More Good Class Bungalows sold in the 3rd Quarter of Singapore than the previous one
In Q3 2019, 12 bungalows within the Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Areas were sold, compared to 10 in Q2 2019. The most expensive GCB sold in Q3 2019 was one located at Astrid Hill with a land area of 26,983 sq ft. It fetched $47 mil ($1,742 psf).
Two other significant sales which was reported in media but could not be verified were a brand new Good Class Bungalow at Cluny Road which fetched $41 mil ($2,715 psf) and a huge GCB land at Nassim Road which sold for $230 mil ($2,720 psf). There was no known villa transaction at Sentosa Cove in Q3 2019.
List Sotheby’s International Realty (List SIR) said that as at end-September, the tally for the entire luxury segment stood at 311 deals. PRs and NPRs made up 70% of the homebuyers.
A total of 100 luxury apartments were sold in Q3 2019, slightly fewer than the 108 that were sold in the previous quarter. The most expensive deal was a penthouse at 3 Orchard-By-The-Park that was sold for $32 mil ($4,638 psf). Another significant sale was an 11th floor unit at The Marq at the price of $23 mil ($3,690 psf). Besides these, six other apartments at TwentyOne Angullia Park, Le Nouvel Ardmore, Sculptura Ardmore and Wallich Residence were sold between $9 mil and $17 mil, all above $4,000 psf.
List SIR said, “Clearly, there is still a strong interest in well-located, good quality luxury apartments.” It noted, “new high-end projects that will be launched in Q4 2019 include Eden, Hyll On Holland and Pullman Residences. New projects in other locations include Dairy Farm Residences, Mattar Residences and Urban Treasures.”
List SIR said that “the third quarter of every year usually has a shorter sales period due to the inauspicious Lunar Seventh Month which occurs around the month of August. However, the attributes of new projects and their price points could still optimise the opportunity at hand.”
“In Q3 2019, developers focused the release of new projects in July and September, offering some 15 projects in all. Including new releases from earlier launches, a total of 3,638 new homes were offered for sale, 45% more than the 2,502 new homes launched in Q2 2019. A total of 3,281 new homes were sold. Not only was this 40% higher than the preceding quarter, it was also the highest sales volume since Q2 2013.”
Good Class Bungalows 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 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.”