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Why these bungalows are setting records in Singapore despite cooling market

"Good Class Bungalows" are a status symbol in the wealthy nation
February 23, 2019 03:00PM

(Credit: Property Guru, Pixabay)

Singapore’s most appealing homes, known as Good Class Bungalows (yes, really), are reaching record prices thanks to exclusivity, of course.

Good Class Bungalows, or GCBs, are only available to locals, so the combination of the supply scarcity and buyer exclusivity has led prices to soar even as the broader market has slowed, according to a Bloomberg report.

“The super rich want to buy the best diamond, the best car, so in Singapore residential, the Good Class Bungalow is the best you can get,” KH Tan at Newsman Realty told Bloomberg.

Singapore has about 2,500 GCBs and recent sales are setting records. One bungalow just sold for $78 million making it the most expensive resi transaction in the nation over the past year (though another GCB in the area could soon top that) despite home values declining 0.1 percent in the final three months of 2018. Sammi Lim, director of capital markets at CBRE, called GCBs “a resilient asset class.”

Citizenship is just one of the restrictions tied to GCBs. The plot must be at least 1,400 square meters, or about one-third of an acre — plus the house can’t take up more than 35 percent of the land or be more than two stories high.

Such luxurious use of space is another status symbol in one of the world’s most densely-populated countries, where about 7,900 people are crammed into each square kilometer. Buyers are typically super-wealthy locals and foreigners who have gotten citizenship. [Bloomberg] — Meenal Vamburkar