Saturday, May 19, 2012

GCB at Swettenham Rd fetches $25.8m

Business Times: Sat, May 19
A GOOD Class Bungalow (GCB) at Swettenham Road was recently sold for about $25.8 million or $1,714 per square foot on a freehold land area of 15,069 sq ft.

On site is a bungalow that was completed about a year ago and currently tenanted at a monthly rental of slightly over $40,000. The property has two storeys and a basement. It has five bedrooms and a swimming pool. The buyer is understood to be a Singapore citizen.

Newsman Realty is said to have brokered the deal.

A two-storey house at Third Avenue is also understood to have changed hands recently at $13.5 million or $1,536 psf. RealStar represented the buyer, a local businessman. The seller was represented by Singapore Residential Properties.

According to CBRE's analysis of caveats data, deals in GCB areas this month include a property at Rebecca Road (near Coronation Road) that has been sold for $17 million or $1,575 psf, and another at Margoliouth Road (near Stevens Road/Bukit Timah Road) which fetched $12.2 million or $1,849 psf. Last month, a bungalow at Binjai Park transacted at $12.8 million or $1,049 psf.

GCBs typically have a minimum plot size of 1,400 square metres (or 15,069.46 sq ft). But when GCB Areas were gazetted in 1980, they included some smaller existing sites.

These are still considered GCBs as they would be bound by other GCB planning rules if they were to be redeveloped. For instance, such plots cannot be further subdivided and they cannot be built more than two storeys high (plus an attic and a basement).

Newsman Realty managing director KH Tan observes that house hunters in the GCB market these days are mostly Singaporean buyers looking for a home to live in.

He predicts GCB prices will end this year at 10 per cent above end-2011 levels. "Most of the sellers are not in a rush, while buyers are still making purchases," he adds.

Coldwell Banker Realtors managing director Alexs Chua expects GCB prices to "easily go up" by $200 to $300 psf this year for ultra-prime locations such as Nassim, Cluny and Dalvey, where there is always very strong demand. "Currently prices in these locations are hovering at about $2,000 psf or higher."

For places like Cornwall, Belmont and Leedon, where prices today are about $1,600-1,700 psf on average, prices could probably rise by another $100 to $200 psf this year, he adds...
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Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
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