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5 Key Facts You Should aware of regarding Good Class Bungalows in Singapore

5 Key Facts You Should aware of regarding Good Class Bungalows in Singapore

Unless one belongs to the top 1% minority of Singapore’s population, it is unlikely that they are perusing this article with the intention of purchasing a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) in the near future.

GCBs have long been regarded as a symbol of high status, with the majority of homeowners being among the wealthiest members of society. This type of rare and expensive landed property is considered to be among the most prestigious and prominent properties, occupying the upper echelon of Singapore’s real estate market.

Having attained an almost mythical status, it is likely that one has heard the rumors that GCB values only appreciate and that only those with substantial financial resources can afford them.

Despite this, Singapore’s property market has recently witnessed an increase in GCB sales. As such, we have compiled a comprehensive article detailing the intricacies of GCBs to satisfy your curiosity. You may express your gratitude at a later time.

Good Class Bungalow and their Planning Restrictions?

Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) are distinguished from regular bungalows primarily by the unique land regulations that owners must adhere to. The minimum plot size qualify as a GCB is 1,400 square metres (approximately 15,070 square feet), and the bungalow itself cannot exceed two storeys in height, excluding attics and basements. Furthermore, the bungalow cannot occupy more than 35-40% of the GCB land plot. These stringent requirements account for the spacious land area, lush greenery, and amenities such as pools and tennis courts that are typically associated with GCBs. 

In addition to their physical attributes, GCBs often hold cultural or natural significance. Many GCBs are situated in tree conservation areas, where owners are prohibited from cutting down certain trees without approval from the National Parks Board. Moreover, a select few GCBs are classified as specially conserved bungalows, such as black-and-white houses, of which there are only 65 in Singapore. Owners of these properties are not permitted to alter the appearance of their bungalows, and any changes, including renovations or expansions, must be approved by the government, who own and rent out these properties. 

Given their unique land regulations and rich heritage, GCBs command significantly higher prices compared to other types of landed properties or homes.

Where can one find high-quality Class Bungalow estates in Singapore?

Singapore boasts approximately 39 residential zones that are designated as Good Class Bungalow areas. The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA) mandates that Good Class Bungalows must be situated within the prime residential Districts 10 and 11, or within the bungalow estates of Districts 20, 21, and 23, all of which are recognized as highly desirable locales. This exclusivity further enhances the elite status of Good Class Bungalows.

We have compiled a catalogue of upscale residential areas featuring Good Class Bungalows for your perusal.

District 10

  • Belmont Park
  • Bin Tong Park
  • Brizay Park
  • Bukit Sedap
  • Chatsworth Park
  • Cluny Hill
  • Cluny Park
  • Cornwall Gardens
  • Dalvey Estate
  • Ewart Park
  • First/Third Avenue
  • Ford Avenue
  • Fourth/Sixth Avenue
  • Gallop Road/Woolerton Park
  • Garlick Avenue
  • Holland Park/Holland Road
  • Holland Rise
  • Leedon Park
  • Maryland Estate
  • Nassim Road
  • Oei Tiong
  • Ham Park
  • Queen Astrid Park
  • Rebecca Park
  • Ridley Park
  • Ridout Park
  • Victoria Park
  • White House Park

District 11

  • Bukit Tunggol
  • Caldecott Hill Estate
  • Camden Park
  • Chee Hoon Avenue
  • Eng Neo Avenue
  • Raffles Park
  • Swiss Club Road

District 20

  • Windsor Park

District 21

  • Brinjai Park
  • Killburn Estate
  • King Albert Park
  • King Albert Park

District 23

  • Chestnut Avenue

Who is eligible to possess Good Class Bungalows in Singapore?

The legal acquisition and ownership of Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) is restricted exclusively to Singapore citizens, with Singapore permanent residents being excluded from this privilege. This legislation serves to prevent foreign individuals from accumulating freehold land without the requisite approval from the Singapore Land Authority Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU), thereby preventing undue speculation that could significantly inflate the prices of GCBs.

This law also contributes to the exclusivity surrounding GCBs, as foreign individuals seeking to acquire such properties must first apply for Singapore citizenship. However, there have been exceptions made for non-Singaporeans who have made exceptional economic contributions. For instance, Robert Kuok’s Malaysian daughter, who is a Singaporean permanent resident, acquired a GCB along Belmont Road for $43.5 million in 2018.

It is worth noting that Malaysian permanent residents are rumored to have a higher likelihood of securing GCBs than other permanent residents or foreign individuals.

What is the total number of Good Class Bungalows in Singapore?

The estimated number of Good Class Bungalow plots in Singapore is approximately 2,800. It should be noted, however, that this is a rough approximation as these plots can be subdivided, provided that the resulting land area of each separate plot is at least 1,400 square metres. Despite such subdivisions, the divided areas will still be classified as Good Class Bungalows.

What is the reason for the popularity of Good Class Bungalows?

The appeal of Good Class Bungalows is multifaceted. These properties offer a luxurious and verdant environment, expansive land space, and the potential for numerous amenities and installations. They are unparalleled in their ability to provide privacy, freedom, and scenic beauty, making them a unique and highly sought-after form of landed housing.

Good Class Bungalows are situated in low-density zones, ensuring that residents are not disturbed by noisy neighbors or heavy traffic. Additionally, these properties serve as a symbol of high status, adding to their allure.

From an economic perspective, Good Class Bungalows are recognized as a sound investment due to their rarity and tendency to appreciate over time. The limited supply of GCB land in Singapore ensures that their value remains stable, even during times of economic downturn.

The Sino-US trade war of 2017-2018 actually increased the demand for GCBs, resulting in a 16% rise in the total value of GCB deals. Singapore’s luxury condominium price varies from $886 million to $1.03 billion. These properties are known for their ability to hold their value and are often passed down as heirlooms through generations.

Good Class Bungalows are rarely sold, typically only changing hands when significant profit can be gained or when the property is no longer needed by the current owner’s family. For example, a GCB at Jervois Hill was sold in 2019 for this exact reason.

Where are the most affordable and the most expensive Good Class Bungalows located?

Determining the precise answer to this question is challenging, given that each Good Class Bungalow (GCB) possesses unique and distinctive features that can result in significant variations in sales prices, even within the same district. However, if we examine the most expensive GCBs, Nassim Road in District 10 emerges as the clear leader. Wing Tai Holdings Chairman Cheng Wai Keung once sold a GCB for an astounding $230 million, and more recently, a GCB along 40 Nassim Road was sold for a staggering profit of $175 million. These are substantial sums of money. On the other hand, a GCB located along Dalvey Road in District 10 sold for only $92.9 million. The pricing system and market model for GCBs differ significantly from other properties, as there are so few GCBs that transactions do not occur frequently. Other noteworthy purchases include James Dyson, who acquired a GCB in the Botanic Gardens area after establishing a Dyson factory in Singapore, and Zhang Yong, founder of the HaiDiLao steamboat chain, who purchased a Gallop Road bungalow after obtaining Singapore citizenship. In addition to these acquisitions, Head of Yun Nam Hair Care Andy Chua purchased a GCB at Brizay Park (the Old Holland Road area) in 2016 for $33 million, while a family member of Charles and Keith purchased a Chatsworth Road bungalow in 2017 for $20 million. Although these figures are not as high as those at the upper end of the spectrum, they are still substantial amounts.

Require Further Information?

The aforementioned 5 fundamental facts ought to have provided you with a deeper comprehension of the reasons why GCBs have attained such a legendary status, and why they will continue to captivate people’s attention in the years to come. With their cultural and natural heritage, they play an integral role in Singapore’s history and are fascinating to comprehend and admire from a distance.

We trust that this article has aided you in gaining a better understanding of the world of GCBs – and who knows? One day, you may become the proud owner of a Good Class Bungalow yourself!

If you are interested in learning more, we have successfully advised numerous clients on Good Class Bungalows and hope to do the same for you!

If you’re in search of information on luxury condominium prices in Singapore and contemplating a property purchase, reach out to Joshua Lim, the most professional real estate consultant specializing in the sale of luxury properties in Singapore.

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