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Quick Understanding of a GCB (Good Class Bungalow) in Singapore. Is It a Good Investment Choice?

It was reported in the local press that a landed property belonging to the family of Hong Fok Corporation is being put on the market and is expected to attract offers in excess of $300 million.

Say what!! $300 million!?

What kind of landed property is that most of us would be asking.

Well, it is a sprawling mansion that sits on a 151,205 sq ft freehold site in prime District 9 and is commonly known as a Good Class Bungalow or GCB.

In today’s article, we take a look at GCBs in Singapore, what they are and whether they are a good investment choice.

What is a GCB?

Source: ArchDaily

Good Class Bungalows are the highest form of prestigious housing in Singapore and are the creme de la creme of landed properties.

According to the URA, a GCB must be at least 1,400 sqm, with a maximum of 40% allotted to the actual house and cannot be more than two storeys high.

The remaining land can be used to build a swimming pool/pools, garden/s and other luxurious features such as a tennis court, outdoor jacuzzi etc.

Where are they?

Currently, there are about 2,800 GCBs located in 39 good class bungalow areas (GCBA).

GCBs are mainly found in the prime districts of 9, 10, 11 and also in districts 20, 21 and 23.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the 39 GCBAs are:

Source: URA

Owning a GCB

To buy a GCB or any landed property, you must first be a Singapore citizen.

PRs and foreigners are not allowed to invest in private or landed properties in Singapore with the exception of Sentosa Cove.

However, there have been cases of PRs who were given special approval to buy a GCB.

In order to get the special approval, they must prove to have made exceptional economic contributions to Singapore, and they can only use the property for their own occupation.

In 2019, Dyson founder Sir James Dyson bought a GCB in the Bukit Timah area for $45 million.

How much to buy a GCB?

For us mere mortals dreaming of buying a GCB, winning the monthly Singapore Sweep ($2.3m) still would not be enough!

In 2021, there were 56 GCB transactions amounting to a total value of $1.95 billion.

The highest transaction was a Nassim Road GCB at $128.8 million or $4,005 psf and the lowest transaction was a 15,165-sq ft in King Albert Park that was sold for $16.8 million.

As an example, if you are eyeing a GCB at $30 million, the 5% cash downpayment alone is $1.5 million and the remaining 20% of $6 million in cash and/or CPF funds.

If you are your first property, the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) is about $1.18 million. If this is your second or subsequent property, there is an Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) to be paid as well.

So it seems like only business moguls or tech multi-millionaires can afford to buy GCBs.

Is it a good investment?

Assuming you can afford it, GCBs are definitely a good investment choice.

In land-scarce Singapore, landed properties of that size are rare and they sit on either freehold land or 999-year leasehold.

They are limited as there are only about 2,800 units and it is unlikely that the value will depreciate as demand will definitely outstrip supply.

If you are keen to invest in a GCB or other landed properties, check out with its 3D interactive map and smart search functions to help you find your dream home.


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