Two Belmont Rd GCBs being sold

Tue, Oct 15, 2019


TWO freehold bungalows along Belmont Road, the subject of mortgagee sales, are changing hands.

The more advanced deal involves the smaller property, which is a stone's throw from the Holland Village MRT station. Located within the Cornwall Gardens Good Class Bungalow (GCB) area, this property with a long driveway is being sold for S$18.6 million, which works out to S$1,139 per square foot based on the land area of 16,327 sq ft.

The property, which has two storeys and a basement, has an MRT track running below it, and comes with four bedrooms, a guest room and a pool.

The buyer is understood to be Wing Tai Holdings chairman Cheng Wai Keung's daughter, Carol. An option for the purchase of the property was exercised earlier this month.

United Overseas Bank is the mortagee; the mortgagor is in his early 40s.

As for the other property, which is in a cul de sac in the Belmont Park GCB Area, an option has been granted, but yet to be exercised, The Business Times understands. The buyer has yet to lodge a caveat.

Word on the street is that the price is between S$34 million and S$35 million, which would translate to S$1,260 to S$1,296 psf on 27,000 sq ft of land area.

The husband-and-wife team of David Chew and Leong Sook Ching, who used to control Mainboard-listed The Stratech Group (now under liquidation), are the registered owners of the property. Deutsche Bank is the mortgagee for the property.

It was put up for auction thrice - in July, August and September this year. At each auction, the property was withdrawn at the opening price, with no bids or counter offers received.

At the most recent auction on Sept 18, the opening price was S$37 million. This was down from the S$39 million opening price at the August auction and S$40.5 million at the initial auction on July 23.

When the two-storey property was first publicised for mortgagee sale in mid-July, a guide price of S$42 million had been stated by the appointed marketing agent, Knight Frank.

The property consulting group eventually found a buyer through private treaty. When contacted, the group declined to comment.

The bungalow is on a two-tiered plot. Market watchers say the property, at more than 15 years old, is ripe for redevelopment.

It is next to the property bought in July 2018 by Shangri-la Asia chairman Kuok Hui Kwong, daughter of Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok; she paid S$43.5 million or S$1,430 psf on 30,420 sq ft of land.

Based on an analysis of URA Realis caveats data by List Sotheby's International Realty, Singapore (List SIR), 30 deals totalling S$565.2 million have been inked for properties in GCB areas so far this year, excluding the Belmont Road bungalow being sold by Deutsche Bank.

On top of that, more than S$300 million in transactions this year have not been caveated. These include Mr Cheng's S$230 million sale of a Nassim Road bungalow; the buyer is an entity believed to be connected to Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin.

Realstar Premier founder William Wong said GCBs on the market for more than a year - especially those involving distressed sales - are generally being sold below valuation.

"However, prices for new listings by owners are still holding. In fact, properties in prime locations are still able to command a premium due to scarcity of stock available for sale."