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Good Class Bungalow deals start to rev up
A FEW big ticket deals in Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Areas were sealed recently.
These include a bungalow in Dalvey Road near the Israeli Embassy that went for S$35.4 million - or S$1,757 per square foot on the freehold land area of 20,143 sq ft.
Located within the White House Park GCB Area, the property spans two storeys and a basement.
It was built about 25 years ago and refurbished a decade ago; it has five bedrooms, a guest room and and a swimming pool.
The property is being sold by a pair of low-profile Singaporean investors who bought the house for S$34 million in 2011 from Teng Ngiek Lian, founder of Target Asset Management.
The buyer in the latest deal is understood to be a Singaporean who is currently living in the US with her husband, a European national and a senior executive with a major US bank in New York.
The existing lease on the Dalvey Road property will end soon and the new owner is expected to find a replacement tenant. BT understands that the buyer was represented by Vincent Tay, team director at Coldwell Banker (Elitehill) , with Newsman Realty representing the seller.
In Yarwood Avenue, a two-storey bungalow with a basement has transacted for S$19.4 million, translating to S$1,201 psf on land area of 16,148 sq ft. The property, which has about 9,000 sq ft built-up area, comes with five bedrooms and a guest room, along with a pool.
Completed in 2001, the house on the site is being sold by Vincent Lee Tua Bah, a retired senior executive in the logistics business, and his wife Cecilia.
The buyer is understood to be related to Justin Goh, who owns Aligent Spring Pte Ltd, which makes precision springs and metal stamping parts that are used in products like printers, DVD recorders, refrigerators and mountain bikes.
Meanwhile, along a stretch of Oriole Crescent near Eng Neo Avenue, Chiang Dong Pheng, the managing director of Standard Chemical Corporation, is understood to have sold a bungalow for S$13.2 million or S$1,269 psf on land area of 10,404 sq ft. Market watchers expect the buyer to redevelop the old house on the site.
Bungalows in the 39 gazetted GCB Areas are the most prestigious form of landed housing in Singapore, with strict planning conditions stipulated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character.
Realstar Premier Group founder William Wong said: "Nowadays a lot of buyers are waiting for GCBs in prime locations like Dalvey and Cluny. When such properties are made available, they are snapped up within a few weeks as buyers are prepared to pay a premium."
"This contrasts with the situation in the past - 2016 and first-half 2017 - when buyers were not prepared to match asking prices."
According to CBRE Research's analysis of caveats data, year to date seven deals totalling S$181.6 million have been sealed in GCB Areas; this is higher than the five deals totalling S$116 milion in Q1 2017.
Full year 2017, the GCB market posted a strong performance with 41 deals amounting to S$867 million - up from the 2016 tally of 37 transactions that amounted to S$788.5 million.
Newsman Realty managing director KH Tan is confident that the total value of sales in GCB Areas in 2018 will surpass last year's figure. "I foresee a lot of big transactions of S$30 million and upwards."
He also precicts "easily a 10 per cent rise in GCB prices on average" this year from the end of last year.
The GCB market is benefiting from the overall mood improvement in the Singapore residential sector. "All the positive news on en-bloc sales has led many ultra high net-worth individuals who became Singapore citizens around a year ago to think that now's the right time for them to pick up that GCB they have been waiting to buy." The one-percentage point hike in the buyer's stamp duty rate for residential properties announced in February will not deter these buyers.
Only Singapore citizens are allowed to buy landed residential properties within GCB Areas, under a policy change that took effect in the second half of 2012.
While some owners are starting to withdraw their properties from the market in anticipation of higher prices later on, there are also many cases of people wanting to sell their properties. These include elderly couples who no longer need a big house as their children have moved overseas and they themselves would like to spend more time travelling abroad, said Mr Tan.
- Video: What is a Good Class Bungalow? Go to bt.sg/gcb