SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Yun Nam Hair Care boss Andy Chua is understood to have picked up a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) along Brizay Park off Old Holland Road for S$33 million.
The price works out to S$1,108 per square foot (psf) on the freehold land area of nearly 29,800 square feet.
On site is an old bungalow. Mr Chua owns an adjoining property on a land area of nearly 25,750 sq ft. Market watchers reckon he could redevelop the property he is buying, or even amalgamate the two plots for a bigger redevelopment.
This would be the third time in as many years that Mr Chua would be making the headlines.
Last year, he picked up a duplex penthouse at St Regis Residences along Tanglin Road for S$12.2 million or S$2,028 psf on a strata area of 6,017 sq ft - at a whopping S$15.8 million loss to the seller, Japanese tycoon Katsumi Tada, who had paid S$28 million or S$4,653 psf for the unit in 2007.
Mr Tada is president of Daisho Group. The penthouse has a swimming pool on the upper level and overlooks the plush Nassim Road enclave.
Mr Chua was also the Singaporean who in 2014 paid US$2.2 million to have a private lunch with US investment guru Warren Buffett.
Inclusive of the latest deal, at least 23 GCB transactions have taken place this year at a total of S$531 million. The biggest deal is the British government's S$56.58 million sale of two land parcels on Nassim Road, carved out from part of the garden land at the British High Commissioner's residence, Eden Hall. The price works out to about S$1,652 psf across both plots.
Buyer OUE is understood to be looking at the site's topography and exploring its options, including re-amalgamating the plots and building a big bungalow on site - for sale.
Another big-ticket GCB deal this year is a single-storey property on a sprawling site at the corner of Queen Astrid Park and Coronation Road West, which went for S$44.5 million or S$1,271 psf.
The buyer is a family member of Goh Hup Jin, son of billionaire paint tycoon Goh Cheng Liang. The transaction was an estate sale. The 35,011-sq-ft freehold land area is large enough to be subdivided into two smaller GCB plots.
A house at Peirce Hill also changed hands recently for S$27 million or S$1,751 psf on land area. The property is being sold by a couple to a Singaporean in his early 40s.
Earlier this year, Zhang Yong, the founder of the popular HaiDiLao steamboat chain that originated in China, bought a bungalow along Gallop Road for S$27 million. Mr Zhang is a Singapore citizen.
GCBs are the most prestigious type of landed housing in Singapore because of the planning constraints to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority has designated 39 locations on mainland Singapore as Good Class Bungalow Areas. Typically, GCBs have a minimum land area of 1,400 square metres (15,069 sq ft); however, when GCB Areas were gazetted in 1980, they included some smaller existing sites.
These are still considered GCBs as they would be bound by the other GCB planning rules if they were to be redeveloped. For instance, such plots cannot be further sub-divided and they cannot be built more than two storeys high (plus an attic and a basement).