The chief executive of Singapore-based healthcare private equity firm CBC Group is reportedly buying a house in the city’s posh District 10 for S$45.5 million ($33 million), as luxury home prices continue to climb in Southeast Asia’s most expensive city.
A family surnamed Sia this month sold a freehold luxury stand-alone house, known locally as a Good Class Bungalow or GCB, at the White House Park development in Bukit Timah at a price that translates to S$3,017 per square foot of the site’s total land area, based on caveats lodged with Urban Redevelopment Authority as of 17 August.
An account in the Business Times identified Wei Fu, who founded the biomedical investment firm, as the buyer, with CBC having established a $400 million China life science real estate joint venture with the Netherlands’ APG Asset Management in November of last year.
The deal marks the highest price per square foot recorded within White House Park in the past 10 years, and the most expensive GCB transaction so far this year, according to Ying Khuan Pow, research head at 99.co.
First Deal Since 2016
Wei Fu’s new property sits on a 15,081 square foot (1,401 square metre) freehold land parcel in one of the 39 gazetted GCB areas in Singapore and currently is occupied by a mansion builtin in 2003.
GCBs are considered the most luxurious form of housing in the land-scarce Lion City, with around 2,800 mansions sitting on at least 15,070 square feet of land each.
“We think the price of S$3,017 psf on land area is reasonable, in view of the property’s move-in ready condition, and coming off the strong GCB transactions in 202,” said Henry Benjamin Lim, PropNex Realty’s head for GCB and prestige landed sector, who was not involved in the deal.
If the buyer considers redeveloping the asset, Lim said a brand new mansion on a flat site in the area can fetch up to S$70 million currently – a potential 50 percent markup from the purchase price.
The property is around 10 minutes’ walk from the Stevens MRT station and within a 10-minute drive of the Botanic Gardens on Cluny Road.
In 2019, another White House Park mansion hit the market with an asking price of at least S$75 million or S$2,125 per square foot of site area, but the marketing exercise ended with no reported buyer.
The last reported transaction within the development was in 2016 when a bungalow on a 15,125 square foot plot was sold for S$25.5 million to an unidentified Singaporean buyer.
Posh Homes in Demand
With CBC having grown to $5 billion in assets under management since it was founded eight years ago, Fu is joining a growing crew of tech entrepreneurs buying posh homes in the city.
In March of last year the family of the founder of Nanofilm Technologies International paid S$128.8 million for a GCB on Nassim Road and then in July 2021 TikTok CEO Chew Shou Zi reportedly purchased a mansion at Queen Astrid Park in District 10 for S$86 million.
A July report by PropNex showed that 24 luxury bungalows changed hands in Singapore during the first half of 2022 for a combined S$624.5 million.
While that tally only makes up less than half of 53 deals worth S$1.57 billion recorded in the same period last year, the property agency said tight supply has been pushing the average price of mansions upwards to an average of around S$2,000 per square foot in the first quarter from S$1,600-S$1,700 per square foot last year.
“Prices of GCBs are expected to remain elevated in the near-term with sellers remaining firm on their higher asking prices for these exclusive homes,” the report stated.