GCB market performing well despite restrictions on foreign buyers

Foreign buyers have been fuelling much of the property purchases in Singapore’s private property sector.

While foreigners are allowed to buy landed properties in Sentosa Cove,  there are however some properties which they are unable to buy. Despite the restrictions, these properties are still very much in demand and selling well.

Good Class Bungalows in demand and selling at high prices

These luxury landed properties – more commonly known as Good Class Bungalows (GCB) – often have price tags attached to their calling cards. Yet they are often in demand. In Singapore, or perhaps any other highly populated city, space is a valuable commodity.

With only 2,500 GCBs in Singapore, each with specific criteria which often includes an expanse of land and space, they are vastly different and rare in a landscape dotted with high-rise apartments which are getting smaller in size.

Good Class Bungalows range from colonial black and white abodes to modern homes designed by award-winning architects with infinity pools and landscaped gardens.

Whitchurch Road, Landed Property. Picture: iProperty

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What then classifies property as a Good Class Bungalow?

  • The land has a minimum size of 1,400 sq m.
  • The house itself can only take up a maximum of 35% of the land.
  • The house itself has a 2-storey maximum height limit.
  • Only Singaporean citizens are allowed to purchase GCBs.

With such rarity, exclusivity and the luxury of space, GCBs are somewhat a status symbol here. In the chart of the number of millionaires in a country, Singapore came in 9th, according to the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 2018 Global Wealth Report.

GCBs are rare, exclusive and expensive

Most of the Good Class Bungalows in Singapore are located in exclusive areas such as  Bukit Timah and Holland Road, and some with addresses most would not be familiar with.

Botanic Gardens MRT. Picture: iProperty

Buyers of these GCBs are usually individuals with high net-worth, be they locals or foreigners who have attained citizenship. A recent recording-breaking deal was for a bungalow near Botanic Gardens. It was purchased by Mr Tony Tung, chairman of Winson Group for $105.3 million.

A similar property is expected to hit the market soon with an asking price of $3,500 psf, surpassing the previous record of $2,700 psf last year. Analysts are expecting this market sector to remain resilient this year as GCBs are considered valuable assets by wealthy investors.

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