Gallop Park GCB sold to Futuristic Store Fixtures boss

David Low Chor Hoon, holder of the overall Singapore EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016, bought a old corner bungalow in Gallop Park from a retired developer. The price was at $22.888M. Based on a land area of 17,042 sqft, the price works out to be $1,343 psf. David Low, the chairman and CE of Futuristic Store Fixtures, intends to redevelop the site into a new 2-storey (with basement and attic) house of about 13,000 sqft.

GCB market lukewarm in growing optimism

The market for good class bungalows (GCBs) is lukewarm. However sales for smaller bungalows in GCB areas are on a upward trend. Good class bungalows (GCBs) are the most prestigious segment of landed property in Singapore.

On the GCB front, a caveat was lodged on June 12 for the most expensive one sold this year. The latest GCB sold was a $46 million bungalow in Queen Astrid Park on a 29,709 sq ft site, reportedly purchased by the family who controls oil trading group Hin Leong.

20 sales have taken place in GCB areas so far this year, worth a total of $432.2 million. These include properties with a plot size of less than 1,400 sq m. This is markedly more than the 14 transactions in the same period last year, which totalled $298.36 million.

Another upmarket landed segment, Sentosa Cove, has contrasting statistics. Sales at the exclusive waterfront precinct shot to seven this year from just four for the same period last year.

Overall, the number of landed homes sold has increased, driven by falling prices and limited supply of landed homes. 538 landed homes were sold in the second quarter – this is the highest quarterly volume since the fourth quarter of 2012. URA flash estimates released recently indicated that prices of landed residential properties fell further by 0.4 % for Q2, down from a 1.8 % drop in the previous quarter.

Astrid Park GCB sold for $46M

The family that controls Hin Leong, a oil trading group, bought a bungalow in the GCB area of Queen Astrid Park, for $46M. This is the biggest purchase of such class of properties this year so far. The 2-storey house sits on a land area of 29,709 sqft, thus translating to a sold price of $1548 psf.

Victoria Park Bungalow sold for S$40M

The Victoria Park Bungalow, in the prestigious GCB area, was built about 20 years agi and sits on a 999-year leasehold land of size 29,955 sqft. This translate to S$1335 psf based on land area. The 2-storey house with a basement is sitting on a regular-shaped elevated plot and said to have 5 bedrooms with a swimming pool and large koi pond.

Far East bought GCB at King Albert Park

Far East Organisation bought a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) on a freehold site of over 39,000 square feet at 16 King Albert Park.

Far East is paying S$43.8 million for 16 King Albert Park, translating to S$1,117 per square foot (psf) based on the freehold land area of 39,228 sq ft. The group’s existing four plots add up to 69,803 sq ft.

Based on the total land area of 109,031 sq ft, up to seven bungalows may be developed based on the minimum plot size of 15,070 sq ft per bungalow in Good Class Bungalow Areas.

The plan is to redeveloping the enlarged site of over 100,000 sq ft into several bungalows which the group will hold as an investment property for rental income.

First GCB on 2017 sold in Jalan Kampong Chantek

The first transaction in a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area this year, a bungalow along Jalan Kampong Chantek off Dunearn Road was sold for S$27.59 million — about S$1,003 per square foot (psf) based on the freehold land area of 27,504 sq ft. The property is in the Swiss Club Road GCB Area.

Sited on an upward-sloping site is an old vacant house (11,000 sq ft built-up area) with two storeys and an attic level. There are seven bedrooms and a swimming pool. Ronald Te, co-founder of Super Group behind the famous 3-in-1 Super Coffee sachets, bought the property.

Super Group fellow co-founder David Teo bought a GCB along Fifth Avenue off Bukit Timah Road for S$24.5 million or S$1,626 psf last year. The two-storey house is next to the bungalow where Mr Teo and his family reside.

The Dutch tea and coffee group Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) launched a takeover offer for the beverage group.

Prime Sentosa Cove Bungalow sold for just $1108 psf

IN the same week that a bungalow on Sentosa Cove was sold at a near-record price, another sale has been concluded in the waterfront housing district at what some may consider a bargain basement price for an ultra-prime locale.

BT has learnt that a seafronting bungalow along Cove Drive with views of the Southern Islands has been sold for just S$1,108 per square foot on land area.

This comes barely a week after news of a bungalow along Ocean Drive being transacted at a near-record price of S$2,923 psf.

The price for the Cove Drive property has baffled property market watchers, given its posh location in the southern precinct.

Market observers note that the house appears to have been vacant since it was built about five years ago. The absolute price is S$9 million and the property is on 8,126 square feet of land with 99-year leasehold tenure starting Jan 30, 2007.

It spans two storeys and a basement. There is a pool on the ground level facing the Southern Islands. “The house appears to be properly finished but it’s just that the lighting and other fittings, furnishings are missing,” said a source. “Assuming one were to spend a further S$2 million fitting it out, the total cost of S$11 million would work out to S$1,354 psf – which still seems low.”

This could be a one-off transaction, just as the Ocean Drive deal could also be seen as a one-off and not reflective of a broad-based recovery of bungalow prices on Sentosa Cove to peak levels, he added.

The Ocean Drive bungalow, which changed hands for S$28 million, is on 9,580 sq ft of land with 99-year-leasehold tenure starting June 2005. The seller is said to have invested a few million dollars fitting out the interior.

That property fronts the sea but also has views of the container terminals and Singapore’s Central Business District. It is located in the northern precinct of Sentosa Cove, which was the first phase of the development of the waterfront residential district.

The Cove Drive bungalow is located in the southern precinct, where residential land parcels were sold later. The bungalow location, with its Southern Islands facing, is considered superior to the one along Ocean Drive and is in a quieter area.

GCB interest steady among buyers

The number of sales of Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) remains below the level they were at before the Total Debt Servicing Ratio was imposed in mid-2013, but there remains buying interest for this rare type of property.

Developer OUE said on Thursday that it is buying two GCB plots in Nassim Road for $56.58 million. The price of about $1,652 per sq ft (psf) across both plots was deemed attractive, given the last GCB sale in Nassim Road was for about $2,000 psf in February 2012.

But prices have not fallen significantly, even though another recent sale was at less than $1,000 psf in Victoria Park Close. Based on caveats lodged and including OUE’s purchase, 19 sites in GCB areas have been sold so far this year, with a total value of $438.17 million. This is comparable with 19 sites and a total value of $470.99 million sold in the same period last year.
Thirty-three of these sites with a total value of $714.78 million were sold last year, up from 28 sites worth $626.14 million in 2014.Sellers tend to be Singaporeans looking to move on to the next property, while buyers include new citizens.

Mr Zhang Yong, founder of a popular steamboat chain, bought a Gallop Road bungalow for $27 million in March, or at $1,700 psf. Newly minted Singaporeans from Indonesia have increasingly been looking around as well.

Some of the GCBs on sale include one in Bukit Tunggal Road, with a price tag of $38 million. It has a built-up area of about 14,000 sq ft and land size of 20,355 sq ft.

Eden Hall land for sale

The British government has put more of the Eden Hall land around its High Commissioner’s residence in Nassim Road up for sale, after selling off a portion in 2001.

It has carved out two freehold land plots from the garden land for buyers with deep pockets interested in securing some of the plummiest land in Singapore.

The indicative price for Plot A, which is about 18,620 sq ft and comes with about 36m of Nassim Road frontage, is $40.964 million, or $2,200 per sq ft (psf).

The guide price for Plot B, which is about 15,634 sq ft and has a frontage of about 8m in Nassim Road, is $31.268 million or $2,000 psf.

“Based on recent market feedback, CBRE is very confident that these prices will be exceeded,” the marketing agent said.


Nassim’s tree-lined boulevards… on ample ground offer owners total privacy, right in the heart of town… Eden Hall is steeped in history and the sale of the two plots represents a landmark sale in the GCB market.

MS SAMMI LIM, associate director of investment properties at CBRE, on its confidence that land price will be exceeded

Eden Hall itself, a conservation bungalow, remains the official residence of Britain’s High Commissioner here.

CBRE noted that land for Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) in the Nassim Road area is tightly held and rarely available for sale.

“Nassim’s tree-lined boulevards… on ample ground offer owners total privacy, right in the heart of town… Eden Hall is steeped in history and the sale of the two plots represents a landmark sale in the GCB market,” said Ms Sammi Lim, associate director of investment properties at CBRE.

The properties are being offered on a vacant site basis.

The British government had, in 2001, sold off a portion of the site, which was originally more than 200,000 sq ft.

Motoring tycoon Peter Kwee and “Popiah King” Sam Goi bought the roughly 109,000 sq ft parcel in April 2001 for $50.4 million. Mr Kwee took the larger part of about 63,300 sq ft.

He then sold 39,383 sq ft to Ms Oei Siu Hoa, a member of Indonesia’s Widjaja family and sister of businessman Oei Hong Leong, for $25.5 million in 2003. It is now 28M Nassim Road.

Mr Kwee sold the other part, a 23,922 sq ft plot, to former Sincere Watch chairman Tay Liam Wee for $47.84 million in 2012.

Mr Tay is expected to build a bungalow on the site, according to reports.

Mr Goi continues to own 28G Nassim Road, a 45,754 sq ft site.

After the two plots are sold, the Eden Hall site will still be sized at about 63,893 sq ft.

CBRE noted that over the last eight years, Nassim Road has had just three GCB sales.

Most recently, in April 2013, a company controlled by Wing Tai chairman Cheng Wai Keung and his wife put up a GCB at 33 Nassim Road for sale.

The 84,839 sq ft site, which has a price tag of about $250 million to $300 million, is not yet sold.

GCB deals down in Q3

NINE bungalows in Good Class Bungalow (GCB) areas were transacted at a total of nearly S$177 million in the third quarter, down from 11 deals worth S$282 million in the second.

The Q3 showing was, however, ahead of the seven deals that closed for a total S$167 million in the third quarter of last year.

In the first nine months of this year, the GCB sale tally was 24 deals totalling S$554 million, slightly ahead of the 22 transactions worth S$511 million in the corresponding year-ago period.

Among the deals entered into in Q3 2015 was that for a freehold bungalow in Tanglin Hill that went for S$25 million; the price works out to S$1,539 per square foot (psf) on 16,243 sq ft of land area.

Mapletree Investments chief executive officer Hiew Yoon Khong, the winner of the Outstanding CEO of the Year award at this year’s Singapore Business Awards, is buying the property from a low-profile property development company, a caveats search showed.

The property was previously transacted for S$10 million in 2006.

Singapore Christie’s International Real Estate managing director Samuel Eyo described the recent S$1,539 psf price for the property as “very reasonable” for the location, taking into account that the new owner is likely to rebuild the house.

“Assuming it will cost about S$500 psf on gross floor area of about 10,000 sq ft to build a new home, the break-even cost will amount to close to S$2,000 psf on land area,” said Mr Eyo.

Tanglin Hill is a popular GCB location because of its proximity to Orchard Road, he noted.

Data from URA Realis shows that there has been a general pick up in landed property deals.

DTZ’s analysis of URA Realis data shows that 326 landed homes changed hands in Q3 2015, up from 304 in Q2, and 246 transactions in Q3 2014.

In the first nine months of this year, the value of landed residential properties sold reached S$3.54 billion, up from S$3.07 billion in the same period last year. However, the latest figure is still shy of the S$5 billion transacted in the first nine months of 2013.

Lee Nai Jia, regional head for South-east Asia at DTZ, said:

“Demand for landed homes has increased as buyers find the current prices attractive enough. Most of the buyers are purchasing for owner occupation for their children or for multi-generational family living. Additionally, the limited stock for landed properties makes them an appealing asset to investors for capital appreciation.”

Besides owner occupiers and investors, developers have also been on the prowl for old houses to redevelop.

Last month, Roxy-Pacific inked a deal to buy an old bungalow sitting on 19,474 sq ft freehold site along Sea Avenue near Marine Parade. Roxy’s executive chairman Teo Hong Lim said the group plans to redevelop the site into a five-storey apartment project with about 25 units; the site is zoned for residential use with a 1.4 plot ratio (ratio of maximum gross floor area to land area) under the 2014 Master Plan.

The purchase price works out to S$789 per square foot per plot ratio.

“It is hard to find landed housing sites for redevelopment these days, partly because the government has increased the minimum plot size for apartment development to 1,000 sq metres (10,764 sq ft). Moreover, most of the big bungalows which can be redeveloped into apartments under the Master Plan have already been redeveloped.”

Expectations of owners are are also still ahead of the market, Mr Teo added.

For instance, in the Telok Kurau area, owners would be looking at about S$1,000 psf on land area, or S$700-plus psf ppr, which would translate to a breakeven of more than S$1,000 psf, he said.

Earlier this month, boutique property group Pinnacle Assets picked up an old freehold bungalow at 3, East Coast Avenue for S$46.38 million, or S$1,025 psf on the 45,249 sq ft land area.

The site is zoned for three-storey mixed landed housing and large enough for potential redevelopment into 14 to 18 conventional landed housing units, comprising a mix of terrace and semi-detached houses.

Ian Loh, executive director of investment and capital markets at Knight Frank who brokered the transaction said: “While such big plots for landed housing development are relatively rare, one can still find pockets of smaller plots with an old house on it that can be redeveloped into two to three new homes.”