Luxury bungalow in Raffles Park on the market for upwards of $21 mil

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December 15, 2018 8:00 AM SGT
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Bungalows are often considered the crème de la crème of private residential homes among Singaporeans and, among them, the most sought-after are those in the Good Class Bungalow areas. These properties are located in 39 areas gazetted by URA, and supply can be increased only through subdivision of bigger GCB plots. Property consultants estimate there are only 2,400 to 2,500 GCBs today. Since the owners of a luxury bungalow in the Raffles Park GCB area — Dr Winston Jong and, his wife, Rowena — put their property on Oriole Crescent on the market two months ago, there have been three expressions of interest.
The property on Oriole Crescent is a 2½-storey bungalow that occupies a regular-shaped, freehold site of 10,484 sq ft. Jong is group CEO and group medical director of EMA Global, a medical assistance company he founded in 1995. He and his wife purchased the property in 2009.
The 10,484 sq ft house on Oriole Crescent has an asking price of more than $2,000 psf (Pictures: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
They tore down the original house and rebuilt it into a new six-bedroom house with a built-up area of 12,500 sq ft designed by renowned architect Aamer Taher of Aamer Architects. The house was completed in 2011, and the couple, along with their three daughters, moved in then.
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“My husband and I enjoy living in this area very much, and have come to know many nice neighbours here,” says Rowena. Their previous home was also on Oriole Crescent. Jong had purchased it in 1998. The freehold land was 10,452 sq ft, but the built-up area was smaller, at 7,000 sq ft. The Jongs wanted to be in the neighbourhood because all three daughters were studying in Raffles Girls Primary School then.
“However, as the children grew older, they wanted more space,” she adds. That led to the purchase of the current home on the same road nine years ago.
Now, the family of five feel that they have outgrown their existing home because their household has increased in size: Their eldest daughter, who is married, has moved in with her husband and two young children. The family also has three helpers.
In the day, natural light illuminates the spacious living room on the first floor
The Jongs have therefore decided to put the property on the market for sale. Instead of buying a new property, however, the family is considering moving back to the previous house, which they still own but have been renting out. They are thinking of tearing down the old house and building a bigger one more suited to the needs of the now-three-generation family, says Rowena.
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Jong is looking forward to working with an architect to design the new home. He was actively involved with Taher in the design of the current home.
Taher is famous for his designs of luxury bungalows. The current home on Oriole Crescent was designed to suit the needs of the family. Each daughter has her own en suite bedroom, and there is also a guest bedroom. The basement carpark is big enough for 10 cars. There is a coldroom in the basement as well, which is now being used as a wine cellar. The guest bedroom, which is in the basement, is now a bedroom for Jong’s two grandchildren.
The entire first floor of the house is designed for entertaining. The living and dining area open out to a generous patio overlooking a 20m swimming pool. There are also a guest bathroom and a huge dryand- wet kitchen on the first level. It is Rowena’s favourite part of the house. “I like to sit here facing the pool when the weather allows. My husband and I enjoy having an al fresco dinner as often as we can, and afterwards enjoy a glass of wine beside the pool,” she says. Instead of one large lawn, little pocket gardens are spread out throughout the house. There is a yard at the back of the house as well as a utility area, which includes the sleeping quarters of the three helpers.
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For price trends, recent transactions, other project info, check out the Raffles Park project details page
The patio area beside the living room, and the 20m pool
The second floor houses the four main en suite bedrooms and a central family room. The attic level contains a gym, another en suite bedroom and roof terrace. All floors, including the basement and attic, can be accessed by a home lift.
As the site is elevated, the roof terrace commands a view of the Raffles Park GCB area and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
George Lee of Myriad Realty, the agent who first sold the Jongs their current home nine years ago, is now selling the property on their behalf. Lee has indicated a guide price upwards of $2,000 psf. Based on the land area of 10,484 sq ft, that translates into an absolute price of $21 million.
If a buyer were to build a similar house today, the cost of construction alone would be $6 million to $7 million, estimates Lee. Bungalow land of a similar size in the neighbourhood is valued around $16 million today.
There have been six transactions in the Raffles Park GCB area recently. The latest transaction was just last month when a brand-new house on Oriole Crescent sitting on a land area of 9,989 sq ft is said to have changed hands for $7.18 million ($1,718 psf). Another GCB in the area, located on Cassia Drive, was sold for $18.39 million ($1,731 psf) last month. Two other transactions were of older houses that are likely to be rebuilt: a bungalow at Sunset Avenue, which fetched $15.7 million ($1,542 psf) in August; and another on Cassia Drive, which changed hands for $16.13 million ($1,542 psf) in October, according to caveats lodged then.
View from the top floor; the house sits on elevated land and overlooks most of the Raffles Park estate
“Demand for properties in the Raffles Park estate has improved in the last two years,” says Lee, who has been marketing houses in prime districts 9, 10, 11, 15 and 21 for the past 15 years. “Despite the recent property cooling measures, buyers are still willing to pay the additional stamp duties and are generally not affected by the changes. They are mainly buying for their own use.”
Many new citizens desire to buy GCBs, he notes. There are also Singaporeans who want to upgrade from a smaller landed property to a GCB. “At $20 million, the ideal land size in a GCB estate is 8,000 to 10,000 sq ft,” says Lee.
The Raffles Park GCB area is not a large estate, and many of the bunga lows there are sitting on subdivided plots of about 10,000 sq ft. Thus, newer bungalows there tend to be priced from about $20 million, which is the price range that most buyers in the market today find attractive, Lee says.
Meanwhile, the Jongs are looking forward to redeveloping a bigger home for their multi-generational family, even while they await a buyer for their existing home on Oriole Crescent.
For the latest listings near Oriole Crescent, click here