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Yarwood Ave GCB up for sale again at same $23m guide price

Ravi Philemon

A Yarwood Ave GCB is being put on the market again at an unchanged guide price of $23 million

A landed, two-storey Good Class Bungalow (GCB) at 18A Yarwood Avenue is set to go up for auction soon. Located in Kilburn Estate, the 999-year leasehold Balinese-styled GCB is an owner’s sale with a guide price of S$23 million.

The resort-like, Yarwood Ave GCB has a land area of 18,911 sq ft and floor area of approximately 8,956 sq ft, including a car porch and cosy, sheltered terraces totalling a size of 678 sq ft. The guide price works out to about $1,216 per square foot, based on a land area of 18,911 sq ft. It is an owner’s sale. A public auction for the bungalow will be held on Oct 16 at 2.30pm at Amara Hotel, Level 3.

Yarwood Ave GCB

Image credit: Knight Frank Singapore

The tastefully designed Yarwood Ave GCB also has a basement, swimming pool, beautiful landscaped garden and koi pond.

The earlier sale attempt by Yarwood Ave GCB owners took place less than a month ago at a Sept 18 auction. “It was not successful because we had less than a week of marketing due to late instruction,” Sharon Lee, director and head of auction at Knight Frank Singapore, told The Business Times.

“The property has an accessible price point for a GCB of its calibre and is within reach for those looking to live in a home that is limited in supply,” Ms Lee said.

The Yarwood Ave GCB has an accessible price point for a GCB of its calibre and is within reach for those looking to live a home that is limited in supply. It is also located within walking distance to King Albert Park MRT station, with amenities such as a movie theatre, dining options and a supermarket conveniently situated at KAP Shopping Mall and Bukit Timah Plaza.

Successful sales of properties along the same stretch include the home at 19 Yarwood Avenue, which sold for S$22.15 million February this year and 21B Yarwood Avenue, which transacted for S$19.4 million in March 2018. The properties sat on land areas of 19,030 sq ft and 16,156 sq ft respectively.

GCBs have been in the spotlight since news broke recently that Sir Dyson had forked out $41 million for a hilltop GCB located along Cluny Road with views of the Botanic Gardens, Singapore’s first and only UNESCO Heritage Site.

List Sotheby’s International Realty (List SIR) which reported on the purchase of Sir Dyson, noted that what makes this GCB deal an even greater surprise is that landed properties in Singapore, including the 2,800 plots located in the 39 GCB areas gazetted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), are classified as restricted properties and are limited for purchase and ownership by Singapore Citizens only. Besides their rarity, GCBs also come with strict planning conditions stipulated by the URA to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character.

Even ultra high net worth investors, such as the Dysons, need to get special approval from the government to purchase and own GCBs because they are permanent residents. Criteria include making exceptional economic contributions in Singapore and the buyer can only use the GCB for owner occupation.

According to the Singapore Residential Property Act, foreigners are not allowed to own landed properties, which include bungalows. However, foreigners are allowed to own the bungalows at Sentosa Cove, a planned resort island to attract high-net-worth (HNW) foreign investors. Foreigners are allowed to own apartments in Singapore.

More recently, a GCB plot in the prestigious Nassim Road area was bought by SG Casa Pte Ltd for a record $230 million. The price for the sprawling land of 84,543 sq ft land works out to be S$2,721 psf. The plot of lands comes with a two-storey bungalow, a tennis court and swimming pool. The site has a road frontage that is nearly 100m, and can be redeveloped into four or five bungalows.

Only six super penthouse transactions took place in Singapore in last 13 years

List SIR in referring to media report suggested that the party behind SG Casa could be Eduardo Saverin. Mr Saverin became a Singapore citizen in 2012.

Sir Dyson, who is chief executive of Dyson Ltd, had earlier bought the most expensive 99-year-leasehold penthouse situated on a 62nd to 64th floor in Wallich Residence. The three-storey penthouse comes complete with a private infinity pool, jacuzzi, barbecue pit, and private lift lobby.

Besides Dyson and Saverin, another famous name that has been making rounds in Singapore’s media landscape was Jack Ma, who is said to have purchased a 30,000 sq ft site at Victoria Park Close. The Alibaba co-founder is supposedly building a two-storey bungalow with a basement and swimming pool.

The report by List SIR said, ” in light of the geopolitical tensions in Hong Kong and United Kingdom, there could be increased interest from more foreign ultra high net worth investors, the likes of Sir Dyson. Singapore’s solid economic fundamentals, sound financial framework, ease of doing business, quality education and racial harmony continue to make it one of the choice locations for potential foreign investors.”

Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage consultant at iCompareLoan, said, “with political stability, it is understandable why Singapore looks attractive to ultra high net worth investors. Due to its limited supply and the prestige associated with these large bungalow plots, GCBs – such as the Bukit Pang GCB – are often sought after by well-heeled individuals.”

He added, “Singapore’s business-friendly environment also attracts many ultra high net worth investors to park their assets here. Prices of GCBs have been on a steady increase since 2016 and so it is viewed as a good investment.”

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