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Thread: Han Seng Juan reaps handsome profit from GCB sale

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    Default Han Seng Juan reaps handsome profit from GCB sale

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...79940,00.html?

    Published December 17, 2009

    Han Seng Juan reaps handsome profit from GCB sale

    Stockbroker said to have sold Astrid Hill bungalow for $25.75m or $970 psf

    By KALPANA RASHIWALA


    (SINGAPORE) Former star stockbroker Han Seng Juan is believed to be the seller of a good class bungalow (GCB) in Astrid Hill that changed hands last month for $25.75 million. The price reflects about $970 per square foot on land area of over 26,000 sq ft.

    The price is almost double what Mr Han is believed to have paid for the property. The bungalow previously changed hands in 2006 for $13.65 million or slightly over $500 psf on land area.

    Earlier this year, Mr Han and his cousin David Loh left the stockbroking business to focus on their boutique private equity investment business.

    Known as the A-Team within the industry or simply 'David and Han', the two men are now focusing their resources on growing Centurion Investment Management, a boutique Asian private equity company which they helped set up in 2004 with other partners to invest in small to medium-sized companies, especially in the Greater China region.

    The duo also control Centurion Properties group, which has a majority stake in the company developing Kovan Residences.

    Although no longer directly involved in the stockbroking industry as dealers at UOB-Kay Hian, it is believed that their associates are still operating in the same firm.

    Mr Han, like many well-heeled Singaporeans, is said to own several bungalows, including one at Cluny Hill.

    So far, caveats have been lodged for just six GCB transactions in November.

    However, market watchers say there are other transactions that took place last month as well as in December for which caveats have yet to be lodged.

    William Wong, managing director of RealStar Premier Property Consultant, says his firm has brokered the sale of four GCBs over the past few weeks for a total of about $57 million that have yet to be caveated.

    The four properties are located at Swettenham Green, Holland Road, Garlick Avenue and Rebecca Road. Market watchers also point to the transaction of No 3 Leedon Park for close to $40 million or around $950 psf of land area, which has yet to surface in caveats.

    GCBs are an exclusive housing form governed by stringent planning criteria.

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    Sheeze... when can i be like him...
    A few Bungalows and got GCB one too..

    Walau...

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    xebay11 is offline New Launch Project Specialist
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    Quote Originally Posted by focus
    Sheeze... when can i be like him...
    A few Bungalows and got GCB one too..

    Walau...
    If you still don't own a GCB now, you probably never will, these properties are bought and sold among the inner circle, unless you are willing to overpay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xebay11
    If you still don't own a GCB now, you probably never will, these properties are bought and sold among the inner circle, unless you are willing to overpay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xebay11
    If you still don't own a GCB now, you probably never will, these properties are bought and sold among the inner circle, unless you are willing to overpay.
    True, GCB are mainly trade between known parties. It's just tat they are too proud to do the negotiations themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xebay11
    If you still don't own a GCB now, you probably never will, these properties are bought and sold among the inner circle, unless you are willing to overpay.
    T

    The problem with owning a GCB is it simply ties up too much cash. To get rid of it in time of need is another big headache. Its simply not liquid!

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    Quote Originally Posted by moneyspinner
    T

    The problem with owning a GCB is it simply ties up too much cash. To get rid of it in time of need is another big headache. Its simply not liquid!
    Uh..I think those who buy GCB is having the headache of too much cash and donno where to park..

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    Do you think getting rid of a condo that cost $15 million is easier than a GCB that costs $15 million?


    Quote Originally Posted by moneyspinner
    T

    The problem with owning a GCB is it simply ties up too much cash. To get rid of it in time of need is another big headache. Its simply not liquid!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulators
    Do you think getting rid of a condo that cost $15 million is easier than a GCB that costs $15 million?
    I think so since condos are opened to foreigners but not for GCB unless with the special approval of SLA. But having said that the hugh amount involved is a huddle. The market for such property is much smaller. Agree?

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    depending on the plot ratio, GCBs may be attractive to the developer looking to build boutique apartments in the area and profits to be reaped can be very handsome from en bloc. Landed properties can also apply for licence to run childcare business etc, but a new 15mil condo can only look towards capital appreciation, rental or own stay and nothing else.

    Quote Originally Posted by moneyspinner
    I think so since condos are opened to foreigners but not for GCB unless with the special approval of SLA. But having said that the hugh amount involved is a huddle. The market for such property is much smaller. Agree?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulators
    depending on the plot ratio, GCBs may be attractive to the developer looking to build boutique apartments in the area and profits to be reaped can be very handsome from en bloc. Landed properties can also apply for licence to run childcare business etc, but a new 15mil condo can only look towards capital appreciation, rental or own stay and nothing else.

    Dun think so easy to change the plot to something else. GCB are consider rare in Singapore and there's no intention to increase or decrease the number of land catered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Property_Owner
    Dun think so easy to change the plot to something else. GCB are consider rare in Singapore and there's no intention to increase or decrease the number of land catered.
    Agree with you.
    GCBs are protected. Plot ratio will not change.

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    can't change, but i do not think it is much of a problem constructing a 4-storey boutique for quite a number of GCBs with between 20-30 units on 15000-20000sqft of land, correct me if i am wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Property_Owner
    Dun think so easy to change the plot to something else. GCB are consider rare in Singapore and there's no intention to increase or decrease the number of land catered.

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    xebay11 is offline New Launch Project Specialist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulators
    depending on the plot ratio, GCBs may be attractive to the developer looking to build boutique apartments in the area and profits to be reaped can be very handsome from en bloc. Landed properties can also apply for licence to run childcare business etc, but a new 15mil condo can only look towards capital appreciation, rental or own stay and nothing else.
    No way, GCBs are built on zones called GCBA's ie. Good Class Bungalow Area, there is nothing you can (re)build there except GCBs, which follow certain guidelines too regarding size, GFA and set back. They are protected zones.

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    Good Class Bungalows: In a class of their own


    Posted by luxuryasiahome on July 16, 2009

    Some 1,000 Singaporeans are said to own the majority of Good Class Bungalows here

    VERY few people live in landed homes in Singapore and even fewer live in Good Class Bungalows (GCBs), which probably explains why they are so desirable. There are about one million or so homes here. These comprise terrace houses, semi-detached houses, bungalows and of course high-rise homes – condominiums, apartments and public housing flats.

    But GCBs stand quite far apart from all of these in that they not only have to sit on land that is of a certain size – not less than 1,400 square metres – but also have to be located in areas that have been specially designated for them. Indeed, there are estimated to be less than 2,500 GCBs in Singapore.

    GCB areas were officially gazetted in 1980 with 39 areas formally safeguarded. A spokesman for the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) explained that the purpose of the gazette was to ‘protect the high environmental quality of these established large bungalow areas from the intrusion of more intensive forms of housing such as semi-detached or terrace houses’.

    Walk or drive around these GCB areas and often you will notice not only stately houses but stately trees as well with many protected for posterity. There are two zones in Singapore under the National Parks Board’s Tree Conservation Areas with the main zone covering central Singapore where most of the GCBs are located.

    To control development in these areas, URA set certain guidelines for planning purposes. For instance, the minimum plot size for any newly created bungalow within the 39 GCB areas must be at least 1,400 sq m. For this reason, a GCB plot cannot be developed to accommodate more intensive forms of housing. And unless it is at least 2,800 sq m in size, it cannot be sub-divided into two GCB plots either.

    Of the GCB areas, the best known are the Nassim, Cluny, Bishopsgate and White House Park estates. While it is not inconceivable that there could be more GCB areas added in the future, given the need to intensify land use in Singapore, the likelihood is slim.

    URA’s spokesman said: ‘In drawing up our land use plans for Singapore, we aim to provide a variety of housing options for Singaporeans, from waterfront housing to garden living to city living. This includes low-density and landed housing, such as those found within existing GCB areas. The detailed housing form for future landed housing areas will be determined when the area is ready to be developed.’

    URA said that there are currently no plans to release new sites or designate new areas as GCB areas. ‘Nevertheless, there is scope for the number of GCB plots within existing GCB areas to increase, for example through sub-division of larger GCB plots into several GCB plots, so long as each bungalow plot meets the minimum land size of 1,400 sq m,’ URA added.

    Big GCB plots do not come by often. In 1994, a plum site in the Tanglin GCB area came up for sale by public tender. The 194,000 sq ft parcel was the official residence of the Australian high commissioner at White House Park/Dalvey Road. Property valuers had estimated that the site could fetch as much as $70 million, or around $400 per square foot (psf). The site eventually sold for $98 million or $505 psf.

    In 1997, developer Wharf Group sold five units of the 11-unit development of GCBs at an average of $14.1 million each. Ten years later, in 2007, a house in this development sold for $28.8 million. There have been other public tenders of large sites.

    In 2000, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) sold a 201,782 sq ft freehold bungalow site it owned since the 1960s in Jervois Road for $60 million, or slightly over $330 psf. Then in 2003, HSBC sold a 276,112 sq ft site at Bishopsgate for $69.8 million. Together, all three sites would have yielded less than 40 new GCBs.

    Occasionally, individual GCB sites will come up for auction. In 2008, the Singapore Land Authority auctioned a site at Ridout Road which saw 34 bids lodged by three prospective buyers. The winning bid came in at $8.96 million or $579.55 psf. This was 22.6 per cent above the opening bid of $7.31 million or $473 psf. Being fresh government land sale sites, however, it came with a 99-year lease.

    SLA also said that recently, three parcels of land have been sold under the Sale of Infill Sites programme on 99-year leases. ‘The owners have to comply with URA’s GCB guidelines as the land parcels are within GCB areas,’ it added.

    Because the environment is an important factor in GCB areas, there are guidelines that control how big the house can be. For instance, the house cannot cover more than 35 per cent of the site. This is to ensure that there are adequate green buffers between each house.

    There are also more prosaic restraints – childcare centres are not allowed in GCB areas for instance. But perhaps the most important constraint on GCB ownership to note is that foreigners are not allowed to own these, thus reducing the buying pool of GCBs.

    Some 1,000 Singaporeans are said to own the majority of GCBs here and are mostly intent on holding on to them as long-term investments. If you have bought one through the open market, you can count yourself lucky indeed.

    Source : Business Times – 16 Jul 2009

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    Conclusion: GCBs are really restricted indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!! So liquidity is a CONCERN unless you have lots of spare cash!

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    xebay11 is offline New Launch Project Specialist
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    Quote Originally Posted by moneyspinner
    Conclusion: GCBs are really restricted indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!! So liquidity is a CONCERN unless you have lots of spare cash!
    Alot of the old money bought them for only $1-2 million. My uncle bought one in 1990 for $2.4m at Queen Astrid Park, liquidity not an issue.

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