What is Good Class Bungalow and Its Best Renovation Ideas

Good class bungalows are a type of landed housing property that belongs to one of the most exclusive real estate properties in Singapore.
November 16, 2021

Watching Crazy Rich Asians may give you a glimpse of Good Class Bungalows owned by the Youngs and the Gohs. While the settings were filmed mostly across the border to Malaysia, the film presents the lives of Singapore’s top 1%: the tycoons, the business moguls, and other notable personalities in the country.

These ultra-rare estates are comparable to the celebrity mansions in the West, and can span over 1,400 square meters. Owning land in Singapore is a privilege, but owning a Good Class Bungalow is a luxury reserved for the richest of the rich. 

What is a Good Class Bungalow?

A Good Class Bungalow, or GCB, is a type of landed housing property that belongs to some of the most exclusive real estate properties in Singapore. Given their high-profile quality, Good Class Bungalows are mostly exclusive to residents of high social standing. Think Nick Young instead of Rachel Chu

Additionally, the name “good class” was most likely created to differentiate the property from other similar yet smaller bungalow plots. In this article, we’ll discuss a handful of unique features of the luxury residential property and some renovation ideas when revamping one.

What Are The Features of a Good Class Bungalow Property?

  1. High-priced properties for maximum exclusivity - Good Class Bungalows or GCBs are known to command higher prices than most property types because of their large plot size, exclusive location and special planning constraints. These houses are also known to come in small numbers in the city-state, a quality that only adds to its exclusivity and market value.

  1. There are 39 GCB areas gazetted by the Urban Development Authority - 39 Good Class Bungalow or GCB areas in the city-state are safeguarded by the Urban Development Authority. This gazette, originally established in 1980, was created to protect the properties from intrusion and to preserve their high environmental quality. To control development in these areas, the URA requires any newly created bungalow to have a minimum plot size of at least 1,400 square meters. As a result, a Good Class Bungalow plot is barred from being developed into more intensive forms of housing. The property can’t also be subdivided into Good Class Bungalow plots unless it is at least 2,800 square meters in size.

  1. Prime location and architectural style - Good Class Bungalows are generally found in private forested areas with lush greenery, a quality that can only be afforded by the residents of the property type. Many of the Good Class Bungalows are also more than a hundred years old and date back to the colonial era, adding a unique architectural charm and value to these properties.

  1. Exclusive to Singaporean citizens - Since 2012, the Singaporean government has enforced a law that limits the ownership of GCBs to the country’s citizens. This was seen as a move to prevent foreign investors and property owners from snapping up these houses and driving up their prices. Foreigners must apply to become a citizen of the country first and seek permission from the Singapore Land Authority before they can buy any Good Class Bungalow property.

  1. Premium property facilities - Many Good Class Bungalows are usually equipped with  facilities such as swimming pools, entertainment rooms, large garages and even bowling alleys. These are only on top of the usual luxury rooms, living halls and gardens that come second nature to the property type.

Who Can Buy Good Class Bungalows?

Singaporean residents can generally buy the property type without any restrictions or impositions from the government, but the price for a decent Good Class Bungalow may set you back a fortune just below the total market value of Qoo10 (valued at $60 Million). 

While anyone can purchase a Good Class Bungalow, only less than 1% of Singaporean citizens can afford to buy one, with the average price ranging from $36 Million to over $100 Million. A square foot of the property can cost upwards of $2,000, spanning its 1,400 minimum required square meters to be considered a Good Class Bungalow.

Can a Foreigner Buy a Good Class Bungalow in Singapore?

A foreigner or a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) can buy a GCB in the country with several guidelines and limitations. One notable limitation is that the land area of the property must not exceed 1,393.5 sq metres or 15,000 sq feet.

A handful of GCB’s in Singapore are owned by business tycoons from Malaysia, or chaebol from Korean descent. Chinese e-Commerce pioneer Jack Ma is reported to own a GCB in Victoria Park Close, as well as British billionaire James Dyson, who purchased a property in Cluny Road with a clear view of the Botanic Gardens.

What Are The Best Renovation Ideas for Good Class Bungalow Properties?

Colonial contemporary - Since most GCBs come in colonial architectural styles, one of the most common renovation ideas is mixing it with a contemporary touch. Walls can be repainted with warmer, brighter colors and adding in new modern fixtures, all while preserving the old-world charm of the house by retaining old furniture and ceiling fixtures.

Examples of colonial contemporary homes can be found near the Botanic Gardens, where the greenery and Renaissance feel of the area allows for European-styled renovations to blend into the overall aesthetic of the location. Many GCB owners tend to design their homes like they were lifted from a scene from Bridgerton.

Ultra-modern - Out with the old, in with the new. An ultra-modern renovation strips away any of a GCB’s antiquated design styles and replaces them with a completely updated take on modern home design. This includes state-of-the-art fixtures, louder colors and even a new-fashioned home facade.

Younger tycoons, tech giants, and modern-day billionaires typically go for a modern aesthetic in renovating their GCB, which may include geometric designs, wooden materials, and concrete feel for the modern urban environment.

Inspired by nature - Nature-driven design themes are another popular way of revamping a GCB. This involves restructuring much of the property’s interiors and fixtures to resemble that of a tree or any nature-driving element.

As GCB properties are far from the bustling city life, a substantial number of bungalow owners prefer to fashion their GCB with elements of nature, bringing together a blend of urban and rural greenery while maintaining the class of their home. 

Following Feng Shui - A number of GCB properties follow Feng Shui practices to decide their renovations, with the majority of GCB owners in Singapore placing full belief in the balance of chakras as well as the positioning of home fixtures in accordance to the lucky faces.

Like most Singaporean homes, GCB homeowners tend to follow proper Feng Shui, believing that the placement and positioning of their home and furniture matters in bringing luck into the home. However, unlike the average homeowner, GCB owners would typically hire a well-known Feng Shui expert for consulting.

High-tech House Functions - In the modern, technologically-advanced era that we have, GCB owners have started to incorporate high-tech house functions into their properties. These functions include water treatment facilities, air quality circulation systems, and energy-optimizing systems. 

Many GCB properties have digital home assistance systems, which are much more advanced than the usual Siri or Alexa. These smart home assistance systems provide information to the homeowner about the status of their home, and include a control pad for home functions that the homeowner can operate from their phones.

How Much Does a Good Class Bungalow Cost?

If you’re eyeing a GCB as your next home or property, prepare to pay a hefty price tag depending on your location, area, and availability. However the expenditures don’t end there — the most exclusive and high-profile GCBs can go as high as a whopping S$100 million to S$230 million in the real estate market, especially with the renovations and construction work that come with customizing your home.

Renovate Your Property With Comfort

Whether you’re planning a minor or major update on your property, we at ColeBuild can help you make the whole process easier and more efficient by planning better, pricing better, and building better. Contact us today for a free quotation!

Related Posts
Get a quote now
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.