DBS to sell 46 HDB units and retail units at S$210million

DBS has listed for sale 46 HDB shophouses and retail units and private strata retail with a guide price totaling about S$210,000,000.
According to reports, the units used to be full-service branches of banks some years back. They have a combined space of around 69.500 sq ft. Individually, the 46 units are for sale. Sales began, it is said, a couple of weeks ago.

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The 10 private strata retail units are located at Thomson Plaza, Gleneagles Medical Centre, The Centrepoint in Orchard Road, and 6 Raffles Quay (formerly known as John Hancock Tower). The 10 strata-titled retail units in Thomson Plaza are at Gleneagles Medical Centre in Orchard Road; The Centrepoint, Orchard Road; and 6 Raffles Quay.

These properties are a subset within our broader real estate portfolio. Many of them were acquired following DBS’ acquisition of POSB (in 1998), resulting in multiple branches located close to each other.

DBS spokeswoman said that it is selling the 46 units located in 29 different locations because they are not strategic properties and property management does not form a core part of its business.

16 locations are used in part by the bank as 24/7 self-service branches without counter service and ATMs. This 16-location bank occupies just over 10% of all the available space.

A spokesperson confirmed that operations at these locations would not be affected as they will lease back the entire area we currently occupy. There will therefore be no reduction to their branch or ATM footprint and the customers will still be served in the region.

Among the other locations where the bank operates 24/7 self service branches are 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza Block 107 Toapayoh Lorong, Block 153 Bukitbatok Street 11, Blk 43 Holland Drive Block 201A Tampines Street, Blk 260 Bangkit Road Block 301 Ubi Avenue, and Block 629 Ang Mo Kio Avenue.

Close to 90% of DBS’s remaining space is either leased – some of which has been occupied for up to 20 years by tenants – or vacant.

Gleneagles Medical Centre, 6 Raffles Quay and the Gleneagles Medical Centre are all freehold properties. Thomson Plaza sits on a land with a 51-year leasehold balance. The Centrepoint’s strata unit is leased for around 54-years.

Market rumours suggest that HDB’s 46 properties have balance tenures between 44 and 68 years. (For a shophouse in Block 107 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, for example)

DBS, it is believed, has appointed CBRE Cushman & Wakefield JLL Knight Frank Triple One Properties, Cushman & Wakefield and Cushman & Wakefield for the marketing of these units.

The unit at 6 Raffles Quay with the highest price guide, slightly over S$19.4 millions, is 5,145 square feet. Two units in the second level of Gleneagles Medical Centre, located at Napier Road, have guide prices that are close to S$10,000,000 (for a 700 square foot unit) and S$8.5,000,000 for a 592 square foot unit.

HDB’s segment has the highest price guide of S$10.4m, for a unit measuring 5,554 sqft at Block 220 New Upper Changi Road. This property with a 54-year balance tenure is just a short distance from the Bedok MRT and Sky Eden@Bedok.

A shophouse at Block 107 ToaPayoh Lorong 1 has a price guide slightly above S$2.2m. It is estimated to have a balance tenure of about 44 years. Thomson Plaza, in the private strata segment, has a few units with a size of 366 square feet each. The guide price is close to S$2million per unit.

In 1998, there were only 950 ATMs. Today, the group operates a network of 1,900 self-service machines, including ATMs, and POSB-Cash-Points, which are located in merchant outlets such as Giant, Cold Storage, and 7-Eleven.

DBS had around 170 branch offices after acquiring POSB in the year 1998. It has now decreased to around 70 branches. This figure has remained largely unchanged in the last few decades.

The 70 branches are divided into full-service (with counter service), financial planning and 24/7 selfservice branches.

The branch network has undergone a reorganization over the past 25-years due to duplication of branches located close together and a decline in branch traffic as more customers bank online or during non-operational hours.

DBS increased its physical touchpoints to cater for this (including self-service banking machines, cash-points in selected merchants and ATMs). Customers can now perform five popular transactions over the counter (including cash deposits, debit/ATM card issuing, and passbook replacement) outside of normal branch operating hours using self-service kiosks in all 70 branches.

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