Bungalow at Jalan Bahasa on the market for $27 mil

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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December 10, 2021 7:00 AM SGT
The exterior of the three-storey, six-bedroom bungalow that was built in 2014 (Credit exterior shot to: K2LD/Patrick Bingham Hall)
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Jalan Bahasa - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The exterior of the three-storey, six-bedroom bungalow that was built in 2014 (Credit exterior shot to: K2LD/Patrick Bingham Hall)
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - In the private landed housing enclave of the Bukit Timah/Dunearn Road area, there is a cluster of eight bungalows at Jalan Bahasa, a quiet road just off University Road and Chee Hoon Avenue. These eight detached houses sit on a plot of land where Hill Park, a development with 26 double-storey townhouses, once stood. It was built in 1977 by the former Trade and Industrial Development (now TID).
Hill Park was the maiden residential project by TID, a joint venture established in 1972 by Hong Leong Holdings and Japanese developer Mitsui Fudosan. Hill Park was demolished in December 2008, according to EdgeProp Inspector, with written permission granted in June 2012 for the land to be subdivided into nine plots, with each plot to be developed into a detached house.
“It provided a rare opportunity for owners who wanted to develop their own dream bungalow,” says Stephen Ho, vice president of residential services at CBRE Singapore.
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One of the buyers of the land plots was a couple who purchased, not just one, but two, adjacent sites and amalgamated them to create a larger plot of 10,682 sq ft. Written permission was obtained in October 2013 for the land to be developed into a two-storey detached house with a basement and a swimming pool.
Jalan Bahasa - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The couple purchased two adjacent sites and amalgamated them to create a larger plot of 10,682 sq ft and commissioned K2LD to design their new 8,531 sq ft, six-bedroom house (Credit: K2LD/Patrick Bingham Hall)

‘A blank canvas’

Before moving to Singapore, the owners had lived in Hong Kong, London and Tokyo. While they had purchased houses in each of those cities, “it always felt like a compromise because we were buying someone else’s house”, says the owner. “What was really nice about the sites here was that we had a blank canvas.”
The couple engaged award-winning, Singapore-based architectural firm K2LD to design their new home. K2LD was also the architect for three other bungalows at Jalan Bahasa located behind the couple’s property. The three houses are also part of the eight detached houses that were built on the former Hill Park townhouses site.
However, the two plots purchased by the couple “have the best views”, says Charlotte Wong, senior associate of K2LD. The site sits at the top of a hillslope, which was partially excavated to create the basement level of the house, she adds.
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The entire process from design to completion of the house took about two years, according to the owners, and they moved in sometime in November 2014. “The house has three levels and is designed for those who value privacy,” says K2LD’s Wong. There is a row of Bucida trees that are both ornamental and act as a privacy screen to shield the house from the view of passers-by.
The basement level contains the covered garage and driveway that can park five cars. Even though it is considered the basement, it is in fact at street level, says CBRE’s Ho.
Jalan Bahasa - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The central courtyard garden that is visible from all parts of the house, and from every level of the house (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Basement — recreational and entertainment area

The central feature in the basement is the courtyard garden, accessible via glass sliding doors from three sides of the house. The courtyard garden is visible from every part of the house, including the upper floors. “We stressed to K2LD that privacy was very important to us,” says the owner. “Our kids are grown up now, but when they were young, they used to love playing in the courtyard garden undisturbed.”
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At the basement are two guest rooms — one with a double bed and the other a twin bed — with a shared bathroom. It was designed to accommodate visiting family members or friends. “They can have their privacy and their own space, as this part of the house in the basement opens out to the courtyard garden as well,” says the owner.
The basement was also designed as the recreational area, with a music room, where the children had music lessons when they were young; a home theatre with sliding doors that can be closed off for privacy; a wine cellar; a gym with a view of the courtyard garden; and an attached Japanese onsen-style bathroom and steam room. The helpers’ quarters and utility area are also situated at the basement level. There is also plenty of concealed storage space at this level.
According to CBRE’s Ho, the basement also functions as an indoor-outdoor entertainment area, especially if all the glass doors leading to the courtyard are open.
Jalan Bahasa living room - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The living room with glass sliding doors opening out to the swimming pool and the pool deck (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Views from the living room, swimming pool

The first level of the house is the family area. There is a dining room, with sliding glass doors opening out to a landscaped deck. Adjacent to the dining room is the dry and wet kitchen. Next to the dining room is the living room, with sliding glass doors on two sides leading out to the swimming pool and the pool deck. “The swimming pool is shielded by trees for privacy, and as it’s elevated, you have a view of the treetops and the rooftops — it’s like living in a high-rise,” says K2LD’s Wong.
The house was designed in the contemporary tropical style with full-height glass sliding doors that have UV protection and low-E glazing that can be opened to allow cross-ventilation. Louvres and screens shield the interior of the house from the heat and provide privacy too. “In fact, we leave the windows open all day until late afternoon,” says the owner. “On a clear night, the sunset is really nice, and I like it when there’s a rainstorm too.”
Located just off the living and dining area is the library, which doubled as a study area for the children when they were younger. The owner has a dedicated home office just off the library, while his wife has her own office on the other end of the library.
“Nobody would have envisaged that we would be working from home,” says the owner. “But that’s worked out quite well for us. It’s nice to have fresh air while working from home. I like looking at the trees and having the light come in. But in the evenings, when we want privacy, we can put the blinds down.”
During the lockdown last year, the recreational area in the basement was well-used. “We have the PlayStation, the AV room, the onsen, steam room and the gym down there, so it wasn’t so bad,” he adds.
Jalan Bahasa pool - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The swimming pool and deck outside the living room with the yoga deck on the second level (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘Connected, yet separate’

The second level of the house has a powder room, as well as four en suite bedrooms, including the master bedroom. The children’s bedrooms are identical in size and are a mirror image of each other, with their own dressing area and en suite bathroom. The master suite has a generous walk-in wardrobe and master bathroom. The master bedroom opens out to a yoga deck that is also heavily landscaped for privacy.
Even though the house was completed seven years ago, it is ideal for current times, says K2LD’s Wong. “Unlike a lot of contemporary bungalows that typically have an open plan, this house works well as the spaces are connected, yet separate,” she adds. “So you have the flexibility of enjoying your privacy or joining the rest of the family members in the communal areas.”
The house has been well-maintained over the years and still looks relatively new. For ease of maintenance, the flooring on the basement level is of ceramic tiles. However, the upper floors have timber flooring made from American walnut. Even the wall panels, staircase and doors are of American walnut.
No expense was spared when it came to the materials used for the house. For instance, the exterior of the house is clad with granite stone. The master bathroom is of Crème Marfil marble tiles from Spain, while the freestanding bathtub is from the UK bespoke brand Claybrook. The feature sink in the onsen-style bathroom is carved out of a single block of solid granite, while the walls are of yellow rustic granite in natural split finish.
“We felt really comfortable with K2LD as they understood the Japanese high standards and attention to detail when it comes to construction,” says the owner.
Jalan Bahasa dining dry kitchen - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The dining room and dry kitchen on the first level of the house (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘Move-in condition’

The owners are now looking to sell the property, with CBRE’s Ho as the marketing agent. “We would love to stay here, but from next September, both our children will be in university in Europe, so we want to be closer to them. It’s a shame to have to sell it, because this house is literally everything we wanted,” says the owner.
Even though the property is for sale, the owners continue to maintain it. For instance, they are re-varnishing the timber flooring in the living room, the dining area and the library. “We have maintenance work done on a regular basis,” says the owner. “For us, we want it to be perfect. We are not going to let the house deteriorate just because we are selling it.”
The three-storey house has a built-up area of about 8,531 sq ft, and six bedrooms. The asking price is $27 million, or $2,528 psf based on the freehold land area of 10,682 sq ft.
“This property will appeal to a home buyer who wants a house that is in move-in condition,” says CBRE’s Ho. “The new owner would not need to undertake any major additions or alterations. Especially with the shortage of labour and the higher cost of construction in the Covid era, building a new house is becoming ever more expensive.”
K2LD’s Wong reckons construction costs of bungalows have increased about 20% over the past year, due to disruption in the global supply chain as well as difficulty in finding skilled labour.
Jalan Bahasa pool - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
As the swimming pool is elevated, it has a view of the rooftops of the houses and treetops (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Recent deals in prime District 11

A couple of streets away, a bungalow sitting on a freehold site of 13,906 sq ft on Chee Hoon Avenue changed hands for $25.5 million ($1,834 psf), according to a caveat lodged with URA Realis. However, the house on the site is a single-storey bungalow built in 1958, and the new owner is likely to tear down and rebuild it. Hence, the $1,834 psf reflects the price of the land alone, notes Ho.
CBRE’s Ho points to another transaction in prime District 11 which is of comparable age to the one at Jalan Bahasa. It is for a bungalow sitting on a freehold land area of 10,529 sq ft on Lornie Road in Caldecott Hill Estate. The property changed hands for $26.8 million ($2,545 psf), according to a caveat lodged at the end of September. The previous owner who purchased it in 2014 for $13.68 million ($1,299 psf) had obtained written permit for the property to be redeveloped into a new double-storey detached house with a basement and attic, back in June 2015, according to EdgeProp Inspector.
“The transacted price of the bungalow on Lornie Road is in line with the asking price of the property at Jalan Bahasa,” says Ho. “The property at Jalan Bahasa is ideal for a multi-generational family, and the spaces are flexible enough to be converted for alternative uses.” The bungalow is available for sale by private treaty.
Check out the latest listings near Jalan Bahasa, Hill Park, Lornie Road

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