A $2 million abandoned house in 17 Jalan Batai, Upper Thompson Road, was held auctioned off last February 27, 2017. The real estate agency Knight Frank led the auction on behalf of the Public Trustee’s Office. The auction lasted 12 minutes. This was reported by the Straits Times a few days ago.
The house’s dark history
The abandoned house was long inhabited for about 10 years since its last two known owners disappeared and were presumed dead. The High Court declared the death of Ms Pearl Tan and her sister Ruby last 2015, and the Government took over ownership.
The two owners were last reported seen in 2006 and are assumed 81 and 68 of age, respectively, during the time of disappearance.
Ms Pearl was a retired civil servant who once worked at the National Library.
It was also in 2006 when the first skeletal remains were found in the house’s toilet. A National Environment Agency officer entered the house for a mosquito breeding inspection. Instead of finding mosquitos, he found a human skeleton.
In 2015, according to reports, when the house was transferred to government ownership, the contractor hired to make a temporary repair on the collapsed portion of the roof found another set of bones.
It was found when one of the workers clearing a rubble in one of the bedrooms. However, they only found a skull and a thigh bone.
Abandoned, yet a top-selling house
Presumably, the only people interested in buying this house are people who do not believe in superstitions. The dark history of the house will immediately void the interest of many. However, skeletal remains and voodoo beliefs are not an issue for Singapore’s top-tiers and the auction was surprisingly intense.
An average house in Singapore sells for $400 per square foot for apartments which do not include land ownership. A house and lot could sell up to $2,000 per square foot.
Based on the 2017 study, a 462 square foot, one bed, one bath, HDB apartment is priced at $200,000 while landed properties with three bedrooms are priced at $300,000 or more.
The abandoned house has a 1,720 square feet area. A wide space enough to catch the interest of high-bidders. The auction started for only $20,000 but climbed up fast in just a matter of 12 minutes.
The tension started when Mr Alvin Tan bid a $2.05 million. However, an outbidder emerged, Mr Goh Tee Kia, who raised the bid to $2.1 million. Several bids were made after Mr Goh’s $2.1 million bid until he was forced to set the bar and made a staggering $2.23 million bid.
The house was finally sold to Mr Goh Tee Kia for $2.23 million after an intense competition. The buyer is 70-years old and owns the G&C General Contractor construction company. The final bid would mean that the abandoned house was sold for $1,297 per square foot. Mr Goh also admitted that he overbid for $500,000. His initial budget for the said auction was only $1.7 million.
When asked why Mr Goh was so determined to buy the house, he answered that he is planning to remove the old house and build a new one. He also said he’s just planning to have it rented out and sell it after five years.
The ownership title of the house will be transferred to Mr Goh in about three months.
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