Family of pioneer Khoo Kay Hian selling GCB for over $35 million

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A good class bungalow (GCB) in Gallop Park Road belonging to the late daughter-in-law of Singapore pioneer Khoo Kay Hian, founder of Chinese stockbroking firm Kay Hian and Co – now known as UOB Kay Hian – is in early stages of a sale for more than $35 million, The Straits Times has learnt.

That translates to a new record land rate of more than $2,700 per square foot (psf) based on 13,037 sq ft land – exceeding the $1,940 psf high set in December 2020 by the family of the co-founder of Sichuan hotpot chain Haidilao for a 21,649 sq ft GCB in Gallop Road.

According to title documents, the GCB in the Gallop Road/Woollerton Park GCB area belonged to Madam Khoo Nyuk Tze Doris nee Liew, who died in October last year at the age of 94.

ST understands that an option to purchase has been issued for the Gallop Park Road property, which is being sold in an estate sale.

Madam Khoo is wife of the late Mr Khoo Hock Choo, son of Mr Khoo Kay Hian, who established Kay Hian and Co in 1921.

The company was renamed Kay Hian Holdings in 1996 and merged with UOB Securities in 2000 to become UOB Kay Hian, one of Asia’s largest brokerages.

Mr Khoo Kay Hian (1878 to 1966) was also a member of the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance led by Sun Yat Sen, the founding father of the Chinese Republic.

Mr Khoo Kay Hian donated generously to the construction of St Andrew’s Mission Hospital in 1923 and the Nanyang University Fund in the late 1950s.

List Sotheby’s International Realty research director Han Huan Mei said that the “land rate of over $2,700 psf is a first for the Gallop Road/Woollerton Park GCB area”.

The previous record was set by the son of Mr Zhang Yong, chairman of Haidilao International Holding, who paid $42 million for the bungalow, located a stone’s throw from the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Mr Samuel Eyo, managing director of Lighthouse Property Consultants, said that Mr Zhang Hanzhi’s bungalow was purchased in 2020 before the big run-up in GCB prices.

“In two years, GCB prices have jumped 40 per cent, or $780 psf, in the Gallop Road/Woollerton Park GCB area. The Gallop Park Road plot also faces the former residence of the former high commissioner of Malaysia Zainol Rahim Zainuddin, and is within 10 minutes’ walk of Botanic Gardens,” he added.

Mr Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore, said that landed homes in Singapore have been one of the top-performing asset classes in the real estate market due to its fixed supply, surpassing sales performances over the last decade.

“In land-scarce, high-rise Singapore, landed homes are as close as anyone can come to a sure thing,” he added.

According to JLL Singapore, the $2.63 billion in total transacted value in GCB areas in 2021 was a new record, up from $1.28 billion in 2020, and also surpassed the previous record of $2.34 billion in 2010.

Robust demand drove sales and fuelled a 55 per cent jump in the average price per square foot of land area between 2010 and 2021, JLL said.

“GCBs remain a choice asset for wealthy buyers and will likely continue to be in demand despite the recent cooling measures and planned property tax hikes. Their long-term investment value and exclusivity continue to draw citizens with aspirations to own a GCB,” JLL added.

Source: The Straits Times

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