebates, they granted a higher loan amount to the condo buyers. Otherwise, they would have cut the mortgage quantum.

For example, the buyer of a $5.98 million unit was given a furniture rebate of $1.78 million. But the purchaser got a bank loan of $4.79 million, which is higher than the actual sales price of $4.2 million.

The bank also alleged that the distorted prices for the 99-year leasehold units infringed on the mortgage rules introduced by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). It also claimed that the buyers do not have the financial capability to repay the loans, as 37 of the 38 loans are already in default.

Countering UOB’s claim, LMC said the responsible parties in a housing loan agreement are solely the buyers and the bank. In addition, it had no knowledge of the misrepresentation of the actual sales price.

The two property agents also jointly denied the accusation that they conspired to deceive the bank. They said UOB’s vice-president of housing loans at the time was cognisant in all matters relating to the buyers’ mortgage applications. Hence, it cannot be said that the bank was not aware.

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/uob-gets-nod-to-sue-over-inflated-home-loans-for-sentosa-cove-condo

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Property players vanishing from market

With hardly any new projects or land bids in recent years, some developers have disappeared from the scene due to financial woes and tougher competition, media reports revealed.

These boutique developers, such as Raffles Medical Group’s Esquire Land and Indonesia-oriented Sinarmas Land, were active in the 1980s and 90s, when freehold land costs less than $100 million and profit margins exceeded 20 percent, said Chesterton Singapore’s Managing Director Donald Han.

Another example is Waterbank Properties, former transport group DelGro Corp’s property division, which left the property industry in September 1998.

On the other hand, some property players are only active when the market hits rock-bottom, such as Ho Bee Land and Lippo Group. “These are the early movers who read the market well, tend to take risks and generate the highest returns,” Han explained. “When the market nears its peak, these developers and consortiums then drop off, and are replaced by the more gung-ho ones.”

NTUC Choice Homes went into a hiatus after it submitted a losing bid of $97.4 million for an HDB housing site at Pasir Ris Central in May 2011.

“In the past few years, land prices in Singapore have not moderated much,” said its spokesman. As a result, opportunities to develop affordable and quality houses were scarce.

Since its founding in 1995, the company has built 15 projects with 6,944 units, including the Dakota Residences and Trevista. Its new development, the 315-unit Belysa is expected to be completed by October.

Nevertheless, NTUC Choice Homes has a moderate risk profile, meaning it could start acquiring landbanks when prices fall, noted Han.

In contrast, some developers are active all year round such as CapitaLand, UOL Group, Keppel Land, Singapore Land, City Developments, Frasers Centrepoint and Far East Organization.

Ku Swee Yong, Chief Executive at Century 21, added, “Some developers who are listed must show a steady flow of projects, otherwise there will be certain quarters when they report revenue plunges or zero profits.”

Source : PropertyGuru