10 facts about good class bungalows

Good class bungalows, more commonly known as GCBs, are considered the most exclusive residential properties in Singapore. They are in the news again after two bungalows were put up for tender recently.

Last week, a GCB at Chee Hoon Avenue in prime District 11 was offered for sale at $25 million. Prior to that, one along Holland Road with an indicative price of $30 million was looking for buyers.

These homes are usually sold to those who value privacy and exclusivity, including some of the wealthiest people in Singapore such as business tycoons and real estate developers among others.

If you happen to be on the hunt for a GCB, here are some things to consider.


Did you know…

•    There are about 2,700 GCBs located within Singapore’s 39 gazetted GCB areas.


•    To be classed as a GCB, the property must have a land area of at least 15,000 sq ft and be situated in those areas zoned for GCBs.


•    Some of the more popular GCB areas are Cluny Road near the Orchard Road shopping belt, Ridley Park off Tanglin Road, Leedon Park near Holland Road, and King Albert Park off Bukit Timah Road.


•    URA’s guidelines stipulate that GCBs cannot be built more than two-storeys high (plus an attic and a basement) and this is to preserve the exclusivity and character of such neighbourhoods.


•    The scarcity factor and strong status symbol make GCBs one of the most sought after properties here and ensures strong capital appreciation.


•    Depending on land size and facilities, GCBs can be priced up to $10 million and above. Bungalows with bigger plots and swimming pools can fetch higher prices.


•    GCB transactions have slowed in recent years due to the government’s cooling measures, particularly the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD).


•    A total of 26 GCBs were sold in 2014 amounting to $587.75 million. The record stands at 133 deals worth $2.38 billion in 2010.


•    Sales of GCBs are indicative of the health of the property market since investing in multi-million dollar homes means investor confidence is up.


•    Since 2012 only Singaporeans can buy in GCB areas. Foreigners were previously allowed to purchase such homes subject to permission from the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit, but only if the land area didn’t exceed 15,000 sq ft.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Singapore Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg