At least 4 Good Class Bungalow deals sealed since start of the year

SINGAPORE - At least four properties in Good-Class Bungalow (GCB) areas have been transacted so far this year.

Among the latest is a bungalow along Peirce Road that has changed hands for almost S$24 million. The price works out to S$1,479 per square foot (psf) based on the freehold land area of 16,224 square feet.

Located in the Ridout Park GCB area, the two-storey property is understood to have been bought by Tan See Leng, managing director and chief executive officer of IHH Healthcare Bhd. It was previously transacted a decade ago, in April 2006, for S$9.5 million, according to SISV REALink caveats information.

Other recent transactions in GCB areas include a property at Mount Echo Park in the Chatsworth Park GCB area, sold at S$22.25 million or S$1,322 psf on 16,826 sq ft of freehold land.

Along Yarwood Avenue, a GCB on a 16,163 sq ft plot has fetched S$15.7 million - translating to S$971.35 psf.

Last month, The Business Times reported that upscale property developer Simon Cheong sold a King Albert Park bungalow that he built a few years ago. The price was S$25 million (S$1,493 psf on a land area of 16,750 sq ft).

Good Class Bungalow deals in 2016

  • A charming single-storey bungalow on a sprawling site in Queen Astrid Park has changed hands for S$44.5 million. The buyer is understood to be a family member of Goh Hup Jin, son of billionaire paint tycoon Goh Cheng Liang.
  • A house along Kingsmead Road where the late Raffles Institution principal Philip Liau used to reside is being sold for S$29 million.
  • The price works out to S$1,065 per square foot based on the freehold land area of 27,228 sq ft.
  • The buyer is understood to be Darwin Indigo, a nephew of Wilmar executive deputy chairman Martua Sitorus. Mr Indigo, who is in his mid-30s, is deputy country head (Indonesia) at Wilmar International.
  • The S$29 million transaction is the biggest deal in a GCB Area since a S$32 million sale along Queen Astrid Park in July last year.
  • Ezra Holdings' Lee family has put their waterway-fronting Sentosa Cove bungalow on the block. The exclusive 2-storey 5-bedroom property comes with a price tag of S$26 million, or S$2,258 per square foot on land area.
  • The property is held by Lee Kian Soo, Ezra's founder and chairman and father of Lionel Lee, the offshore marine firm's chief executive and managing director.
  • In October last year, Mr Lionel Lee and his mother sold their GCB along Windsor Park Road for $21.8 million.
  • The freehold property at 122 Windsor Park Road, off Upper Thomson Road, has a land size of 20,383 sq ft, which works out to a price of about $1,070 per sq ft (psf).
  • In Jan 2016, a GCB along King Albert Park, which comes with a swimming pool, was sold by upmarket developer Simon Cheong.
  • The property fetched S$25 million, which translates to S$1,493 per square foot (psf) based on the land area of 16,750 square feet. The bungalow's built-up area is said to be around 10,000 sq ft.
  • The buyer, who is expected to occupy the bungalow once the existing lease ends, is Fang Koh Look, founder of Absolute Kinetics Consultancy, an SME that provides workplace safety training and medical services in addition to distributing mobile pre-paid cards.
  • Over at Wilkinson Road, off Tanjong Katong Road, a fully owned unit of Soilbuild recently paid S$19.28 million for an old, two-storey bungalow. The price works out to S$1,203 psf based on the freehold land area of 16,031 sq ft.
  • The bungalow could be easily 40-50 years old, said Lim Chap Huat, executive chairman of Soilbuild, when contacted by The Business Times. "We are buying it from a family."
  • The site is zoned for two-storey bungalow use. Mr Lim said the group plans to redevelop the site into two brand-new bungalows. Work should start around the middle of this year and the new bungalows should be completed in about two years.

The property of around 10,000 sq ft in built-up area was bought by Fang Koh Look, the founder of Absolute Kinetics Consultancy, which provides workplace safety training and medical services in addition to distributing mobile pre-paid cards.

More than S$700 million of deals were transacted in GCB areas last year, exceeding the S$626 million in 2014.

Realstar Premier Group managing director William Wong estimates that GCB prices declined about 10 to 15 per cent last year. He expects prices to continue trending down in the first half of this year in the absence of any positive stimulus, before stabilising in the second half.

"The silver lining is that the volume of transactions will improve in 2016 amid a better matching of price expectations between buyers and sellers," he added.

26 Good Class Bungalows sold for $588 million

  • A GCB at 65 Holland Park, sold for $30 million in Nov.
  • A GCB at 27 Ridout Road, which went for $35 million in July.
  • Demand for homes in Singapore may have fallen steeply this year but business has been humming in the GCB market.
  • An analysis by CBRE showed that 26 GCBs have been sold this year with a total value of $587.75 million, comparable with last year’s 29 deals worth $682 million.
  • Even so, it is a hefty drop from 2012, when 54 GCBs changed hands for $1.17 billion – and a far cry from a record 133 deals at $2.38 billion in 2010.
  • GCBs typically have a land size of 1,400 sq m, or about 15,069 sq ft.
  • But when GCB areas were gazetted in the 1980s, they included some smaller existing sites that are still considered GCBs as they would be bound by other GCB planning rules if redeveloped.
  • There are about 2,700 GCBs here in 39 designated estates.
  • Transactions have fallen in recent times owing to the imposition of the total debt servicing ratio and additional buyers' stamp duty, experts say.
  • "Most GCB buyers already have a property and are unwilling to pay ABSD if they are buying for investment. This could be quite hefty given the high quantum," said Mr K. H. Tan, managing director of Newsman Realty.
  • But prices appear to have held up this year.
  • The average price of GCBs this year is $1,454 per sq ft (psf) based on transactions so far this year, 9 per cent higher than $1,388 psf last year, said Mr Douglas Wong, CBRE head of luxury homes.
  • However, the average price is only a ballpark indicator of GCB prices and does not fully account for factors including location, size, age, design, terrain and frontage, he added.
  • "GCBs are expected to perform at a similar level next year as current sentiments will likely spill over... About 20 to 30 GCBs will probably be sold for the whole of 2015," said Mr Wong.
  • GCB areas which saw more deals this year were Belmont Park, Chatsworth Park, Chestnut Avenue, Dalvey Estate, Raffles Park and White House Park.
  • In terms of total price, the most expensive was 27 Ridout Road, which went for $35 million or $1,039 psf in July.
  • The costliest on a psf basis was 22 Margoliouth Road which sold for $14.8 million or $2,051 psf in October.
  • Also notable was 65 Holland Park, which Frasers Centrepoint sold for $30 million or $1,991 psf last month.
  • All are freehold properties.
  • Neighbouring 67 Holland Park, also freehold, is for sale with a negotiable asking price of $35 million, the company said.
  • While cooling measures have dampened volume and prices, the outlook for GCBs remains positive.
  • They are expected to offer strong capital preservation given their rarity, said Dr Chua Yang Liang, head of South-east Asia research at JLL.


This article was first published on Feb 21, 2016.
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