Bungalow of Lim Kim San’s estate for sale above $100 mil

By Charlene Chin
/ EdgeProp |
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A freehold Good Class Bungalow (GCB) in District 10, which was owned by one of Singapore’s founding fathers, has been put up for sale at more than $100 million.
The bungalow, at 81 Dalvey Road, is a two-minute drive to Singapore Botanic Gardens. A property title search shows that the GCB belongs to the estate of the late Lim Kim San, who, as the first chairman of HDB, oversaw the wide-scale construction of public housing for Singaporeans.
The two-storey home sits on 51,058 sq ft of elevated ground, one of the highest points in the neighbourhood. It is in the White House Park GCB Area — one of the most sought-after locations out of 39 gazetted GCB areas in Singapore — and in proximity to foreign embassies such as those of Israel, Russia, Japan and the Philippines. Owing to its location, the area is home to many foreign high commissioners and ambassadors, says JLL, marketing agent for the property.
The tender for 81 Dalvey Road will close on Sept 12. Based on the price tag of $100 million, the land cost translates into $1,959 psf.
The GCB occupies a 51,058 sq ft, freehold site on elevated ground (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Singapore has about 2,800 GCBs, says Tan Hong Boon, regional director at JLL. Any increase in GCB numbers can be done only through the subdivision of larger plots. As the minimum land size for a GCB is 15,070 sq ft, the plot for sale could be subdivided into three GCB plots.
Despite the recent property cooling measures in July, Tan believes GCB demand will not weaken. “This market is unique. People who can afford GCBs are not likely to be affected by the cooling measures,” he says.
In fact, Tan predicts that the volume of GCB transactions will stay “consistent”, barring large external shocks to the economy. This is in line with the past trend since 2011, where there have been “small ups and downs” but no drastic changes to transaction levels.
The period 2010 to 2011, however, was an exception — there was a drastic fall in the number of transactions from an estimated 130 to 55 in 2011. This happened after the government implemented a hike in the seller’s stamp duty in January that year, and introduced the additional buyer’s stamp duty in December.
The move by the government filtered out a portion of speculators and short-term investors in the GCB market, Tan explains. “Now, those who buy are either long-term investors or owner- occupiers who have strong holding power.”
Although there have been fewer GCBs transacted in 2018 than in 2017, the average psf price has increased steadily. “Owing to limited GCB supply, prices have become resilient — people will pay high prices for sites they like,” Tan says. “This explains why even when volume drops, prices do not lower.”
In June, a brand-new, freehold GCB occupying a 15,094 sq ft plot on Jervois Hill was sold for a record $41.2 million ($2,730 psf). The previous psf price record for a GCB was held by a bungalow on Cluny Hill — also near the Botanic Gardens — which fetched $35.5 million ($2,350 psf) last December. The property occupies a 15,105 sq ft plot.
With land prices at today’s levels, potential GCB buyers will be looking at land prices in the $2,000-to-$2,200 psf range, with another $500 psf for construction cost, estimates Tan.

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