The Good Class Bungalow (GCB) at King Albert Park will be made available for sale through Expression of Interest process the 31st of March. The suggested cost to purchase this property will be $30 million ($1,846 per sq ft). The house, which is two stories tall, sits on the freehold site that covers 16,251 square feet. It is home to nine bedrooms as well as a pool, and basement parking for six vehicles. The home covers a total floor space of 12,500 sq. ft.
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The site was initially part of a larger parcel that belonged to a belonging to Benjamin Sheares, Singapore’s second president who served for three terms from January 1971 until May 1981. The Sheares family offered the plot to a purchaser who later divided the plot into three smaller ones.
The current owners, who bought the property in the year 1996 and taken the decision to put it up on the market after having lived there for 27 years. “The owners are older and are trying to sell their property,” says Jervis Isaiah Ng, the founder Jervis Isaiah Ng, the founder of JNA Real Estate and executive director of JNA Capital Markets, the sole agent for marketing the property. As per Ng, JNA Capital Markets is part of his firm JNA Real Estate, and manages property for clients with ultra-high net worth. JNA Real Estate, in itself, is an entity with PropNex Realty. PropNex Realty.
The land price of $1,846 psf has been deemed appealing by Ng. “It is among the few GCBs available that has an asking price lower than $2,000 per sq ft,” he shares.
Gateway to GCB market
The current owners have maintained the house mostly unchanged from the original style. Ng says that regardless of its old age, the house’s state of repair is “still excellent” due to the fact that the current owners have taken great care of the home throughout the decades.
The house was built to ensure that the living areas of the house face north-south and avoid intense direct sunlight. The layout is U-shaped and has common areas like the family and living areas are located in the middle of the home. The bedrooms are situated in either side. The rooms of the house are oriented towards the central courtyard, which also has an outdoor pool. “It’s an ideal place for people who love to entertain in their homes,” says Ng.
Based on the price of the property, Ng believes the property is a good choice for those who are new to market GCB market. They include those who wish to upgrade their detached home to a “full-fledged GCB” and younger beginning GCB buyers who’s budgets don’t allow them to make the step into GCBs that are priced in the $40-$50 million price range Ng says.
Alvin Tan, team lead for the team at JNA Capital Markets, adds that the house is likely to be attractive to buyers looking for the exclusivity of a GCB location and still have an easy access to the amenities available within the area. King Albert Park MRT Station is just a 10 minute walk as well as Bukit Timah Plaza as well as Beauty World Plaza are within five minutes of driving. The area’s draw to families is its closeness to schools. Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School and Methodist Girls’ School (Primary and Secondary) are within a radius of 1km.
Great candidate for rebuilding
Tan mentions that Tan notes that the property has attracted a lot of attention so far. “We’ve seen potential buyers visit to the property for their third or fourth time,” he says. The additional visits are usually conducted with architects on hand He adds. The site’s characteristics make it an ideal possibility for renovation. It’s a rectangular plot with an average 27m frontage and an average depth of 60m, all tucked into the trees and other greenery. Although the plot slopes slightly downwards, the whole site is elevated in comparison to plots adjacent.
Ng claims that, subject to approval from authorities in the area, the buyer of the property might be able to level or elevate the site in the future, and build a new house that has the possibility of a larger basement and mezzanine, and attic. This will effectively raise the principal floors of the house to a higher height which would provide a nice view of the neighborhood. “Given the fact that the plots around this property are lower and the house is higher, by raising the site buyers will be able to enjoy panoramic perspectives across King Albert Park. King Albert Park area,” Ng explains.
Based on estimates from preliminary studies in discussions with a builder and design contractor, Ng reckons that the area could accommodate a new residence with a built-up area up to 22,000 square feet. Ng estimates that the construction cost which includes raising the land and leveling it starting at around $8 million. It could go up to $15 milllion depending on the type of materials as well as other specifications. He still views this as a viable option to buyers. “The rebuilding costs (including the cost for land) could be anywhere from $35 million-$45 million which is an appealing price for a brand new GCB in the current competitive market,”” He says.
GCB rates expected to remain steady
The last time the GCB located in King Albert Park changed hands was almost two years back. The bungalow that was sold in the month of September on an area of 15,165 sq feet was purchased for $16.8 million ($1,108 per square foot). In the month prior the same bungalow situated with a size of 15,713 square feet site was auctioned off to the highest bidder for $19.55 million ($1,244 per sq ft). Ng states the properties were older homes The caveats prove that the houses were constructed around 1980. Ng adds that, since then, the average transacted prices for GCBs continue to increase.
For sure, GCB prices have continued to increase despite a decrease in activity over the past year, driven by rate hikes and the growing macroeconomic worries. A new research report from CBRE declares the fact that during 2H2022, the average prices for GCBs increased 14.3% compared to 1H2022 and reached $2,106 psf. The median price for the whole year to $1,952 psf. This is an increase of 10.1% y-o-y.
Forty-seven GCBs were traded in 2022 and totaled $1.365 billion. This is an increase of 54.3% y-o-y decline from the $2.99 billion in transactions across more than 98 GCBs the year prior. “Following an unprecedented 2021, GCB sales volumes normalised in part due to the sluggish inventory available and the widening gap between price of buyer and seller,” CBRE’s report states.
GCB markets are likely to be sluggish until 2023, when there will be more clarity about rates of interest as well as the overall economy. However, CBRE anticipates Singapore’s positioning as a major hub of wealth and the continuing appeal of GCBs to preserve wealth and for status symbols and status symbols, will continue to drive the demand and price. Ng concurs. “There are just about 2,800 GCBs available, which means the supply is not as high, but demand is constant,” he says.
In the end, he believes that the GCB located at King Albert Park will be quickly snapped up, considering its value and the attributes. “I believe it’ll be among the very first GCB plots that will be sold in the coming year” the expert says.
Expression of Interest process in the King Albert Park GCB will end on the 21st of April.