( Sentosa: home to Singapore’s most expensive bungalow. Image courtesy of Thinkstock.)
The 15,929 sq ft completed Cove Drive bungalow has a psf price of $2,448. The Business Times understood that a Singaporean sold it to a buyer from India. In comparison, the previous record holder sold for $36 million in 2010. It has a land area of 14,983 sq ft, which worked out to $2,403 per sq ft (psf).
Back on the mainland, another bungalow looks set to get more tongues wagging. The Good Class Bungalow Area (GCBA) home at Jervois Hill reportedly has an agreed price of $31 million—about $2,050 psf, based on the 15,120 sq ft land area of the freehold site.
Sources told the Business Times that the Jervois Hill transaction was done between a local property investor and an unknown buyer, who forked out a “higher-than-normal” option deposit.
Foreign—including permanent residents (PRs)—purchases of landed homes on mainland Singapore are restricted. Such buyers have to obtain permission from the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit, which will assess them based on criteria such as having a PR status and making significant contributions to the country’s economy.
Sentosa Cove, on the other hand, is the only place in Singapore where non-PRs can purchase a landed home once approval has been sought. Foreign and PR buyers can only own one landed home in Singapore (including Sentosa Cove), the purchased homes can only be used for one’s own occupation, and the property’s land area cannot exceed 15,000 sq ft.
Observers tell the Business Times the hefty $2,050 psf for the Jervois Hill plot has set the bar for residential properties in the area. “That’s the kind of pricing one would expect in the Nassim and Dalvey areas,” noted one GCBA agent.
Currently, the highest priced GCBA home is 6 Chatsworth Road, which transacted for $2,081 psf in July 2011, surpassing previous record-holder 16 Cluny Road ($2,038 psf in February 2011). The Cluny Road transaction, in turn, had usurped a 32H Nassim Road transaction ($1,899 psf, October 2007). However it should be noted that both the Chatsworth and Nassim homes had smaller than usual land areas that helped push up their psfs.
Given the new highs, the luxury bungalow market is showing signs of a revival. After last year’s December 8 additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) made foreign buyers coil away from the market; but industry watchers have noticed these home seekers streaming back to the bungalow market since the end of the Chinese New Year period.
Newsman Realty managing director KH Tan told the Business Times that foreign interest seems to be returning to Sentosa Cove, most of whom hail from countries like China, Indonesia and India.
Tan said, “They come from a range of backgrounds, including industrialists and even developers from China. Some have children studying in Singapore while others find Singapore an interesting global city. They believe there’s room for substantial price appreciation in Singapore bungalow prices.”
Alexs Chua, managing director at Coldwell Banker Realtors, told the Business Times that although transaction volumes have definitely dropped, transaction prices are still holding well.