Grab CEO's Family Snaps Up GCB: Other Notable Property Purchases of 2021 in Singapore So Far
This story was first published on April 15, 2021, and updated on July 14, 2021.
We might only be just over halfway into the new year, but the local property scene has already been incredibly dynamic; with some private residential purchases this year even breaking records.
Below, we highlight the most notable property purchases so far this year, from significant Good Class Bungalow (GCB) acquisitions to the bulk purchase of all the units within Eden, the Thomas Heatherwick-designed luxury condominium.
1/7 Bin Tong Park GCB purchased by Grab CEO Anthony Tan’s Wife
Chloe Tong, the wife of current Grab chief executive officer Anthony Tan, has recently procured a freehold GCB in Bin Tong Park for $40 million. Situated at District 10 near the buzzy Holland Village and Bukit Timah enclaves, the 21,637sqft GCB purchased by Tong works out to be a total of $1,849psf. This exceeds the last transacted purchase in Bin Tong Park, recorded in December 2020, which had a price tag of $1,685psf.
Tong’s new property is expected to be redeveloped as it was first built in the 1990s. The high-profile deal comes just as Grab is planning to go public in the US through a US$40 billion Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) deal later this year.
2/7 Caldecott Hill GCB and Lee Residence penthouse purchased by Ian Ang, Secretlab co-founder
Co-founder and current chief executive officer of homegrown gaming chair retailer Ian Ang made headlines in early July for snapping up two luxury properties worth $51 million in the span of one week.
The first is a GCB purchase in the Caldecott Hill Estate. Sitting on a freehold plot of 23,424 sq ft, Ang purchased the residence for a total of $36 million—working out to be a record $1,537 psf for the Caldecott Hill area. Located along Olive Road, the GCB sits on sloping terrain. The unique location offers unobstructed scenic views and secluded privacy, which were undoubtedly the main draws for the young entrepreneur.
Related: Secretlab Co-Founder Ian Ang Acquires 2 Luxury Properties in a Week For $51 Million
The second of Ang’s big ticket purchases is a five-bedroom triplex penthouse at Leedon Residence. The 7,007sqft freehold property was purchased for $15 million. Developed by GuocoLand, the 381-unit luxury condominium was completed in 2015. The exclusive property offers just 12 penthouses that each range between 5,694sqft to 7,718sqft.
Related: Secretlab Co-Founders Ian Ang and Alaric Choo on the Meteoric Rise of Their Gaming Chair Company
3/7 Sentosa Cove villa purchased by an anonymous buyer from Fujian, China
In April, The Business Times reported the next big-ticket purchase—an exclusive sea-facing bungalow in Sentosa Cove that was purchased for more than $39 million. This roughly translates to $2,012psf, a noteworthy number that’s above the average psf price for the area. The buyer is reported a Chinese national who hails from the Fujian province in China.
The high-end waterfront residential district of Sentosa Cove is sought after for its exclusivity. The quiet island living provides its residents a respite from the bustling urban city, with certain beachfront units providing panoramic views of the sand and sea. Developed by Sentosa Cove Pte Ltd (SCPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sentosa Development Corporation, Sentosa Cove was created to be primarily a resort residential zone. The first residence was completed in 2006.
4/7 Nassim Road GCB purchased by Jin Xiao Qun, wife of Nanofilm’s founder and chairman
Jin Xiao Qun, the wife of Nanofilm Technologies International founder and executive chairman Shi Xu, made headlines in late March for her purchase of a GCB at a record price. Situated at Nassim Road, the massive 32,159sqft GCB was purchased by Jin for $128.8 million—which works out to be a record $4,005psf for the area.
Jin purchased the bungalow from Oei Siu Hoa, younger sister of billionaire investor Oei Hong Leong, who herself had paid $647psf, or $25.5 million in total, for the residential purchase in 2003.
The freehold residential property is also coined as the Ladyvale Bungalow. Located next to the British High Commissioner’s residence, Ladyvale was built in 1964 and was previously sold by the British High Commission in 2000 for $19.3 million.
Related: Nanofilm Founder’s Wife Purchases Nassim Road Good Class Bungalow at a Record Price
5/7 The bulk purchase of the Eden luxury condominium
Swire Properties, the developer of Eden, announced in March that all 20 apartment units of its residential project have been sold. According to The Business Times, the exclusive buyer is reportedly the Tsai family of Taiwan, who owns snack food conglomerate Want Want China Holdings. Forbes reported late last year that Want Want Holdings posted double-digit gains amidst an economic recovery in Mainland China.
The Business Times reported that there were three transactions in total—one unit was purchased by chairman Tsai Eng-Meng, whilst his son picked up the 18 other units in one deal, alongside the remaining unit in a separate transaction. When contacted, Swire Properties could only confirm that there was more than one transaction with more than a single buyer, but they were unable to reveal the names and identity.
The 20 units were scooped up for an aggregate of $293 million, amounting to $4,827psf. Each apartment unit occupies an entire floor that spans over 3,000 sq ft and features four en-suite bedrooms; bespoke private gardens are attached to each unit to create a vertical green landscape. According to Swire, the sale is slated to be completed by May 26, 2021, subject to the fulfillment of the terms of the sale and purchase agreements.
Designed by award-winning architect Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio, the eye-catching project was crafted to reflect Singapore as a “city in a garden”. A fully-furnished show unit within the development, who barely made an appearance to the public due to the quick purchase, had its interiors designed by Robert Cheng of Brewin Design Office.
“We’re delighted to sell all 20 apartments at Eden, our phenomenal ultra-luxury residences in the heart of Singapore,” says Guy Bradley, Chief Executive of Swire Properties. “The sale of the units is significant as it recognises Eden’s distinct design and reflects the strength of our residential brand in this new market. Moving forward, we’ll continue to explore Singapore for more opportunities that showcase our brand and fit our business strategy.”
Related: Living With The Covid-19 Pandemic: 7 Property Trends To Watch For 2021
6/7 Swettenham Close Good Class Bungalow purchased by Ben Chng, Viz Branz’s CEO
February marked the second notable property purchase of the year, this time by Ben Chng, CEO of instant beverage brand Viz Branz. According to an Integrated Land Information Service (Inlis) property title search, Chng purchased a GCB at Swettenham Close for a total of $48 million.
This translates Chng’s purchase to $2,893psf, as the bungalow sits on a freehold land area of 16,598 sqft. According to Edgeprop, the Swettenham Close GCB was reportedly placed on the market a year ago for an asking price of $50 million. Located at the end of a cul-de-sac, Chng’s new pad will offer a winning duo of secluded privacy and unobstructed views.
Related: Stephen Riady Acquires $95million Good Class Bungalow: All You Need To Know About These Prestigious Homes
7/7 Gallop Road Good Class Bungalow purchased by Zhang Hanzhi, son of Haidilao’s chairman
The first property purchase of the year that made headlines was the purchase of a freehold GCB at Gallop Road by Zhang Hanzhi, who’s the son of Zhang Yong, the chairman of hotpot chain Haidilao. According to The Business Times, the option to purchase was reportedly granted to Zhang Hanzhi at $42 million; this works out to be $1,940 per square feet (psf) based on the site area of 21,647 sqft.
The psf price is noted to be one of the highest records for a GCB in the area. The Gallop Road bungalow that was purchased in January is conveniently located next to Zhang Yong’s own bungalow, which was reportedly purchased in 2016 for $1,700 psf or $27 million. Zhang Yong, a naturalised Singapore citizen, has recently been announced as the 75th position on the Forbes’ 35th Annual World’s Billionaires List.
Related: Who are the Richest Billionaires in Singapore Who Made the 2021 Annual Forbes List?