Defining and buying bungalows in Singapore

A bungalow in Singapore has to be on a site no smaller than 400sqm and no less than 10m wide. This is about twice the size of a semi-detached house (200sqm) and more than 2.5x the size of a terrace house. Many are in locations such as Eng Neo Avenue, Faber Park, Jalan Binchang, Serangoon Gardens, Sunset Way and Westlake estate.

However, not all bungalows in Singapore are Good Class Bungalows (GCBs), as to be classified as such, bungalows have to meet an even stricter criterion.  

GCBs need to have a plot size of at least 1,400sqm and be located in one of the 39 areas in Singapore designated for GCBs. These include Districts 9, 10, 11, 21 and 23. Many GCBs though are situated in Bishopsgate, Nassim and Ladyhill. Other prerequisites include a maximum site coverage control of 35% and a height restriction of two stories.

Both the size and location criteria need to be fulfilled before a bungalow can be classified as a GCB.  As such, GCBs are at the highest end of the luxury segment in Singapore’s property market.

How to go about buying your very own GCB

An interested buyer first needs to verify if the property is in an area designated for GCBs by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), as mentioned earlier in this article, not all properties with a land size of more than 1,400sqm are actually GCBs.

An interested buyer should also be aware of the property conservation scheme in Singapore. Those earmarked for conservation cannot be torn down and rebuilt. A general guide would be that if what you are interested to buy is an older bungalow with colonial architecture, chances are that it would be ear marked for conservation.

Lastly, an interested buyer who is a PR should be aware that under Singapore law, Singapore PRs who want to buy a GCB have to get permission from the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit.