Offshore: Luxury bungalow prices near peak levels

There have been several sales in recent days at the top end of the Singapore property market — the multimillion-dollar Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) in the traditional prime residential districts. They were sealed at S$20 million (RM49 million) or above, with one even hitting S$38 million.

In June, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis to date, two of the three GCB transactions captured were 39A Ridout Road, with a freehold land area of 40,677 sq ft that was sold for S$20 million or S$492 psf; and 32 Bin Tong Park, with a freehold land area of 25,037 sq ft and sold for S$23.5 million or S$939 psf.  

Recent sales where caveats have yet to be lodged include a GCB with a freehold land area of 37,000 sq ft and a well-designed bungalow with a built-up of 9,000 sq ft at 18 Cluny Park that changed hands for S$38 million or S$1,027 psf early this month. Another is a newly completed bungalow on a land area of 15,100 sq ft at 6 Leedon Park that was sold this month for S$19.36 million or S$1,282 psf.  The GCB at 18 Cluny Park with a freehold land area of 37,000 sq ft was sold recently for S$38 million

“There have been a lot of transactions over the last six weeks,” says K H Tan, GCB specialist and managing director of Newsman Realty. “It’s partly due to the stock market plus many of these buyers are high-net-worth-individuals who prefer the security that comes with owning a GCB rather than parking all their money with a private banker. The scarcity factor also comes into play, with only 2,400 GCBs in the whole market. That’s what is fuelling demand for GCBs.”

According to Jacqueline Wong, head of residential at Jones Lang LaSalle, prices of GCBs are almost back to the peak levels seen in 2007. “If you’re looking for land or completed GCBs in the Cluny, Nassim or Rochalie areas, there are none available,” she says. “And if there are, the owners will be asking for S$1,200 psf and above.”

GCB with sizeable land parcels in coveted addresses such as Leedon Park and the Swettenham area have also garnered strong interest. The owner of the GCB at 16 Leedon Park, with a land area of 52,528 sq ft, is said to have received half a dozen offers ranging from S$42 million to S$45.5 million last month. The owner’s indicative selling price is said to be around S$900 psf or S$47 million.

Meanwhile, the tender for 2 Swettenham Road, which has an original 1960s bungalow sitting on a hill slope with a total land area of 33,293 sq ft, closed at the end of last month. The indicative price tag for the property is S$30 million and according to Tan, who’s the marketing agent for the property, there are at least six serious buyers who’re in negotiations for it.

Over at Sentosa Cove, demand for waterfront bungalows has also picked up pace, and prices have risen with the tide. There’s a lot of anticipation ahead of the completion of the first phase of the multi-billion-dollar Resorts World Sentosa integrated resort (IR) early next year, and that has also fuelled demand for luxury homes at Sentosa Cove, adds Tan.

There were two transactions on Paradise Island (one of five man-made islands at Sentosa Cove) in June alone. One, according to URA Realis, was for 8 Paradise Island, which is a newly completed bungalow sitting on a 99-year leasehold land area of 8,633 sq ft, and was sold for S$10.5 million or S$1,216 psf. The other bungalow at 12 Paradise Island changed hands last month for S$11.2 million or S$1,590 psf. The bungalow is still under construction but is close to completion. It has a land area of 7,044 sq ft and built-up of 8,708 sq ft.

Elsewhere at Sentosa Cove, a bungalow at 36 Cove Way with a land area of 6,785 sq ft and built-up of 8,708 sq ft changed hands in a resale market S$9 million or S$1,326 psf earlier this month. However, the bungalow is said to be non-waterfront facing. “When the whole IR is completed, prices at Sentosa Cove could potentially go up by another 20% to 30% from the current levels,” reckons Tan.

Cecilia Chow is City and Country editor at The Edge Singapore

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 764, July 20-26, 2009

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