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Tik Tok CEO buys Good Class Bungalow in Singapore for RM269m - report

SINGAPORE (July 30): Chinese video-sharing app TikTok's newly-minted CEO Chew Shou Zi could be in the early stage of buying a property in the Queen Astrid Park Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area (pictured) for S$86 million (RM269 million) or S$2,700 psf based on land area, reported the Business Times today.

The 999-year leasehold property has a land area slightly over 31,800 sq ft, with an old bungalow on site.

Chew, who is Singaporean and also the chief financial officer of TikTok's parent, ByteDance, is expected to eventually redevelop the existing bungalow. The Harvard Business School Master of Business Administration graduate is formerly with Xiaomi as its international president and executive director up until March 2021.

According to the report, it is not known who brokered the sale of the Queen Astrid Park bungalow. 

The fair price of such a property, on redevelopment land basis, in the Queen Astrid Park area, would be about S$2,000-S$2,100 psf, said Realstar Premier founder William Wong.

"The transacted price of S$2,700 psf is on the high side. That said, the property has many attractive attributes - including a fairly regular-shaped plot with a wide road frontage of about 52m. Moreover, the property is on a site with flat gradient and there is no long driveway - which means the site's redevelopment potential can be optimised," said Wong, adding that price also reflects the scarcity of large GCB plot sizes of 30,000 sq ft or more.

GCB has seen an ongoing escalation of prices on the back of strong demand from both new citizens and other local buyers, according to market watchers. Bungalows in the 39 gazetted GCB Areas are the most prestigious form of landed housing in Singapore, with strict planning conditions stipulated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character. One has to be a Singapore citizen to be allowed to acquire a landed property in a GCB Area.

"GCBs have always been considered as prized possessions; however, more notably, GCBs with desired addresses will continue to break record prices," said executive director and head of The Private Office at Savills Singapore Jacqueline Wong to the news portal.

"The demand for GCBs will remain strong in the next couple of years as we witness a steady stream of ultra-rich foreigners making their debut in Singapore and setting up family offices via the Global Investor Programme, which provides for such individuals, if eligible, to apply for permanent residence and eventually citizenship," she added.

An example of a recent GCB deal, for which the option to purchase has been granted, is a S$65 million or S$2,208 psf transaction in Bishopsgate. It has a freehold land area of 29,435 sq ft with a conserved bungalow on site. The buyer is understood to be a former China citizen turned Singaporean.

Meanwhile, Tik Tok's Chew joins a slew of other tech or start-up executives to own these exclusive properties. The list includes gaming company Razer co-founder and chief executive Tan Ming-Liang with his S$52.8 property along Third Avenue; gaming chair firm Secretlab co-founder Ian Ang with his S$36 million Caldecott Hill bungalow and; Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan and wife, Chloe Tong with their S$40 million Bin Tong Park property.

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