Having paid US$54 million (S$73 million) for the prime Wallich Residence penthouse in Tangong Pagar Centre, Singapore, British Billionaire Industrialist James Dyson is currently the owner of Singapore’s most expensive luxury real estate. When Dyson, the UK-based company best known for its vacuum cleaners and hairdryers had announced that Singapore would be home to its new electric car factory, industry pundits weren’t wondering whether Mr. Dyson would buy a slice of Singapore real estate, they were wondering just how premium and which exclusive luxury development. Wallich Residence is an exclusive and limited collection of 181 luxury residential units, within the heart of the ambitious 5 in 1 vertical city, one of the tallest buildings in Singapore. At S$73 million, the ultra-luxurious penthouse pips June’s Boulevard Vue penthouse which transacted for S$52 million and eclipses another billionaire, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s 2017 penthouse.
Money is no object when it comes to the inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner; Singapore, largely recognised as one of the most expensive markets in the world to live (according to the Economist Intelligence Unit 2019 report, tied with Paris and Hong Kong) and do business (especially when space for a car factory costs a premium in the diminutive city-state).
Therefore it stands to reason that Dyson would be looking at some of the territory’s most premium real estate developments. According to List Sotheby’s International Realty (List SIR), Singapore is home to six of the world’s 11 “super” penthouses. The biggest of the lot is GuocoLand’s Wallich Residence 21,108 sq. ft. penthouse spanning three floors across levels 62-64, with five bedrooms, a family room, a viewing deck, a private garden, a 12 metre pool, a cabana, a jacuzzi, an entertainment room, bar facilities and epic views of the Marina Bay Sands skyline.
That said, the swankiest of super-prime Singapore penthouses is said to belong to The Marq, a luxury real estate development with cantilevered pools for each apartment and the world’s first condo interiors completely furnished with Hermes furniture, fixtures and fittings replete with crystal chandeliers by Saint-Louis Cristalleries – a glass-making company owned by Hermes. Obviously, space was a bigger consideration for the man who could afford his own Hermes interiors had he so desired.
Aside from The Marq, SC Global’s other lavish development is the botanically themed “Hilltops”, a verdant oasis right at the heart of Singapore’s premier shopping district at the crossroads of Paragon, Takashimaya and Ion Orchard. Featuring four two-storey penthouses, each with its own private pool and roof terrace, each Hilltops penthouse is dominated by one unusual, artistic feature – a spiral staircase filled with greenery.
Needless to say, despite close competition among equally opulent and soul-enriching spaces, Dyson and his wife purchased the 99-year leasehold Wallich Residence penthouse on Jun 20. The property was launched in 2017 with an asking price of S$108 million but in recent years, Singapore luxury property prices have fallen. In April 2019, Bloomberg reported that private residential values decline for second straight period with prices in prime districts tumbling the most among all regions, particularly Sentosa Cove, where prices dove 30%. According to sources, Dyson ended up forking out only S$73 million for his Wallich Residence penthouse.