The Straits Times | April 20, 2013
A high-profile bid by Wing Tai Holdings chairman Cheng Wai Keung to sell his Nassim Road bungalow for up to $300 million is not typical of the good-class bungalow (GCB) market.
Sales volumes of these most posh of homes are fairly thin and other prices pale in comparison to the record price of up to $3,536 per sq ft (psf) he is asking for the vast 85,000 sq ft plot.
Only seven homes have been sold with a total value of $158.88 million so far this year, in places such as the Thomson area, a CBRE analysis showed. The most expensive GCB to change hands was at Windsor Park Road at $1,401 psf or $27 million in total.
Analysts agree that the volume of transactions is unlikely to exceed last year's numbers.
Property consultancy CBRE's analysis found that a total of 54 GCBs were sold last year. It expects 40 to 45 GCB sales this year, translating to a total of $850 million to $950 million.
Neither individual prices nor the total sum for GCBs are anywhere near record numbers.
Recent cooling measures such as the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) and seller's stamp duty (SSD) have affected the GCB market.
These measures target mostly speculators, investors and foreigners, such as the ABSD of seven to 10 per cent on the property price and SSD of up to 16 per cent.
Director of prestige homes at Savills Singapore, Mr Samuel Eyo, said: "The quantum for a GCB is very large, starting from $20 million and more, and most of these high net worth owners have more than two properties under their names.
"To buy a GCB at $30 million, the buyer has to pay an extra $3 million for the ABSD and that amount can buy another apartment elsewhere."
The total number of GCBs here is also likely to remain at about 2,400 units, as the land they sit on is unlikely to be developed into more units, and the ABSD is likely to make buyers think twice.
Mr Eyo said: "Prices will be remaining around the current market rate and I would estimate that the number of transactions this year will not be higher than 2012 transaction numbers."
Head of prime landed at PropNex Realty, Mr Nizam Gafoor, said that since 2010, prices of GCBs have risen about 20 per cent, even though the volume of transactions has slowed down.
The average price of GCBs was $1,328 psf last year, $1,343 psf in 2011, and $1,109 psf in 2010.
According to CBRE, this shows that new buyers are willing to pay a premium for such trophy homes and current owners remained firm on their price expectations.
Mr Nizam said: "Prices are likely to moderately increase in general while volume of transactions will be around 20 this year."
Mr Eyo said that the rental for new GCBs in prime areas such as Dalvey will be around $40,000 to $45,000 a month.
"The yield for GCBs was around 1 to 2 per cent and most owners are looking for capital gains rather than yields."
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