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.

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.

$25m home off Adam Road for sale

A freehold Good Class Bungalow (GCB) in Chee Hoon Avenue has been put up for sale via a tender exercise that closes on May 20.

The indicative value of the property is $25 million, which translates to $1,399 per square foot (psf) based on a land area of 17,868 sq ft.

“With its frontage of about 39m and an average depth of about 42m, it is suitable for additions and alterations or redevelopment to optimise the potential of this land,” CBRE said in a news release yesterday.

CBRE is the sole marketing agent for the tender exercise.

The property is located in Chee Hoon Avenue, in a cul-de-sac, off Adam Road.

It comprises a part one/part two-storey detached house, which was originally built in the 1960s and renovated in 2005.

The property’s built-up area is about 3,300 sq ft (excluding car porch and rear terrace of about 1,000 sq ft) with two bedrooms and a study.

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Belmont Road GCB Bungalow sold for $33.5M

FORMER Singapore Land chairman SP Tao has sold a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) on Belmont Road for S$33.5 million or S$1,266 per square foot of land area of 26,456 sq ft. As recently as a year ago, the asking price for the freehold property was around S$50 million.

BT understands that earlier this year, the price tag was lowered to S$39 million before last month’s transaction at S$33.5 million. The existing property on the site was re-built in 2009 and comprises two levels and an attic. The main house is said to have five en suite bedrooms in addition to several function rooms; while a pool, entertainment room for guests and a maid’s room are located in the annexe.

Mr Tao, a near centenarian, redeveloped the bungalow five years ago. He is now said to have a Singapore residence in a prime-district apartment.

Agents told BT that while transacted prices of GCBs generally have softened, additional reasons for the relatively low psf price fetched for Mr Tao’s property could be due to it being located on a downslope, having a small car parking area and a layout that may not appeal to some buyers.

It would not be surprising if the new owner redevelops the property, said market watchers.

Savills Singapore director of prestige homes Samuel Eyo estimates that current market values along Belmont Road are in the S$1,300-1,400 psf range for properties on a downslope and around S$1,500-1,600 psf for upslope properties.

In January this year, Enviro-Hub Holdings boss Raymond Ng disposed of a downslope GCB on Belmont Road for S$30.5 million or S$1,392 psf on land area of about 21,900 sq ft. In July last year, an upslope property along the road was sold for S$22.88 million or S$1,525 psf by seasoned investor Thomas Chan. Each site has an existing bungalow on it.

Also noteworthy is the August 2013 sale of a 21,388 sq ft vacant piece of flat land in Leedon Park nearby for S$1,724 psf, amounting to S$36.88 million.

The Leedon Park area still holds the record psf price for GCBs. This was set in October 2012, when bungalow investor George Lim achieved S$2,110 psf when he sold a newly-built bungalow. Standing on 15,640 sq ft of land, the bungalow spans two storeys and a basement. It has six bedrooms and a pool. The property, which Mr Lim completed building in 2011, obtained Building and Construction Authority’s Greenmark Gold Plus award.

Including Mr Tao’s recent sale of his Belmont property, the tally of deals so far this year in GCB Areas stands at 21 transactions totalling S$503 million. For the whole of last year, there were 29 deals amounting to S$682 million.

Realstar Premier Group CEO William Wong said: “Prices of some GCBs have come down slightly over the past few months and those properties that are reasonably priced then tend to attract buyers. There is still a price-gap between buyers and sellers, but the difference is getting smaller and will continue to be so till end of the year.

“Some sellers’ pricing is realistic, but buyers tend to give lowball offers hoping to secure a bargain. It’s a buyer’s market now.”

A pick-up in transactions is expected in the fourth quarter, with the momentum likely to continue next year. “Owners of GCBs that have been in the market for a long while may have to adjust pricing downwards if they wish to seal a deal. There are still many buyers in the market; the only thing is most are waiting for prices to drop further.”

Mr Eyo said that most owners have the ability to hold as those who bought in the past few years are owner occupiers, while those who bought for investment in earlier years are generally not in a hurry to sell given their low entry cost and the low interest environment. “Buyers looking for a GCB on an upslope or flat land and a regular-shaped site have to be prepared to pay a premium as the supply of such bungalows is not high”.

GCBs are the most prestigious type of landed housing in Singapore, with strict planning constraints.