SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - A freehold property on Cluny Hill near the Singapore Botanic Gardens, with a bungalow under construction, is in the early stages of a sale for $63.7 million.
That translates to a record $4,291 per square foot (psf) based on 14,843 sq ft land - exceeding the $4,005 psf high set earlier this year for an existing bungalow in Nassim Road on a much larger area of 32,159 sq ft.
A local tech entrepreneur in his 30s, who recently sold a start-up firm, was recently granted an option to purchase the Cluny Hill bungalow, which will have two levels plus a basement and an attic. It will have six bedrooms and a swimming pool.
The bungalow is being built by the Soh family behind lifestyle developer Meir Homes.
Market watchers attribute the record psf fetch for the Cluny Hill bungalow to the lack of brand new bungalows for sale near the Botanic Gardens.
The Nassim Road bungalow transaction in March amounted to an absolute price of $128.8 million - buyer Jin Xiao Qun is the wife of Nanofilm Technologies International founder and executive chairman Shi Xu. The Singapore citizens became a billionaire couple following the company's successful listing on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange in October last year.
The property was sold by Top Global controlling shareholder Oei Sui Hoa, also known as Sukmawati Widjaja.
Prior to that deal, the record price in terms of psf of land for a good class bungalow (GCB) transaction was $3,311, set in 2019 by Mr James Dyson's $50 million purchase of a new property in Cluny Road near the Botanic Gardens.
While anyone can buy a non-landed private home in Singapore, one generally has to be a citizen to acquire a landed property in a GCB area.
Low interest rates and high liquidity are helping to fuel buying interest in the GCB market. Established wealthy local families are buying them for their children and grandchildren.
Another group of buyers are the new rich who have benefited from an initial public offering (IPO) of their business; or they may be in sectors that have done well during the pandemic.
Newly-minted citizens are also drawn to Singapore's overall stability and handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
Bungalows in the 39 gazetted GCB areas are the most prestigious form of landed housing in the country, with strict planning conditions stipulated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character.