LMG Realty buys Nassim Road bungalow for S$23.7m

The buyer is expected to redevelop the plot of freehold land

Oct 07, 2017

Kalpana Rashiwala



LEE Metal Group unit LMG Realty has picked up a bungalow in the Nassim Road Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area from seasoned bungalow investor Thomas Chan for nearly S$23.69 million.

The price works out to S$1,782 per square foot on this plot of freehold land measuring 13,292 sq ft. A bungalow more than 30 years old sits on the site, which LMG Realty is expected to redevelop.

Last year, the British government sold two land parcels totalling more than 34,200 sq ft in the neighbourhood for S$56.58 million, or S$1,652 psf, to OUE.

The two plots were carved out from the garden of the British High Commissioner's residence, Eden Hall. However, OUE is understood to have since re-amalgamated the plots into a single site.

Market watchers have commented that although this site is located at a more prestigious stretch of Nassim Road from being next to the British High Comissioner's residence, it is irregularly shaped.

In contrast, the bungalow Mr Chan has sold is on a plot with a more regular shape. It is, however, away from the main road.

Sources say Newsman Realty brokered the this sale, but the company declined to comment on the transaction.

Mr Chan, a former Goldman Sachs banker, is understood to have bought the property 10 years ago for nearly S$20 million. It was previously tenanted, but now stands vacant.

Newsman Realty managing director K H Tan would not be drawn into talking about the transaction but was more forthcoming with his views on the GCB market.

"The level of viewings has picked up significantly since June, on the back of an overall improvement in sentiment in the Singapore residential sector."

Bungalow prices in GCB Areas, having eased about 18 to 20 per cent on average from the peak in late-2013 to mid-2017, are now starting to firm, he added.

"I had previously expected prices to remain stable for a while longer, but, looking at the level of buying interest now, I believe there is a high chance that prices will increase by 5 to 10 per over the next 12 months.

"We see many mainland-Chinese- turned-Singapore-citizens scouting around for a GCB. They're very motivated and willing to up their offer if they find a property they would like to live in with their family."

Bungalows in GCB Areas are the most prestigious form of landed housing in Singapore, with strict planning conditions to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character. Only Singapore citizens are allowed to buy such properties under a policy change implemented from the second half of 2012.