When you say you are happy with the Leaseback Agreement, is it because it is similar to all other leaseback agreement you have seen so far?
Personally, I find it queer and somewhat conflict of interest that the Developer sets up a wholelly-owned Company to 'represent' the Purchasers in checking building defects after handing over the keys. The Agreement seemed to the Company great powers in making changes (including structural) to the property and charging for many things, but are not liable to anything. The Purchasers are made to pay for everything. The Company appears more like an "owner" and "overall manager", while Ascott is just an outsourced estate manager, and I don't even know where the Purchaser stands now. This is not the relationship I have expected to get into, and am having second thoughts.
The MYR1840 includes other fees as well, kind of a rip-off if you ask me, however these are some of the costs you would have to incur as a Singaporean. They do not apply to Malaysians.
In the overall scheme of things and compared to the property price these are incidental costs that comes with it. Kind of an acquisition cost, or ancillary monies that one incur for big ticket items.
To your earlier posts, I am comfortable with Somerset, however that is not to say there are no risks with the ability to actually generate returns. The ability to generate returns are things to do with the execution of Iskandar / Nusajaya / Puteri Harbour as a successful 'destination' if one can call it that, and that in turn depends on a multitude of factors and everything from the economy to the political will (to make it successful) to attraction of investments (Khazanah/Temasek commitment?) etc etc etc. Remember the launches of Sebana Cove in Desaru that was launched many years ago with much fanfare and caused many Singaporeans to lose hundreds of thousands of MYR given the state of its current condition? The question to ask now is what has changed since then?
Somerset has 3 kinds of managed properties (see Ascott Residential REIT annual reports to understand more) - one type is where they actually own & manage, one with leaseback, and the other is leaseback with guaranteed returns. Somerset Puteri Harbour is the last one, and probably the riskiest, but with risks hopefully corresponds with the rewards. How Somerset decide is really their portfolio balancing / management decision and you can run conspiracy theories over why they chose to sell the SPH units (and not Somerset Damansara Uptown for example - this one is leasback, or Somerset Seri Bukit Ceylon where they own & manage half of the units) but I believe it is a combination of risk-sharing that they seek and I am prepared to go on it with them and hopefully with eyes wide opened.
Somerset is smart as you would expect them to be; the two-year guaranteed return is to tide over the likely low revenue per available unit (room rate x occupancy) (revpau) which I suspect will be around SGD50-70 for the first year, before going up to 100 - 120 in the second. At SGD100 - 120 revpau I think there will be additional for profit-share, depending on costs then. I would not have considered SPH if there was no 2-year minimum guarantee. At SGD100 revpau it is likely room rates will be around MYR280 - 320 per night (on 80% occupancy), which is probably my own estimates for a 4 star serviced residence in Puteri Harbour at the start of 2014, and assuming at least some attractions (schools, theme parks, F&B) are already there, plus ongoing major developments for business people to come & stay.
Going back to my earlier statement, yes I am comfortable with Somerset. Comfortable that there will be no execution risks with Ascott, that my investment is with a well regarded management company. That probably beats trying to rent them out myself and if Ascott can't do it as well as I think they can, I really wonder who else would.
I suspect you may still have some doubts.....the trick I suppose is to quantify your doubts and turn them into, or realise there are risks and benefits, and see if you can still accept it afterall.
Last edited by Qube3; 20-02-2012 at 12:40 PM.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Somerset Puteri Harbour & I agree with you.
I also think the application fees for the state authority consent are excessive (that's why I wrote about this in my earlier post). I try to focus on the positive that the MYR 10K Johor Levy is covered by the developer.
I had many initial questions as well, but now I've come to terms that the lawyers in Malaysia are paid much better than Singapore's. I'm prepared to set aside an estimated 1.5-2% of purchase price to pay the lawyers to complete the purchase & mortgage processes until MOT.
My main winners for this purchase is the Somerset brand and the guaranteed rent. Of course the location @ Puteri Harbour, the nearby Flagship B developments and the other Puteri Harbour launches helps.
By the end of the 2 year guaranteed rent period, it'll be 2016, so the area should be more vibrant & service apartments in demand.
I believe Somerset would have done their maths to agree to sign a 10+5 years deal to run the business.
Btw, I hear that the north wing units (facing Kota Iskandar) could be sold via private treaty to a party. I guess this is only a rumor, but if it's true, I'm sure hoping that it is Ascott buying them. (sounds like the story of Somerset Seri Bukit Ceylon..)
Hi there...Great to hear from another Fellow SPH investor!...similarly, i put faith into somerset strong brand name which I hope might just differentiate and better position against encorp/imperia which are just behind SPH!...however the success of this investment will hinge on how iskandra develop in the next couple of years! ....
This is not dissimilar to the trust structure of REITs, in fact, fairly similar except that there is no Trust Deed.
The wholly-owned sub is suppose to act as Trustee for the owners (as they would in a REIT), and safeguard the interest / secure the rights but pass on the obligations to the owners. It is like owning a piece of the trust, except in this case you actually own a piece of the physical property. Difference for me is, instead of using margin financing (to purchase a unit trust which is highly risky) you can actually utilise bank borrowings at a much lower cost to leverage (that is if you're using a housing loan). That wholly-owned sub would sign a management agreement with Ascott, and in turn sign a back-to-back with the owners. Ascott would not have time or inclination to deal with individuals like us...
In some cases the Trust company (wholly-owned sub) is a representative of the serviced company, not the developer but in this case it is the other way round and perhaps this is where it gets a little grey unless the developer owns directly stakes in the serviced units and maintains its own interest. Capitaland itself has an indirect 10% stake by virtue of its 20% ownership of UM Land in this 50/50 JV with UEM Land. But having them to take delivery, inspect, rectify, renovate etc is a good thing for me and that would be a hands-off approach. Note also that a Technical agreement has been signed between Ascott and the developer before the building is constructed so that means the building will be to Ascott's specifications (and of high quality I hope).
In the absence of a formalised Trust Deed my view is that we do need to form a group to keep them honest I suppose hence this is where the forum here helps identify the individual purchasers to get together should we run into any untoward incidences...
Thanks for your explanation. Wow, I am impress you know so much details. Can share where you obtain such information so that I can also keep myself informed? Thanks in advance.
I am running though the S&P and lease back agreement form now. Do you get a lawyer to vet through? Do you manage to change anything in the S&P and leaseback form? I see the S&P form did not mentioned that it is supposed to be furnished as I was told the price we paid is inclusive of furnishing. Also, from the lease back form, I understand it is the Ascott who is the doing the checking of defects but the so called 'Company's which is the subsidiary of Developer that is checking the defect. Just wondering if it is conflict of interest?
Thanks for email. Do you also bought a unit at somerset puteri harbour? I have no problem now with the application cost but is very concerned with the leaseback term. Wonder if I can get back anything in terms of rental yield or worst, need to subsidise them.
Have anyone seen the plot? it is about 8918 sq meter.
Personally, I like SPH also because it's so near to Singapore, so you can keep an eye on it.
I drove to Puteri Harbour to have a look before I made the decision. True, currently there's only the Harbour, the Kota Iskandar buildings & major roads fully built only. Other things like the indoor theme park, next door Trader's Hotel are still under construction, but in more advanced stages than SPH (now in foundation stage). Then I drove around and saw the other developments in Educity, Ledang, Mediini, etc & some are in more advanced stages of construction as well. It does look like a giant construction site. Fortunately, SPH is between the harbour and Kota Iskandar, which are state buildings and also low rise, so there is no blockage or future construction.
On the 2nd floor of the Puteri Harbour Visitor Centre, there is a giant model of the Flagship B masterplan. It's like a giant jig-saw puzzle, with so many pieces to be placed together until 2025. As long as the government continue to attract investments to fill up the land parcels, we could see a whole new place by 2016. There are certainly risks involved. But if we ever need to subsidise the Company, it will mean the entire masterplan is a fiasco, and I don't think the current govt administration will allow that to happen.
Maybe you can consider driving there to have a look?
Thanks for your compliment, am humbled, it is just a passion from investing in anything investable, nothing fancy. Mainly properties and stocks but I am familiar with REITS so I see the application here between REITS and SPH.
I think the S&P is fairly standard, I seldom go through them, and I do not use any lawyers as the lawyers the developers so-called appoint for you are actually suppose to represent you. By being paid by the developers I fail to see how they would represent us independently, but as I mentioned, the S&P is a fairly standard document and I don't think the developer would agree to any changes. I believe the S&P actually mentions the unit comes with the furnitures - see the schedules behind.
Same goes for the DOMC - except this probably spells out differently in different developments, but again, I seldom scrutinise this as it is fairly common in its application.
The Leaseback agreement is interesting (which would mention the furniture/fitting inventory), and as I mentioned also in my earlier post, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the developer is "supposed" to act as Trustee for the owners but how realistic that expectation can be is absolutely questionnable. I do know however that since we will probably not ever see our units that the "Trustee" and Ascott will represent opposing sides (and hence providing a clear opposing interest) to ensure that the development is in good shape for handover. Ascott will make sure they protect their reputation by ensuring that the development is up to mark for their management over a 10+5 years. I doubt Ascott will accept a defective product.
The relationship between all parties are like a mathematical game theory. I think there is sufficient check & balances, and like all the bros here have mentioned, the Somerset branding makes a big difference.
In all honesty other serviced management companies (especially local ones) will not come close....especially if you are a long term investor (as you will only see the property deteriorate over time).
I think I had better stop here, most people would think I actually work for Ascott!
Have you been to the site? I visited last weekend and saw the piling done, foundation all ready. Just waiting for it to ascend upwards which should not take more than 2 years for a low rise. If this development was in Singapore I would have expected much quicker.
Traders is already 65% done, topping up in a couple of months at best guesstimates.
Being down couple of times....1st went down to puteria harbour for 'site inspection' in late dec & also during the CNY week...& yes, its the same as what u see last weekend (only piling done)...but was told by the agent in Jan that they will begin to work aggressively 'real soon after the launch'
well my take...end 2014 commit is more of their sandbagging just in case some unforeseen screwup happen...i believe the project will be be ready before that as it it to their advantage for early completion...& legally, they cannot end later than end 2014 else they will need to compensate buyers (yet to sign the legal doc but believe this should be the case)
Similarly, heard that the north wing units (facing kota) instead of releasing to the agent is held back by the developer (similarly to all the harbor facing units) ... the rumor is that ONE single party is buying all the north wing units up.
what's the story of somerset seri bukit ceylon? can elaborate?
I read somewhere that when somerset signed the contract to manage those svc apts, they also bought half of those units. Can't seem to find the weblink again, but will let you once I locate it.
But in essence, it was a good show of vested interest on the part of somerset, i.e. they will manage it well as they also owe half of the units.
So when I heard the sph rumor, I'm silently hoping it is somerset who is buying them.
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