Ultimate Guide to GCB Areas in Singapore
Good Class Bungalows, or GCBs, are a special category of luxury bungalows in Singapore, that can only be found in designated areas known as GCB areas.
If you are currently looking to purchase a GCB to live in or for investment purposes, it’s important that you understand not just the features of the property itself, but also the GCB area where it is located as well. Such knowledge will enable you to choose an area that is best suited for your own specific lifestyle needs and preferences.
To help you with this, we have come up with this dedicated guide that describes the key features of the various GCB areas in Singapore, and the unique characteristics that distinguish one area from another.
Quick Review Of GCBs
As a reminder, GCBs are landed properties in Singapore that are different from other conventional bungalows.
GCBs can only be located in any one of 39 specific designated GCB areas in Singapore, gazetted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) as Good Class Bungalow areas or GCB areas.
These gazetted areas are located within 5 residential districts only – Districts 10, 11, 20, 21, and 23. Those looking to purchase a GCB will have to decide between each of these districts when choosing a location to live in.
Distinctions of the 5 GCB Districts
Here is some useful information about each of the 5 GCB districts in Singapore, as well as some of the more iconic and distinguished spots located within those districts.
District 10 is a prime residential region located near several entertainment hubs, including the famous Orchard Road shopping belt as well as the Central Business District (CBD). District 10 is often considered one of the most affluent districts in Singapore.
This district has a total of 27 areas gazetted by the URA for GCBs and is home to almost 70% of the GCBs in Singapore, including the most expensive ones. Examples of these areas include Belmont Park, Cluny Hill, Fourth/Sixth Avenue, and Nassim Road.
Due to its prime location and the fact that the majority of GCBs are located there, owning a GCB in District 10 is seen as a symbol of wealth and prestige. Many affluent and influential people aspire to live there as a result.
District 10 is surrounded by vast green spaces including the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, providing residents with a beautiful natural environment. It is also the place where you can find Bukit Timah Hill, the highest hill in Singapore standing at 164 metres.
In addition, District 10 is also home to some of Singapore’s top schools, such as Nanyang Primary School, Raffles Girls’ Primary School, National Junior College, and Hwa Chong Institution. This makes District 10 a top choice for families seeking to provide their children with a high-quality education.
Among the areas within District 10, two of the places that have become well-known lifestyle destinations are Dempsey Hill and Holland Village.
Dempsey Hill was the site of a nutmeg plantation in the 1850s and a British colonial barracks for over a century. It went through several transformations over the decades and was later redeveloped in 2007 into a lifestyle destination for both locals and tourists.
Dempsey Hill is home to a large number of restaurants serving a variety of local and international cuisines. Examples include Candlenut (the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant), Ippoh Tempura Bar (Japanese cuisine from Osaka), and Long Beach Seafood Restaurant (premium live seafood).
The place is also known for its vibrant nightlife scene as well, boasting a number of contemporary watering holes. Examples include The Rabbit Hole (garden bar specialising in gin concoctions), Margaritas (Mexican drinks), and The Wine Company (red and white wine from all over the world).
Apart from dining and nightlife, Dempsey Hill also offers a wide range of retail and lifestyle activities for both adults and children. For example, you can shop for high-fashion apparel at Dover Street Market Singapore, indulge in a pedicure or massage at Trimmings, or enjoy a session of gymnastics with your kids at The Yard.
Originally founded by Singapore’s Dutch community in the 1900s, Holland Village, also known as “Holland V”, was initially established to house British Army personnel and their families.
Over time, the area underwent several transformations and has now become a lifestyle destination. It has also become a creative hub for local artists and musicians as well.
One of its distinctive characteristics is the wide variety of cafes, restaurants, and bars that can be found there. Examples include Tai Cheong Bakery (Hongkong cuisine), La Nonna (Italian cuisine), Cha Cha Cha (Mexican cuisine), Wala Wala Cafe Bar (local cafe pub), and Baden (German cafe pub).
Apart from dining and nightlife, Holland Village is also home to a diverse range of retail and lifestyle businesses as well, ranging from Indonesian Batik fashion to luxury homeware to full-body workout sessions. It also has a number of modern art galleries as well, such as TAKSU, a Southeast Asian-themed gallery showcasing contemporary paintings.
District 11, situated in the central part of Singapore, is also regarded as a prime residential area. It has 7 areas gazetted as GCB areas, such as Bukit Tunggal, Camden Park, Eng Neo Avenue, Raffles Park, and Swiss Club Road.
The GCBs located in District 11 are in high demand due to their proximity to a variety of amenities as well as the Central Business District, making them a prime choice for affluent Singaporeans. At the same time, the district is also a popular choice for expatriates seeking high-quality rental GCBs.
District 11 is also home to several top schools such as the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School, Saint Joseph’s Institution, and Anglo-Chinese School. Places of worship there include Phor Beng See Temple and Novena Church.
As for transportation, the district has numerous bus routes and is served by the North-South and Downtown MRT lines.
Among the areas within District 11, two of the more well-known locations are Novena and Newton.
Novena is located in central Singapore, just a few kilometres from the busy Orchard Road shopping belt. Named after the Novena Church, it comprises a mixture of high-rise condominiums and landed properties including GCBs. It is considered a popular hub for dining, shopping, and retail.
One of its main attractions is Velocity@Novena Square, which was rebranded and transformed from the previous Novena Square Shopping Mall into a sports-themed shopping mall. The mall now boasts an outdoor basketball court at the entrance and shops include popular retailers like Royal Sporting House and World of Sports.
Novena is also widely recognised as a medical hub in Singapore, providing a range of top-quality healthcare services for both the young and the old. It is home to several hospitals including Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, as well as several specialist centres like the Novena Medical Centre and the National Skin Centre.
Similar to Novena, Newton is also a bustling district located in the central region of Singapore with several GCBs.
Newton’s main attraction is the Newton Hawker Centre, a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. It is home to over 100 food stalls offering a wide variety of food, ranging from Hainanese chicken rice to laksa to satay.
Because of this, Newton has become an iconic landmark in Singapore’s food scene and a must for those who want to experience the local food culture.
District 20 is a residential district comprising neighborhoods in Ang Mo Kio (AMK), Bishan, and Thomson.
This district is known for its family-friendly environment, with several schools, parks, and community centres located throughout it. It is well-connected to several MRT stations and major roads, and has several popular shopping malls such as Junction 8 and AMK Hub.
Although District 20 comprises a mixture of housing types such as HDB flats, high-rise condominiums, and landed properties, it only has one place for GCBs, called Windsor Park.
Windsor Park is located in the central region of Singapore and is known for its lush greenery and tranquil surroundings. It is also located near MacRitchie Reservoir, which is a popular spot for activities such as hiking, jogging and kayaking. It is an ideal place to live for those who enjoy nature and outdoor activities.
Plus, Windsor Park is also home to the Singapore Island Country Club, one of Singapore’s most prestigious country clubs.
District 21 comprises Upper Bukit Timah, Ulu Pandan, and Clementi Park.
This district is mainly known as an education hub, as it contains several well-known educational institutions including the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Polytechnic, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
At the same time, District 21 is also home to lush greenery and suburban shopping centres for those not currently in school.
District 21 has 3 specific areas in this district that have been gazetted by the URA as GCB areas – Binjai Park, Kiburn Estate, and King Albert Park.
Binjai Park, Kiburn Estate, & King Albert Park
Binjai Park, Kiburn Estate and King Albert Park are all quite similar in that they are known for their tranquil surroundings and lush greenery, making them ideal places for those who enjoy nature.
They are also all close to various amenities such as supermarkets and shopping malls, providing residents with convenient access to daily necessities.
In addition, King Albert Park is near the King Albert Park MRT station, providing residents with easy access to other parts of the city.
Last but not least, we have the final district on our list – District 23.
This district comprises Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, and Bukit Batok, and is mainly characterised by its peaceful surroundings and lush greenery. The last remaining gazetted GCB area is located in this district – Chestnut Avenue.
In Chestnut Avenue, you will be able to find the most affordable GCBs compared to other GCBs in Singapore, with many of them being single-storey properties suitable for further redevelopment.
Similar to the rest of District 23, Chestnut Avenue is known for its peaceful surroundings and lush greenery. It is also near Chestnut Nature Park, which features various nature trails and outdoor recreational activities, making it a popular spot for families and outdoor enthusiasts.
At the same time, Chestnut Avenue is also located near various amenities such as supermarkets and shopping malls, providing residents with convenient access to daily necessities.
In this guide, we highlighted the main distinctions of each GCB districts in Singapore, as well as some of the more popular areas within those districts. When it comes time for you to purchase your own GCB, remember to look at the districts that have the most amenities that interest you, whether that be nature access, school proximities or shopping.
We hope that this guide will serve as a valuable resource for you when it comes to GCB areas, and will help you decide which is the best one to choose when the time comes for you to purchase your new home.