Binjai Rise mortgagee-sale GCB sold for about $13m

A partially completed Good Class Bungalow (GCB) at 15 Binjai Rise, located next to the noisy Pan Island Expressway, has finally been sold – after two rounds of auctions and a tender.

Talk in the market is that the price paid for the mortgagee-sale property was around S$13 million. That works out to about S$763 per square foot (psf), based on the land area of 17,035 sq ft.

A Hong Kong-based bank put up the freehold bungalow for sale. The borrowers are members of a family who were redeveloping the property for their own occupation.

The bank appointed Colliers International to market the property. It was introduced at the property consulting group’s auction in April at an opening price of S$19.5 million, but there were no bids.

It went under the hammer again at Colliers’ June auction, where despite a lower opening price of S$16.575 million, there were again no takers. Instructions were then given by the bank for the property to be put up for tender. The exercise closed in July, resulting in the recent sale.

Property consultants said that is it rare for a mortgagee sale of a Good Class Bungalow. The transaction of 15 Binjai Rise is not seen as sparking a trend.

The uncompleted bungalow has two storeys, a basement and an attic. The gross floor area is 13,378 sq ft, according to written permission granted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. By some estimates, it may cost a further S$1-2 million to complete the construction.

Newsman Realty managing director KH Tan, a veteran GCB agent, said the price for 15 Binjai Rise is within his expectations.

“I didn’t think it would get more than S$800 psf given that, recently, a bungalow on Chee Hoon Avenue was sold for S$1,197 psf. That is in a better location on a hilltop in District 11, offering panoramic views. On the other hand, 15 Binjai Rise is in a noisy area, next to a busy expressway, and the site is slightly below road level.” Binjai Rise is in District 21.

The sale of the Chee Hoon Avenue GCB was by tender and brokered by Douglas Wong of CBRE.

Newsman’s Mr Tan, as well as other GCB agents, acknowledged that prices in GCB Areas have been soft lately.

He said he had expected the Chee Hoon Avenue bungalow – as well as another bungalow that changed hands last month in Queen Astrid Park for S$1,169 psf – to go for a higher price.

“My price expectation for the Queen Astrid Park property took into account the fact that around 5,000-6,000 sq ft of the 27,373 sq ft land area is not easy to use, due to the uneven terrain.”

Lien’s grandson pays $21m for Good Class Bungalow

A grandson of the late banker and philanthropist, Mr Lien Ying Chow, has bought a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) in Chee Hoon Avenue after taking part in a tender.

Mr Michael Lien and his wife paid $21.39 million or about $1,197 per sq ft (psf) for the 17,868 sq ft freehold plot, according to caveats lodged.

Mr Lien is executive chairman of Wah Hin & Co, founder of Leap Philanthropy and a board director of Temasek Holdings.

The freehold bungalow, in a cul-de-sac off Adam Road, was put up for sale by CBRE at an indicative value of $25 million.

The detached house, built in the 1960s and renovated in 2005, is partly two-storey and partly one.

The property’s built-up area is about 3,300 sq ft, excluding the car porch and rear terrace, with two bedrooms and a study room. It was believed to be a trustee’s sale.

In another deal late last month, a Queen Astrid Park GCB was sold for $32 million or about $1,169 psf – on a 27,373 sq ft freehold plot.

The buyer was Liu and Lee Investment, a company led by the low-key property investor Liu Shek Yuen.

The Hong Kong-born Dr Liu is said to have global investing experience and had, in 2001, led the purchase of a 201,782 sq ft freehold Jervois Road GCB site from HSBC.

Singapore Christie’s Homes managing director Samuel Eyo said buyers, especially end users, have been returning to the GCB market. Some are newly minted Singapore citizens, he said. “Deals have been done recently and I expect more to come.”