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Bungalow in Belmont Rd selling for S$39.8m

Bungalow in Belmont Rd selling for S$39.8m.

A NEWLY-completed, fully furnished freehold bungalow off Holland Road is being transacted for S$39.8 million.

The price works out to S$2,653 per square foot on land area of 15,001 sqft. Located in Belmont Road, in the Belmont Park Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area, the two-storey property comes with an attic, roof terrace and a basement for 10 cars. The property has six bedrooms, a guest room, swiming pool, home theatre/entertainment room, a gym and a wine cellar.

The buyer is understood to be Angela Loh Moo Cheng, the former wife of Centurion Corporation director David Loh, who in April this year sold a seafront bungalow named Copper House along Cove Drive on Sentosa. That house went for S$32 million or S$1,773 psf on land area of 18,053 sq ft. At the time of the deal, the site had 861/2 years left on its lease.

Mr Loh is also said to be selling an vacant plot next to his house in Cluny Hill for under S$30 million. In the Belmont Road transaction, the seller is understood to be a Singaporean surgeon who is now based in London.

Newsman Realty is said to have brokered the deal. The S$2,653 psf price for the bungalow is higher than the S$2,243 psf that another newly-built bungalow on the same road fetched last August. That deal amounted to S$33.8 million for the property, which stands on 15,069.46 sq ft of land.

It was bought by former model, actress and VJ with MTV Taiwan Kady Leyau. The Singaporean is married to New Zealand-born billionaire Richard Chandler. However the latest deal on Belmont Road is priced lower than the record S$2,729.52 psf fetched in June last year for a property in Jervois Hill, also a newly-built one.

The S$41.2 million house was sold by seasoned bungalow investor George Lim to the daughter of Alan Chong, the founder of Wah Loon Engineering. Other recent transactions in GCB Areas include a house along Ford Avenue, off Holland Road.

This property, with a long driveway, is being sold at S$17 million or S$857 psf. Also changing hands is a bungalow in Maryland Drive, at S$25 million or S$1,304 psf - lower than the S$29 million it previously transacted for in 2011.

A property along Ridout Road is being sold for S$25.68 million or S$1,166 psf. So far this year, there have been 16 deals in GCB Areas, totalling S$313.3 million, against 17 transactions worth S$419.2 million in the first half of last year, based on an analysis of URA Realis caveats data by List Sotheby's International Realty (List SIR).

However, some options to purchase may be exercised by month end and should add to the H1 2019 tally. These include a S$31 million deal in Leedon Park (also off Holland Road) being brokered by List SIR's agent Steve Tay, said Leong Boon Hoe, chief operating officer of List SIR Singapore.

Observers note that there are deals that have yet to surface in caveats data. The Business Times understands that an option was exercised recently for a S$23.6 million (S$1,486 psf) purchase of an old freehold bungalow in Queen Astrid Park. The deal is said to have been brokered by Davin Samuel of Huttons Asia.

Mr Leong expects transactions in GCB Areas in the second half of 2019 to be similar to those for H1 2019 in terms of both volume and sales value. This points to a drop in the full -year 2019 figure, given that there were 42 deals adding up to S$1.03 billion last year.

He cites the global uncertainties, which have led to a narrowing of the official Singapore GDP growth forecast for this year. "Buyers are currently cautiously optimistic and will make their purchase when the right bungalow comes along at the right price."

The bulk of last year's deals were in the second half; 25 properties were sold for S$610.3 million in GCB Areas. Realstar Premier founder William Wong also predicts a drop in transactions in H2 2019, citing global trade tensions.

Price-wise, he discerns two categories of buyers in the GCB market now. The first group are looking for new or relatively new bungalows in move-in condition. "These buyers are prepared to pay slightly higher prices than last year due to a shortage of offerings in this category.

"However, those who have more time on their hands (including investors) and do not mind an older property, possibly for redevelopment, have a bigger pool of options available.

"Typically, properties in this category in less-prime locations are fetching around S$1,100 to S$1,200 psf - about 2 to 5 % lower than last year." He expects prices in this category to remain soft.

Realstar has been involved with five deals in GCB Areas this year. These include the recent Ford Avenue sale as well as earlier deals in Swiss Club Road (S$18.88 million or S$1,237 psf) and Yarwood Avenue (S$22.15 million or S$1,164 psf). Realstar also co-brokered a S$30.88 million (S$2,032 psf) deal in Jervois Hil in January with List SIR's Mr Tay.

In April, Realstar was involved in a S$28.75 million transaction along King Albert Park, which has not been captured in URA Realis because it is a piece of vacant land. The price reflects S$880 psf on the freehold land area of 32,662 sqft.

The seller is understood to be Alan Choe, a former head of the Urban Redevelopment Authority and also former chairman of Sentosa Development Corporation. The land is large enough to be subdivided for development into two bungalows.

The buyer is understood to be Sun Xiushun, president and founder of Winning International Group, a Singapore shipping firm that is also a global supplier of bauxite.

Adapted From The Business Times, June 26 2019