Singapore penthouse on sale for over $72 million, a test for luxury market’s recovery

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FILE PHOTO: GuocoLand Ltd’s mixed-use Tanjong Pagar Centre (R), soon to be the tallest building in the city-state, towers over other buildings in the central business district of Singapore February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: GuocoLand Ltd’s mixed-use Tanjong Pagar Centre (R), soon to be the tallest building in the city-state, towers over other buildings in the central business district of Singapore February 29, 2016.
Edgar Su/File Photo
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The asking price for a new three-storey Singapore penthouse, complete with a private pool on the 64th floor, has reached a dizzying S$100 million ($72.6 million).

Due to be formally unveiled later this year, Wallich Residence’s penthouse is in the tallest building in Singapore, the island of well-heeled stability that attracts the super-rich from its less-developed Southeast Asian neighbors, as well as multi-millionaires from mainland China.

The ‘bungalow in the sky’ penthouse in the GuocoLand-developed Tanjong Pagar Centre, is likely to become Singapore’s most expensive apartment. It will test the endurance of demand for luxury property in the city-state – the part of the market that has taken the biggest hit from measures aimed at cooling down property prices in recent years.

Prices for luxury homes in Singapore have fallen 15-20 percent from a 2013 peak, according to JLL consultancy, part of the Jones Lang LaSalle global property services group. But JLL is now starting to see the prospects of a turnaround – at least at the top end of the market – and is forecasting a 3-5 percent increase in luxury prices this year, citing demand from both locals and foreigners who feel the market is bottoming out.

JLL said the volume of transactions in the first four months of the year in Singapore’s core central region, which is popular among wealthy foreigners and includes the Orchard Road shopping area and Sentosa island, was 35 percent higher than in the same period last year.

“A lot of people think Singapore is value for money because it’s been downhill all the way – such a long winter,” said Chandran VR, managing director at a real estate agency specializing in high-end homes.

“Now they feel it is the right time to come in,” he said. By contrast, he noted that Hong Kong apartment prices have been soaring, adding that “sensible investors will come here,” instead.

GuocoLand Singapore Group Managing Director Cheng Hsing Yao said buying by foreigners has picked up since the start of the year at the developer’s high-end Leedon Residence project, near the 150-year-old Singapore Botanic Gardens. GuocoLand is part of Malaysian conglomerate Hong Leong Group, headed by billionaire Quek Leng Chan.

“In absolute numbers, it may not be that huge, but the ticket sizes are actually quite significant for some of them,” Cheng said. Some foreigners were buying homes worth S$8-12 million in the project, he said.

The recent tightening of property market controls elsewhere, such as in Hong Kong and Australia, has played a part in attracting foreign demand to Singapore’s luxury property this year, Cheng said.

City Developments Ltd (CDL), one of the largest Singapore developers, also said the average sales price at its high-end Gramercy Park project has risen to more than S$2,800 per square feet in recent months, up 8 percent from a year ago, and foreign buyers accounted for three-quarters of the project so far.

A view of Guocoland’s Leedon Residences in Singapore June 23, 2017.
Edgar Su
CDL’s billionaire Chairman Kwek Leng Beng is a cousin of the Malaysian developer Quek.

Plenty of Tools

Still, Singapore’s broader residential market remains subdued, having fallen for 15 straight quarters to log its longest losing streak since official records began in 1975.

“We are forecasting for prices to come down between 1 to 5 percent this year before reaching an inflection point in 2018,” said Eli Lee, an analyst for OCBC Investment Research.

While prices in Hong Kong tripled and Sydney’s doubled over the past decade, Singapore prices rose just 29 percent. Singapore introduced property price cooling measures to curb speculation as did many other “hot property” cities in the region. While some measures were relaxed slightly this year, the authorities warned last month there would be no more rolling back for now.

Singapore is not short of policy tools to ward off speculators.

Most of the island’s apartment blocks were built and then managed by the government, though the vast majority of the units have been sold to citizens. This allows it to keep control of some speculative activity, and therefore prices. Initial buyers of government apartments, for example, are largely prevented from flipping a property through a fast resale.

The high home ownership rate, at about 90 percent, also makes it easier for policymakers to craft measures targeting speculative demand when the market is overheated.

All home buyers have to pay a stamp duty at a progressive rate of up to 3 percent, but foreigners have to pay an additional 15 percent for their purchases. Singaporeans also have to pay an extra stamp duty of 7-10 percent when they make second and subsequent purchases.

“With tightening measures taken in other countries, that could lead investors to shift funds back here. So we just have to watch that very closely,” Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said last month.

New home sales more than doubled in March from a year earlier, reaching their highest level in nearly four years. And developers, led by Chinese companies, are paying record sums to secure land. Shenzhen-based developer Logan Property and its partner Nanshan Group recently paid a record S$1 billion at a government land auction. That was almost 50 percent more than the previous record set in 1997.

“The strong winning bid…signals developers’ strong confidence in the Singapore residential market and their belief that prices could return to growth soon,” said Christine Li, research director at Cushman and Wakefield in Singapore.

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This $36 million penthouse would be the most expensive condo ever sold in Hawaii



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A penthouse in the Waiea development, courtesy of Ward Village

A luxury high-rise apartment building in Honolulu is set to make new sales records once it’s complete.
The two penthouses in the Waiea development are priced at $36 million and $35 million — which, if buyers take the bait, will be the highest prices ever paid for a condo in Hawaii. $20 million is the going high-water mark, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Waiea tower, which is projected to be completed in late 2016, has 171 residences and is 90% sold, according to the WSJ. Designed by James K.M. Cheng Architects and WCIT Architecture, it’s targeting LEED certification.
A big perk of buying into the building: residents can get room service from world-famous sushi restaurant Nobu. Celebrity favorite chef Nobu Matsuhisa is relocating his Oahu restaurant from Waikiki to the base of Waiea.
Other building amenities will include poolside cabanas by the rooftop infinity pool, an indoor golf simulator, library, and theater, a fitness center with yoga room, and a dog park and children’s play area.
Waiea is located in Ward Village, a new development of green space, townhouses, retail, and condo towers on the Honolulu waterfront.

Courtesy of Ward Village
The 10,000-square-foot Grand Penthouse has five bedrooms and over 1,300 square feet of outdoor patio space, including its own pool. Located on the 36th floor, it’s priced at $36 million.

Courtesy of Ward Village
The second penthouse, at $35 million, is a six-bedroom unit on the floor below. Both penthouses — and all the residences — have unparalleled views of the island, including the Honolulu skyline and ocean at the foot of the tower. the-second-foot-of-the-tower Courtesy of Ward Village
Tags: penthouses

This $36 million penthouse-Hawaii-Majestic Penthouses International

This $36 million penthouse-Hawaii-Majestic Penthouses International

This $36 million penthouse-Hawaii-Majestic Penthouses International


For the first time, this rare NYC rooftop cottage is for sale


A sprawling East Village penthouse apartment, which just hit the market for $3.5 million, comes with a cherry on top: a rooftop cottage.

The cedar-shake structure has long been a distinctive feature atop the five-story brick building at 72 E. First St., noted by passers-by, bloggers and photographers. But who built it and why had remained a mystery.

New York-Majestic Penthouses International“Did a tornado rip through Cape Cod and drop an ocean-side house onto an East Village apartment building?” wrote location scout Nick Carr on his blog, Scouting New York, in 2009. “Christ, who the hell lives here?? Note not only the rounded front with two levels of windows, but also the octagonal window on the right, the fantastic tower, and the horse weathervane. No kidding, a horse weathervane.”

In June, The Post unveiled the owner: Gale Barrett Shrady. The fairy-tale architectural gem is the brainchild of her late husband, sculptor, artist and neighborhood improvement activist Henry Merwin Shrady III.

Robert Strong, an architect who owns a condo beneath the charming abode, recalls when Henry bought the walk-up building, vacant and derelict, around 1980. He renovated it, keeping the fourth and fifth floors as a duplex for himself and his family and adding the now-iconic shingled rooftop abode.

Now Henry’s widow is selling their duplex and cottage together. The latter, a studio apartment with a kitchenette, full bathroom, French doors and a wraparound terrace that was often occupied by family members, has had a tenant for the last 15 years.

“It is a magical little spot that was my son’s room through college,” she told The Post last month.

The cottage, alas, can’t be purchased separately. But good news: the $3.5 million price tag on the listing includes the charming three-bedroom, 2 ¹/₂ -bathroom duplex spread below, where the Shradys lived. Curbed first reported the listing.

An easy way to see the whole assemblage: the apartment on the top two floors, plus the rooftop cottage. Compass

The duplex apartment spans more than 2,000 square feet, with a living/dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and double-height great room (or “atelier”) on the ground floor, with a master suite, another bedroom and the great-room balcony on the second floor. It has 22 windows and two wood-burning fireplaces.

What is now the glorious great room was once Henry’s studio, which had room for large-scale art pieces.

But the rooftop cottage was his pride and joy. “It very much has a cottage-in-the-country feel,” says Strong, who visited it several times. “He was an artist who loved to create things.”

Henry, who died in 2015, “was a . . . restorer of old houses and buildings. He never saw an old wreck of a house or boat or car that he didn’t love,” Gale wrote in an obituary in the 10964 community newsletter for Snedens Landing, the Palisades, NY, community where the couple had another home. “A proud East Village resident, he renovated two buildings, creating unique spaces that are still admired.”

Today, Gale Shrady says she’ll overhear bus tours go by the building while guides spin weird, untrue tales about the rooftop cottage and who lives there. She believes the true story of its origins is boring.

But is it? Let’s hope the new owner keeps this magical dwelling intact.

The listing brokers are Nick Gavin and Josh Doyle of Compass.
For the first time-New Yor-Majestic Penthouses InternationalFor the first time-New Yor-Majestic Penthouses International

GGP exec pays $5.4M for penthouse at the Miami Beach Edition


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Miami Beach Edition unit 1406. Inset: Richard Pesin
A General Growth Properties executive just paid $5.4 million for a penthouse at the Miami Beach Edition, property records show.
GGP Executive Vice President Richard S. Pesin closed on unit 1406 at the Edition, at 2901 Collins Avenue. The seller is SB Miami Properties LLC, an entity controlled by Howard Hoffen, chairman and CEO of a New York-based private equity firm, and Sandra Hoffen. It sold for nearly $2,400 per square foot.
Pesin heads development and anchor leasing for the retail real estate investment trust, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The Hoffens paid $6.58 million for the 2,255-square-foot condo in 2014 and put it on the market in November for $6.1 million, a Redfin listing shows. Howard Hoffen founded and leads Metalmark Capital.
The couple listed their Miami Beach unit with Bill Hernandez and Bryan Sereny of Douglas Elliman. It features floor-to-ceiling glass, whitewashed teak floors, a custom European Bulthaup kitchen, smart home features, a private rooftop deck with a plunge pool and an outdoor kitchen, according to Redfin.
Pesin paid 11 percent less than the ask for the two-story penthouse, and it sold for about 18 percent less than its last sale in 2014.
Marriott International and Ian Schrager developed the Edition, which opened in late 2014. Shortly after the 293-key hotel was completed, Marriott sold it to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for $230 million.
Unit owners at the Edition include Schrager, who paid $5.5 million for a 2,268-square-foot penthouse in March of last year, and Bollywood actress and businesswoman Poonam Khubani, who re-listed her penthouse with the Jills for a whopping $26 million, or nearly $5,000 per square foot.
One Sotheby’s International Realty took over remaining developer sales at the Edition earlier this year. The building has 26 condos.
Tags: ggp, miami beach edition, Residential Real Estate
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Ritz-Carlton launches luxury cruise ships


Part of Marriott International, the Ritz-Carlton hotel group is set for a new departure: with the promise that they will provide one of the most luxurious experiences it will be possible to have at sea, the chain is set to launch three lavishly appointed cruise ships from 2019.Ritz-Carlton - Majestic Penthouses International

One of the lounge areas on board

Measuring 190 metres and seemingly designed to resemble privately owned superyachts, the vessels will accommodate up to 298 passengers and feature 149 suites, all with balconies. The most desirable residences of all will be two 138sq metre duplex penthouse suites, designed by Ritz-Carlton in collaboration with cruise-ship design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden. Facilities expected on each ship will include a restaurant offering a culinary concept designed by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg; a spa; and a panorama lounge and wine bar, which will host live entertainment.

Although complete itineraries are yet to be released, the hotel group says they will offer “a uniquely curated destination experience… that includes both overnight and daytime ports of call.” Trips will last between seven and 10 days and will serve expected destinations such as the Mediterranean and Caribbean, as well as Colombia’s Cartagena and other intimate, exclusive destinations, such as Capri and Portofino, that are usually inaccessible to larger cruise ships. Announcing the initiative, Ritz-Carlton president and COO Herve Humler said: “The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world.”

An observation lounge
No word has been given on package prices as yet, but reservations will be possible from May 2018 onwards. As exciting as the launch will be for the brand’s many fans, the company’s claim that it makes Marriott International the only provider of luxury accommodations both on land and at sea doesn’t seem entirely accurate.

MY The Wellesley
Though a much more discreet offering, The Wellesley hotel in London’s Knightsbridge also operates the 56m MY The Wellesley superyacht. Already in service, the ship accommodates just 12 guests and features an arsenal of high-spec toys including jet skis, water skis and diving equipment. In the Maldives, Four Seasons hotel group operates the Four Seasons Explorer, a three-deck catamaran that offers three-, four- and seven-night cruises in the Maldives as well as a leisurely way of transiting between Four Seasons Kuda Huraa and Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru (or Four Seasons’ recently launched Voavah exclusive-use private island).

The master suite aboard Borgo Santo Pietro’s Sartori superyacht
The master suite aboard Borgo Santo Pietro’s Sartori
In Italy, Borgo Santo Pietro hotel has launched its superyacht Satori. It features just five guest rooms (best is the master suite with its freestanding walnut bathtub); mahogany bar and dining area with open-view kitchen and 200-bottle wine cellar. At night, an outdoor cinema can be set up on deck.

Six Senses Zighy Bay’s Dhahab
In Oman, Six Senses Zighy Bay has just launched its 90m dhow Dhahab. Accommodating just six guests in three cabins, it features multiple dining areas and two sun decks, and will provide three-day itineraries (from $22,000) that explore the coast of Musandam, remote fishing villages and little-visited fishing spots. Aman Resorts, meanwhile, already offers intimate voyages aboard the 52m hand-crafted Indonesian phinisi Amandira – five-night tours of the spectacular Raja Ampat marine area are popular; Alila Hotels’ 46m Alila Purnama also provides tours of this region.

Ritz-Carlton launches-Majestic Penthouses International

Ritz-Carlton launches-Majestic Penthouses International

Ritz-Carlton launches-Majestic Penthouses InternationalRitz-Carlton launches-Majestic Penthouses InternationalRitz-Carlton launches-Majestic Penthouses International