GCB of Hin Leong boss at Second Avenue up for sale by tender, with Knight Frank as marketing agent

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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September 6, 2021 10:00 AM SGT
The rear of the three-storey Good Class Bungalow at Second Avenue owned by OK Lim of Hin Leong and his wife, Tan Sook Eng (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore).
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - At Second Avenue, off Bukit Timah Road, a prime Good Class Bungalow (GCB) will be put up for sale by public tender on September 7. Knight Frank Singapore has been appointed the exclusive marketing agent for the GCB that sits on a freehold site of 19,984 sq ft.
The property is jointly owned by the founder of collapsed oil trading firm, Hin Leong Trading, Lim Oon Kuin or “OK Lim”, and his wife Tan Sook Eng. Lim had founded Hin Leong in 1963 and it had once been one of Asia’s largest oil traders. In April last year, Hin Leong was placed under judicial management and was wound up this March.
No reserve price has been set yet for the property at Second Avenue as valuation is still being conducted “to establish a fair, open market value”, according to Knight Frank.
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GCB at Second Avenue - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The GCB at Second Avenue owned by OK Lim and his wife, Tan Sook Eng, sits on a land area of 19,984 sq ft and has a 30.5m frontage (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The latest GCB transaction at Second Avenue was for a property sitting directly opposite the one that Lim owns. The bungalow, which sits on a smaller freehold site of 14,667 sq ft, changed hands for $30 million ($2,045 psf) in July, according to a caveat lodged then. (See: Check all latest property transactions in Singapore)
Prior to that, the GCB adjacent to Lim’s property, changed hands for $27.5 million ($1,375 psf) in August 2018. It sits on a land area of about 20,000 sq ft, almost equivalent in size to Lim’s property. In 2019, the buyer obtained written permission for the construction of a new double-storey GCB with a basement and swimming pool. Construction is still underway.
“The price of $1,375 psf for the GCB next door is based on land alone,” points out Mary Sai, executive director of investment & capital markets at Knight Frank.
swimming pool and changing room - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The swimming pool and changing room (right) with a glimpse of the neighbouring GCB that is still under construction (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Just one street away at Third Avenue, a 20-year-old GCB sitting on a freehold site of 30,954 sq ft was acquired by Tan Min-Liang, co-founder and CEO of gaming hardware company Razer Inc, for $52.8 million ($1,706 psf) according to a caveat lodged in July. It had been renovated in 2010.
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The GCB located across the road from Tan’s property at Third Avenue had fetched $18.8 million ($1,155 psf) in May 2019. It sits on a smaller freehold land area of 16,275 sq ft and has a long driveway.
On a per sq ft basis, GCB prices at Third Avenue have appreciated 47.6% since 2019, while GCB prices at Second Avenue have increased 48.7% since 2018.
View of the Bukit Timah area - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
View of the Bukit Timah area from the third level of the property (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
“Prices of GCBs have soared significantly, especially over the past year,” notes Knight Frank’s Sai. “There are many among the well-heeled who are still keen on purchasing a GCB today.”
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Some market sources reckon Lim’s GCB at Second Avenue could be priced in the range of $1,70 psf to $1,900 psf, which will bring its total price tag to $34 million to $38 million, while others are betting on a higher range of $1,800 psf to $2,000 psf, which will bring the price tag to $36 million to $40 million.
Lim’s GCB has a three-storey bungalow with a gross floor area of 10,000 sq ft. It contains five en suite bedrooms, a large swimming pool and a basement squash court. The bungalow underwent an extensive addition and alteration in 2004, that was completed in June 2005, according to EdgeProp inspector. Another renovation was undertaken in 2014, and the property was subsequently leased out to an expatriate family, according to Sai.
master bedroom - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The master bedroom with the study on the left, separated by a glass wall (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The house is ideal for those who like to entertain at home, she adds. The driveway is large enough for eight cars. The living and dining area on the first level is spacious, with glass doors leading out to a patio and the swimming pool.
On the second level of the house is the master suite, which has a study on one side, and a generous-sized walk-in wardrobe and master bathroom on the other. It has full height glass doors opening out to a private balcony, offering a 180-degree view of the swimming pool and the garden as well as the Bukit Timah area. The other bedroom on the second level comes with a private balcony too. On the third level is a family area and three more bedrooms including a guest room. Two of the bedrooms on the third level sit directly above the master bedroom and enjoy panoramic views of the GCB enclave in the Bukit Timah area.
“The GCB has been well maintained over the years,” says Sai. “It will appeal to those who want a property that they can move into immediately without the hassle of having to oversee a construction project.” With the construction sector disrupted by a shortage in manpower and supply chain constraints, buyers will also have to build in a higher cost of construction for a new GCB today, she adds.
living and dining area - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The living and dining area on the first level of the house at Second Avenue (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
In mid-April 2020, a caveat of $27 million ($1,351 psf) was lodged for Lim’s GCB at Second Avenue. However, the sale was aborted, and the caveat was subsequently withdrawn from URA Realis. (Read more: Caveat of $27 mil lodged for Hin Leong boss' Second Avenue bungalow)
“The GCB had generated a good level of interest when it was put up for sale by private treaty last year,” says Sai. “Many homeowners are still looking to own a GCB with the coveted District 10 address.”
The sale of Lim’s GCB is subject to approval by the liquidators. This is because Hin Leong’s judicial managers turned liquidators had obtained High Court approval to freeze up to US$3.5 billion of global assets owned by OK Lim, his son Lim Chee Meng and daughter, Lim Huey Ching. Under the Mareva injunction filed by the liquidators, the Lim family assets that can be frozen include real estate in Singapore and Australia, shares and other investments as well as country club memberships.
The tender for the GCB at Second Avenue will close on September 30.
COMPARABLE GCBs - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Check out the latest listings near Second Avenue

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