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Sell my sea-view flat? Not even for $1 million

YOU can keep your $1 million; retired technician Jim Klass won’t sell his Marine Parade flat for any amount.

‘So what if my flat can fetch a good price? Where are we going to live after that? Here, we have the sun, sand and sea,’ said Mr Klass, 75, who has lived in the five-room HDB flat with his wife, Carmen, for the past 30 years.

Last week, Mr Klass’ neighbour on the 23rd floor sold her 1,300 sq ft flat for a record $750,888 – about $200,000 above valuation – thanks mainly to the superb sea view from the living room.

And last month, another five-room flat in Marine Parade went for the then-record price of $730,000.

But news of prices has not sparked a flurry of sale orders. Many owners are retirees who have grown attached to the area and want to stay put.

Retired principal Chee Teck Kion, who lives on the 24th floor, gets such a cool sea breeze that he has never needed an air-conditioner in his more than 30 years there.

‘Sometimes, when it gets too windy, I have to wear a sweater in the house,’ said the 80-year-old who lives there with his wife.

Software consultant Janice Mun, 33, bought a third-floor flat in the block last year for its ‘excellent location’.

‘This place is near good schools, the beach and the city,’ said the mother of three, who paid just $375,000.

But some residents are now wondering if their five-room flats could fetch as much as $1 million.

A 40-year-old businesswoman, who declined to be named, said: ‘I’m very attached to this place but I might consider selling it if I’m offered $1 million.’

Her father paid about $40,000 for the flat in 1974.

Property agents said sellers have to be realistic.

Agent Benny Lim, who specialises in the Marine Parade area, said: ‘Such buyers are one in 100. Only people who have made money from en-bloc sales or retirees with pension payouts have that much cash.’

PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail thinks it doesn’t make economic sense to pay so much for a HDB flat because the valuation price will remain low.

Mr Ismail said: ‘At the end of the day, a HDB flat is a HDB flat. You can pay $1 million for it and come home to a neighbour who lives like a karang guni man. There might be urine in the lift. It is not comparable to private housing.’

 

Source: The Sunday Times 2 Dec 07

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