Nassim Road Good Class Bungalow GCB, District 10 Singapore

Nassim Road is Singapore’s most exclusive and prestigious address. Singapore’s most expensive GCB is found here, when Wing Tai’s Cheung Wai Keung sold 33 Nassim Rd, with 84,544 sqft of land, at $230m ($2,720 psf) in 2019 to SG Casa, a trust reportedly owned by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

The previous price record was also along Nassim Road in 2018, when Tony Tung, Chairman of oil trading company Winson Group, purchased his Nassim Rd GCB for $108m.

The sales that followed were no slouch either – in 2021, Jin Xiao Qun, wife of Nanofilm Techologies’ founder Dr Shi Xu, purchased a 32,159 sqft GCB for $128.8m, setting a (then) psf record of $4,005. If you played Monopoly in the 2000s, you will recall that Nassim Road (and Queen Astrid Park) occupied the costliest blue slots and the transactions have shown that this is no exaggeration.

Nassim Road is a 2km stretch bounded by Cluny Road and Tanglin Road, striking the perfect balance between nature (Botanic Gardens) and lifestyle (Orchard Road). Nassim is of Arabian origin, meaning ‘breezy’, with many Muslim families in the Middle East supposedly adopting this name. It is speculated that Nassim Rd may have been named after connections with the Alsagoff family, a successful spice enterprise family of Yemeni roots, who owned land on Nassim Rd. This family were also involved in the Bukit Tunggal GCBA.

Nassim Road is also officially a conservation area designated by URA, alongside Chatsworth Park, Holland Park / Ridout Park, hence it is no surprise that you will find beautifully conserved houses such as the one at 2 Nassim Road, which is being tenanted to pan-Asia real estate manager SC Capital today.

Nassim Rd’s exclusive nature has meant that many foreign embassies call this home. This includes the embassies of Russia, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines and the iconic Eden Hall at 28 Nassim Rd, designed by R.A.J Bidwell and now home to the British High Commissioner.

The British government had sold 109,000 sqft of Eden Hall back in 2001 to billionaires Peter Kwee of Pontiac Land and Popiah King Sam Goi for just $50.4m ($462 psf) and since sold them on to Oei Siu Hoa, sister of Oei Hong Leong of the Widjaja family fame and Sincere Watch Chairman Tay Liam Wee. A further 33,300 sqft of Eden Hall was sold in 2016 following a public tender to OUE at $56.6m ($1,699 psf).

Besides the magnificent GCBs found in this estate, there are also a number of condos with the Nassim address, including the ultra luxurious Les Maisons Nassim, which has reached a record of $6,073 psf. This is still under construction and was the enbloc site of 14/14A Nassim Road, which was owned by the descendants of Tan Siang Kuang, a prominent Teochew businessman and the 1st Chairman of Overseas Union Bank. He and his family, Puay Hee (son) and Siak Kew (brother) have roads named after them in Macpherson, where my mum first lived after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in London. This low profile family was in the news in 2018, having sold their palatial 66,452sqft home at 14/14A Nassim Rd for a whopping $218m ($2,744psf) to Stanley Ho’s Shun Tak.

Nassim Jade, another condo within the prestigious enclave, was the subject of great national contention after Ong Beng Seng’s Hotel Properties Limited launch in 1996. The issue surrounded discounts which were purportedly offered to Lee Kuan Yew and his family, prompting an official statement by the then-Senior Minister here. His son, former Singtel CEO Lee Hsien Yang, also reportedly stays in a condo in the Nassim precinct today.

Among the rich and famous owners in this GCBA are the Prince of Brunei, Jefri Bolkiah, who owns the palatial 110,000 sqft house at 48 Nassim Rd. If it goes on sale, Arwaa Mansion, as it is known, will definitely smash the costliest house in Singapore. I fondly recall spotting this majestic mansion from the balcony of an apartment I was viewing along Stevens Road – absolutely amazing! Interestingly, I understand from friends that the empty field beside is now a popular spot for wedding photos!

There is also Hong Fok CEO Cheong Pin Chuan, who has listed his 40 Nassim Rd (58,784 sqft) house for sale in March 2022 with a guide price of $220m ($3,755 psf) and OUE Chairman Stephen Riady, who purchased his 33,300 sqft plot for $56.6m ($1,700 psf) in 2016. Both have significant real estate interests, owning and developing iconic buildings such as The Concourse, OUE Bayfront and Hilton Singapore Orchard amongst them.

If you are in the market with a similar budget of $225m, you can also opt for Peter Kwee’s Nassim Quattro, a 4-apartment site at 49 Nassim Road, occupying 45,000 sqft of land. Designed by Mercurio Design Lab, it has a long 85m private driveway to ensure maximum exclusivity with a private swimming pool for every unit. The firm has described much of its design on their website. The total cost of land acquisition? Likely less than $100m as the Kwees had landbanked it progressively since the 1980s, with the last piece of the puzzle completed in 2007 with a $70m acquisition of 49A-D Nassim Road.

Other prominent past & present owners / occupants in this estate (including its condos) include ST Telemedia CEO Stephen Miller, The Hour Glass Founder Dr Henry Tay, Indonesian billionaire Peter Sondakh of the Rajawali Group, Asia Reinsurance Broker CEO Richard Austen, serial property investor Kishore Buxani and REIT veteran Michael Dwyer.

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Garlick Avenue Good Class Bungalow GCB Review, District 10, Singapore

Garlick Avenue is located off Bukit Timah Road and can be accessed primarily from Old Holland Road or Sixth Avenue. Accordingly, it is very close to the 34ha site at Holland Plain (or commonly known as Old Holland Rd Field) which will yield some 2,500 new homes as part of the URA Masterplan.

This GCBA was named after Dr George Herbert Garlick, Medical Director of the Singapore Antituberculosis Association. Born in London to Dr George Garlick, he was educated at Epsom College and St Mary’s Hospital Medical School before qualifying as a doctor in 1912. He was a radiologist by training and Principal Medical Officer of the Johor State. He was accorded the Dato honorific by the Sultan of Johor for his contributions, which included setting up a nursing school, a hospital and extensive rural public health training. He served with the British Army during WWII as a radiologist and was a Prisoner of War at Changi before re-establishing the radiology department at today’s KK Hospital. He is buried at the Bidadari Garden Cemetery after he passed on in Switzerland in 1959.

Among the recent transactions in this GCBA was Singapore’s richest billionaire Goh Cheng Liang’s purchase of a palatial 101,550 sqft mansion from Thye Hong Biscuit Co for $93m in Sept 2020. After factoring in provisions for roads, this plot can be subdivided into up to 6 GCBs. Not that the Goh family needs that extra cash anyway. This is arguably the largest plot in this relatively small GCBA.

Other transactions include:
Jun 2021: $23.5m ($1427 psf) – 16,464 sqft
Apr 2021: $11.3m ($1225 psf) – 9,222 sqft
Sept 2020: $37.5m ($1660 psf) – 22,595 sqft
Jul 2020: $16.8m ($873 psf) – 19,248 sqft.

Prominent residents in this GCBA past and present are rumoured to also include Sustained Land’s Douglas Ong, a boutique developer who has been relatively active in the new launch market with 3 Cuscaden, Sky Everton, One Meyer and Coastline Residences among their launches. Others include Nelly Rolles, shareholder of Poh Tiong Choon Logistics and Swiss wine industrialist Emil Strickler.