With its sprawling green plots and prestigious postal codes, Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) remain the most covetable form of landed housing in Singapore – and only Singapore citizens are permitted to purchase and own these unicorn abodes. According to Leong Boon Hoe, chief operating officer of List Sotheby’s International Realty, this rare asset class is piquing the interest of freshly minted Singaporeans. “We’re beginning to see new citizens actively looking at them. It’s a status-chasing dream,” says Leong, 46, whose company specialises in brokering sales of bungalows and luxury apartments for high-net-worth individuals.
Last year, a two-storey bungalow in Nassim Road sitting in a freehold land area of 42,515 sq ft was sold for $105.3 million. The purchase was made by naturalised citizen Tony Tung, chairman of Hong Kong-based oil trading company Winson. According to The Business Times, the blockbuster deal is believed to be the biggest transaction recorded for this asset class.
Leong notes that former Chinese and Indian nationals form the two biggest groups of new citizens purchasing Good Class Bungalows. Unlike the Singapore-born who tend to favour “15,000 sq ft plots, as those are easily tradable”, the other group of clients are keen to purchase bigger plots of 25,000 sq ft and above. “They tend to look at the best of the best… or go for very big plots with old houses, so they can tear it down and build their palace.”
Despite the cooling measures exacted by the Government, Leong believes that demand in the GCB market will continue to remain fairly inelastic. “Locals are purchasing for the rarity and don’t mind paying Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), while new citizens buying their ﬁ rst property won’t be affected by ABSD.”
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