Bishopgate GCB sets record psf

At least a couple of eye-popping deals have taken place in the Good Class Bungalow (GCB) market of late.

First, a record price of S$2,190 per square foot of land area has been set, from the sale of a luxuriously built and furnished bungalow in Bishopsgate.

The absolute price is S$33 million for the two-storey freehold property, which has a basement and is on land of over 15,000 sq ft. The bungalow is three years old.

Second, word in the market is that the over 73,000 sq ft freehold GCB site at 35 Ridout Road that was put on the market in March has been sold.

The price is believed to have crossed S$90 million. Details of the transaction are scant

The trustee sale came on the market in March due to a court order arising from the resolution of a dispute in the family of the late property tycoon Chow Cho Poon.

At S$90 million, the price works out to S$1,228 psf on land. The property – which is located within the cul-de-sac of Ridout Road, Swettenham Road and Peel Road – is nestled in a tranquil environment among lush greenery.

On site are an original two-storey bungalow with two single-storey outhouses and a large open green field on an elevated level.

The sprawling land is large enough to be potentially subdivided into four smaller plots of at least 1,400 sq m (over 15,000 sq ft). This is the minimum land area stipulated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority for GCBs – the most prestigious type of landed housing in Singapore.

Another of the planning constraints imposed by URA for GCBs is that they cannot be built more than two storeys high (plus an attic and a basement).

URA has designated 39 locations on mainland Singapore as Good Class Bungalow Areas.

Over at Bishopsgate, the S$2,190 psf on land price busts the previous GCB record price of S$2,110 psf set in October 2012, when bungalow investor George Lim sold a newly built property in Leedon Park with a land area of 15,640 sq ft.

Spanning two storeys and a basement, the property has six bedrooms and a pool. Completed in 2011, the property obtained Building and Construction Authority’s Greenmark Gold Plus award.

The Bishopsgate property transacted recently is a modern house completed in 2012. The architecture, interior and landscape design were done by SCDA.

Designed around a Tembusu tree, the property has two wings connected in the middle by a sunken courtyard featuring a 60-foot high copper tree sculpture with water trickling down, creating the sound of soft rain.

One wing houses the living and entertainment areas while the other wing is more private, where the study and master bedroom are housed.

The basement includes a wine cellar, entertainment room and gym. In all, the home has four bedrooms and a swimming pool. Privacy features include a gated driveway, and tall hedges and trees concealing the pool and outdoor pavilion.

The property was built and sold by Timothy Chia, founder and chairman of Hup Soon Global Corporation. He is also chairman of Gracefield Holdings and sits on the boards of several listed companies.

The buyer is said to be a former Chinese citizen turned Singapore citizen. Realstar Premier Group brokered the transaction.

Based on data from CBRE Research, from January to April this year, six properties were sold in GCB Areas totalling S$125.82 million.

For the whole of last year, there were 28 transactions amounting to S$626.14 million.

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