Properties such as the Bukit Panjang GCB are seen as the crème de la crème of the Singapore property market
Colliers International on Aug 26, put up a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) at 7 Chestnut Crescent for auction under owners’ sale on 30 September 2019. The GCB being limited in stock and availability in Singapore – present rare investment opportunities and potential upside given its tight supply and investor interest in these real estate segments.
The freehold Bukit Panjang GCB, located at 7 Chestnut Crescent has a land area of approximately 857.7 square metres (9,232.2 sq ft). It is located within the Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area in Bukit Panjang.
The Bukit Panjang GCB will be put up for sale via auction by the owner with an asking price of $9 million, which works out to about $975 per square foot (psf) on total land area.
There are only 39 clusters in Singapore which have been gazetted for GCBs, which are regarded as valuable assets in a land scarce country.
Steven Tan, Director of Capital Markets and Investment Services at Colliers International, said, “GCBs are seen as the crème de la crème of the Singapore property market and this presents a rare chance to own one of them at a relatively affordable price. A key attraction lies in its redevelopment potential – from the current single-storey home to a 2 and a half-storey luxury property. Subject to relevant approvals, the buyer may also acquire an adjacent state land that spans 263.5 sq m (about 2,836.3 sq ft), which could help to lower the overall effective land rate below $975 psf.”
The per square feet (psf) pricing for the property is attractive and compares favourably against recent transactions. In Q3 2018, the landed home at 29 Chestnut Crescent was sold for $8.8 million or $1,103 psf.
Nestled in an exclusive residential neighbourhood, the Bukit Panjang GCB is set in a lush and tranquil environment. It is also a short drive from the Dairy Farm Quarry and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve which offer a host of recreational activities. Other amenities in the vicinity include: Hillion mall, Petir Park, and a number of schools such as Bukit Panjang Primary School, Assumption English School, CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace, and Fajar Secondary School.
The Bukit Panjang GCB is also located near several MRT stations including Cashew and Bukit Panjang MRT stations on the Downtown Line, and the Pending LRT station.
The Bukit Panjang GCB will be offered for sale at an auction to be held at 2.30 pm on 30 September at Amara Singapore, Level 3, Connection Room.
GCBs have been in the spotlight since news broke recently that Sir Dyson had forked out $41 million for a hilltop GCB located along Cluny Road with views of the Botanic Gardens, Singapore’s first and only UNESCO Heritage Site.
List Sotheby’s International Realty (List SIR) which reported on the purchase of Sir Dyson, noted that what makes this GCB deal an even greater surprise is that landed properties in Singapore, including the 2,800 plots located in the 39 GCB areas gazetted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), are classified as restricted properties and are limited for purchase and ownership by Singapore Citizens only. Besides their rarity, GCBs also come with strict planning conditions stipulated by the URA to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character.
Even ultra high net worth investors, such as the Dysons, need to get special approval from the government to purchase and own GCBs because they are permanent residents. Criteria include making exceptional economic contributions in Singapore and the buyer can only use the GCB for owner occupation.
According to the Singapore Residential Property Act, foreigners are not allowed to own landed properties, which include bungalows. However, foreigners are allowed to own the bungalows at Sentosa Cove, a planned resort island to attract high-net-worth (HNW) foreign investors. Foreigners are allowed to own apartments in Singapore.
More recently, a GCB plot in the prestigious Nassim Road area was bought by SG Casa Pte Ltd for a record $230 million. The price for the sprawling land of 84,543 sq ft land works out to be S$2,721 psf. The plot of lands comes with a two-storey bungalow, a tennis court and swimming pool. The site has a road frontage that is nearly 100m, and can be redeveloped into four or five bungalows.
List SIR in referring to media report suggested that the party behind SG Casa could be Eduardo Saverin. Mr Saverin became a Singapore citizen in 2012.
Sir Dyson, who is chief executive of Dyson Ltd, had earlier bought the most expensive 99-year-leasehold penthouse situated on a 62nd to 64th floor in Wallich Residence. The three-storey penthouse comes complete with a private infinity pool, jacuzzi, barbecue pit, and private lift lobby.
Besides Dyson and Saverin, another famous name that has been making rounds in Singapore’s media landscape was Jack Ma, who is said to have purchased a 30,000 sq ft site at Victoria Park Close. The Alibaba co-founder is supposedly building a two-storey bungalow with a basement and swimming pool.
The report by List SIR said, ” in light of the geopolitical tensions in Hong Kong and United Kingdom, there could be increased interest from more foreign ultra high net worth investors, the likes of Sir Dyson. Singapore’s solid economic fundamentals, sound financial framework, ease of doing business, quality education and racial harmony continue to make it one of the choice locations for potential foreign investors.”
Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage consultant at iCompareLoan, said, “with political stability, it is understandable why Singapore looks attractive to ultra high net worth investors. Due to its limited supply and the prestige associated with these large bungalow plots, GCBs – such as the Bukit Pang GCB – are often sought after by well-heeled individuals.”
He added, “Singapore’s business-friendly environment also attracts many ultra high net worth investors to park their assets here. Prices of GCBs have been on a steady increase since 2016 and so it is viewed as a good investment.”
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