More GCBs sold recently

A COUPLE of large Good Class Bungalow transactions have been inked recently.

Seasoned property investor Thomas Chan is said to be selling a bungalow at Belmont Road for more than $44 million. The price translates to $1,413 per square foot on the land area of about 31,125 square feet.

On the freehold elevated site is a 15-year-old bungalow with about 9,000 sq ft of built-up area. The property is said to have five bedrooms and a pool.

Market watchers point out, however, that the site is large enough to be subdivided into two plots of at least 1,400 square metres (15,069.46 sq ft) each. This is the minimum land area stipulated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority for Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) – the most prestigious type of landed housing in Singapore.

Mr Chan is understood to have paid $30.5 million for the Belmont Road bungalow in July 2009.

Based on market talk, Newsman Realty was the sole marketing agent in the latest sale of the property.

Interest in big-ticket GCBs seems to be on the rise. Last month, 35 Ridout Road was transacted at nearly $91.69 million. On an absolute quantum price basis, this is believed to be the biggest transaction in a Good Class Bungalow Area.

The price is slightly higher than the previous record of $87.5 million, set in 2001, involving a 291,000 sq ft parcel in Swettenham Road in an asset swop deal between Singapore Press Holdings and Lum Chang.

The price for 35 Ridout Road works out to $1,251 psf based on the 73,277 sq ft land area.

Caveat information lists the buyer as Soon Hock Property Development, which is known for developing strata industrial properties. The company’s sole shareholder is Tan Yeow Khoon, who is chairman of listed Cogent Holdings.

Mr Tan is said to have acquired the freehold Ridout Road site with the intention of building a house for his family; they currently live in Sentosa Cove.

That said, industry observers reckon that it would not be surprising if the family were to carve out part of the Ridout Road site for sale – beyond what they require to build their own house.

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

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.

Among the properties he developed was the former Chow House along Robinson Road, which in 2010 was sold as part of a group of nine properties for a total of more than $175 million.

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