Cluny Hill bungalow sells for record $4,291 psf

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 S$63.7 million.

That translates to a record S$4,291 per square foot on 14,843 sq ft land area – exceeding the S$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 thirties who recently sold a startup firm was recently granted an option to purchase the Cluny Hill bungalow, which will have two levels plus a basement and an attic; in all, it will have six bedrooms and a swimming pool.

The bungalow is being developed 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 availability for sale of brand new bungalows near the Botanic Gardens.

The Nassim Road bungalow transaction in March amounted to an absolute price of S$128.8 million; the buyer was Jin Xiao Qun, 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 on land for a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) transaction was S$3,311 psf set in 2019 for James Dyson’s S$50 million purchase of a new bungalow in Cluny Road near the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

While anyone can buy a non-landed private home in Singapore, one generally has to be a Singapore citizen to be allowed 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 benefitted from an initial public offering (IPO) of their business; or they may be in businesses that have done well during the pandemic.

Newly-minted citizens are also drawn to Singapore’s overall stability and handling of the pandemic.

Bungalows in the 39 gazetted GCB Areas are the most prestigious form of landed housing in Singapore, with strict planning conditions stipulated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character.

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