Cover A glamorous living area in a penthouse in Nassim Mansion by Designworx Interior Consultant, which looks to views of lush greenery (Image: Designworx Interior Consultant)

From Good Class Bungalows (GCB) to shophouses, there’s been an uptick of interest in Singapore’s real estate sector in 2021

Despite the pandemic, the property market in Singapore has remained largely resilient. 2021 has been an incredibly dynamic year for the local market. Several private residential purchases even charted new records, a strong signal of the unwavering confidence that investors have in the market.

Here, we round up the most popular property types and trends of 2021 in Singapore, as we anticipate what’s to come in 2022. 

Don't miss: 2021 Recap: The Most Notable Property Purchases This Year in Singapore

1. An upsurge of interest in Good Class Bungalows

In land-scarce Singapore, Good Class Bungalows (GCB) are seen as the most prestigious form of housing that are owned by ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) citizens—those with US$30 million and above in net assets.

Buying a GCB means buying into a large plot of land, as these landed properties have a minimum plot requirement of 1,400-sqm (approximately 15,069sqft) and are located in just 39 select areas gazetted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore.

GCBs were one of the largest talking points of the year, with several high-profile tech billionaires making record-breaking purchases. Chew Shou Zi, the Singaporean chief executive officer of TikTok, made headlines for his $86 million purchase of a GCB at Queen Astrid Park, while Jin Xiao Qun, the wife of Nanofilm Technologies International founder and executive chairman Shi Xu, made a notable acquisition of a massive 32,159sqft GCB at Nassim Road for $128.8 million.

In case you missed it: Dream Homes: The Tatler Guide to Buying a Good Class Bungalow in Singapore

2. Shophouses continue to charm investors and home buyers

Besides GCBs, shophouses in Singapore have also garnered a surge of interest. With their heritage charm and alluring architectural styles, these conserved properties have held their own in the region.

According to Clive Chng, associate director of Redbrick Mortgage Advisory, 135 shophouses were sold in 2020 amidst the pandemic, with sales steadily rising by 29.9 per cent in mid 2021. As conservation shophouses are finite and offer an elevated status, they’re seen as attractive property prospects that are expected to steadily increase in price.

Read more: Dream Homes: The Tatler Guide to Buying a Shophouse in Singapore

3. The allure of glamorous penthouses

Penthouses are also attractive property options in Singapore for the UHNW. While GCBs typically require buyers to be Singapore citizens or to have special approval granted by the government, penthouses appeal to local investors and overseas buyers around the region.

These exclusive residences offer a novelty factor with the stunning views of the city skylines. “Penthouse prices are also soaring higher than before with Singapore's biggest penthouse, the Marina Bay Penthouse Collection, hitting the market at nearly $104m this year,” notes Victoria Garrett, head of residential at Knight Frank Asia-Pacific. As Singapore holds firms to its reputation as a magnet for safe-haven investments, interest in such luxury real estate assets is expected to grow even further.

Don't miss: Why Penthouses In Singapore Are Still Popular Among 'Crazy Rich Asians'

4. Exclusive districts to know

A number of expansive properties with premium price-tags are nestled in some of the most prestigious and exclusive districts in Singapore. These coveted addresses include Districts 9 (Orchard, Cairnhill, River Valley) and 10 (Ardmore, Bukit Timah, Holland Road, Tanglin), which have continued to be prime and preferred locations over the years.

District 2 (Tanjong Pagar), District 7 (the area around Bugis, Middle Road and Golden Mile), as well as District 1 (Marina Bay) are all locations that have been steadily gaining popularity, which can be attributed to key luxury residential developments in the area. 

Read more: 6 Most Exclusive and Expensive Streets and Districts in Singapore

5. Growing appeal of hotel-branded residences

Hotel-branded residences—private condominium apartments typically launched in collaboration with hotel operators to offer hotel-like amenities and concierge services—have been gathering interest as property buyers and investors seek the best-in-class residential properties to serve as sanctuaries.

Branded residences such as the St. Regis Residences Singapore, The Residences at W Singapore Sentosa Cove and the upcoming The Pullman Residences amplify lifestyle and wellness factors with designed zones for recreation and relaxation.  On top of that, these branded residences also provide attractive rental yield and long-term returns in the forms of protected prices, as they are largely governed by the brand, which further contributes to their appeal and growth.

In case you missed it: Will Hotel-Branded Residences Become More Popular in Singapore?

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