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UK tycoon buys biggest penthouse in SIngapore

10 Jul, 2019

Billionaire inventor James Dyson has acquired the biggest, highest and possibly most expensive super penthouse on the market here.

Singapore Land Authority (SLA) title search documents obtained yesterday by The Straits Times showed that Mr Dyson, 72, has acquired the super penthouse at the swanky and ultra-luxurious Wallich Residence at Tanjong Pagar Centre. The documents did not reveal the price, but industry sources valued the unit at more than $100 million.

It is the largest non-landed residence in Singapore and sits atop the country's tallest building at 290m above sea level, offering unobstructed views of the Cen-tral Business District, Marina Bay and Sentosa.

The five-bedroom "bungalow in the sky" spans more than 21,000 sqft from the 62nd to 64th floors, and comes with its own swimming pool, cabana, bar jacuzzi and entertainment areas. It also has a private lift lobby and lift access to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station.

The self-made billionaire's purchase of Singapore's most rarefied piece of non-landed real estate comes just six months after he announced that his technology company - known for its pricey bagless vacuum cleaners, hair dryers and air purifiers - will be moving its headquarters from Britain to Singapore.

The SLA title search showed that Mr Dyson and his wife Deirdre Jessie, both British citizens, are listed as joint tenants of the 99-year leasehold property at 3 Wallich Street. The transfer was registered on June 20.

The Wallich super penthouse, which had been on the market for about 18 months, was "for sale at price on asking/application, but the industry has valued its worth to be above $100 million", said Mr Leong Boon Hoe, chief operating officer of List Sotheby's International Realty, one of the luxe property's marketing agencies. Developers of such properties are only willing to reveal the price privately to serious buyers, he added.

A Dyson spokesman would only confirm yesterday that the firm's founder had bought a property in Singapore. He said: "Given the decision to locate the headquarters in Singapore and the growing focus of the company's business in the region, of course James Dyson has bought a property there.

"Out of respect for personal privacy... we are unable to provide further comment." Developer GuocoLand said it will not respond to media queries. The super penthouse was so exclusive that GuocoLand restricted viewing to wealthy people it deemed as serious buyers.

Mr Dyson was ranked the fifth-richest person in Britain, with an estimated fortune of £12.6 billion (S$21.4 billion), according to British newspaper The Sunday Times' Rich List 2019.

List Sotheby's defines a super penthouse as one that is at least 10,000 sqft (929 sqm). They are status symbols as they usually occupy the entire top floor of an apartment block in a prime residential enclave or in the heart of downtown.

The most expensive publicly known super penthouse transaction goes to hedge fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin, who shelled out US$238 million (S$324 million) for a property at 220 Central Park South in New York in January.

The priciest super penthouse for sale now is the Tour Odeon Tower Sky Penthouse in Monaco with a price tag of US$335 million. Sitting atop the second-tallest building, the 35,500 sqft five-storey penthouse boasts 360-degree views of the sea, with an outdoor rooftop circular infinity pool.

Singapore's most prestigious residential enclaves are found near Orchard Road, for example, Ardmore Park and Nassim Road, or in the financial district. Eight super penthouses have been sold here since 2006, including the recent Dyson purchase.

Last month has been busy, with the 11,098 sqft super penthouse in Boulevard Vue selling for $52 million, or $4,686 psf. Four out of at least nine super penthouses now on the market worldwide are in Singapore. They are at the Concourse Skyline, The Marq on Paterson Hill, Hilltops and Reflections At Keppel Bay.

Adapted From The Straits Times, July 10 2019