DBS sells 46 HDB shops and retail units for S$210 Million

DBS is selling 46 HDB retail and strata units as well as private strata units. The total price guide for the portfolio is approximately S$210m.

The Business Times has learned that the units were previously full-service banks branches. They have an area of approximately 69,500 sq ft. Each of the 46 units can be purchased individually. The sales began a few months ago, according to reports.

The properties, which are located in Housing and Development Board Estates, include those in Bishan, Hougang Tanjong Pagar Jurong West Clementi Marine Parade Central and Bukit Batok. The 10 strata retail private units are located in Thomson Plaza and Gleneagles Medical Centre. The Centrepoint on Orchard Road, as well as at 6 Raffles Quay, formerly known by the name John Hancock Tower, is also home to these properties.

DBS’s spokesperson stated that the bank is selling the 46 units in 29 locations because they are not strategic properties and property management isn’t core to its business.

The bank uses 16 of the 29 locations for ATMs and self-service branches that are available 24/7 (without counter service). Just over 10% of the space for sale is taken up by the 16 locations that are used by the bank.

According to the spokesperson, the remaining space, or almost 90 percent, is either leased – some of which has been tenanted since 10 to 20 year – or vacant.

The HDB properties that make up the 46-unit portfolio have a balance tenure ranging between 44 and 68 years.

The Gleneagles Medical Centre is a freehold building, as are 6 Raffles Quay. Thomson Plaza occupies a site that has a balance leasehold tenure of around 51 years. The Centrepoint strata unit has a balance leasehold tenure of around 54 years.

DBS has reportedly appointed CBRE Cushman & Wakefield JLL Knight Frank Triple One Properties and Cushman & Wakefield to market these units.

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The highest unit, with a guide price of S$19.4m, is the 5,145 sq ft area at 6 Raffles Quay. The guide price for two units at the second floor of Gleneagles Medical Centre on Napier Road is S$9.5 million (for a unit of 700 sq ft) and S$8.5million for a unit of 592 sq. ft.

DBS had approximately 170 branches after the 1998 acquisition of POSB. The number of branches has dropped to 70, which has remained relatively constant over the last few years.

These 70 branches include full-service branches with counter services, financial planning branches and self-service 24/7 branches. Many of these branches are manned by Digital Ambassadors.

The group also has about 1,900 ATMs and POSB cash-points at merchant outlets, including Giant Cold Storage, and 7-Eleven, compared to just 950 in 1998.

In the last 25 years the branch network has been streamlined because of the proliferation of branches close to each other and the decline in footfall at the branches. More customers are banking online or after hours.

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