After a lackluster 2020, the real estate outlook in key Asia-Pacific markets reveals strong growth ahead.
April 23, 2021
As the global economy begins to emerge from the depths of the pandemic, real estate markets across Asia-Pacific are poised for a strong recovery in 2021. In particular, the expected easing of border and travel restrictions this year should see investors return to key growth markets such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney.
According to a recent report by global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, total real estate investment volumes (excluding development sites) in Asia-Pacific are expected to bounce back in 2021 to around US$165 billion, or 90% of the level in 2019.
“This rebound in investment activity in the region is supported by greater investor confidence as Asia-Pacific leads the economic recovery across the world. The region is also riding on the positive momentum off the back of a surge in investments in the last quarter of 2020,” the report said.
In terms of asset classes, investors are expected to favor residential properties. Consultancy Knight Frank estimates 17 out of 22 prime markets in the residential segment will see stable to moderate price growth in 2021.
In Singapore, the residential market continues to be robust, with private condominium prices rising for the seventh straight month in February. Home buyers can look forward to high-profile luxury projects being launched in the city-state this year. One such development is the upcoming Park Nova in Singapore’s prime Orchard Road district.
The maiden project by Hong Kong-listed developer Shun Tak Holdings, Park Nova will include 51 luxurious units and three penthouses in a 21-story residential tower. The development, nestled amid a lush vertical garden, features a unique biophilic design.
In Hong Kong, the luxury development 8 Deep Water Bay Drive by Nan Fung Group also offers a premium green living experience to residents of the bustling metropolis. Nature is a key highlight of this development, with the surrounding greenery sculpted into multilevel green spaces within the grounds.
Meanwhile, office properties are another highly sought after asset class, especially those in prime locations. As companies adjust their office occupancy needs to take into account remote working arrangements, the office market should see some increase in momentum in the second half of this year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
One upcoming prime office development that is catering to flexible working needs is CapitaSpring, located in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District. The development features hybrid workplace solutions that offer fully integrated workspace options—including hot desks, meeting facilities, private offices and large enterprise suites—in one building. Tenants can maintain a core office for key operations and choose from a host of flexible workspace options when required.
After a subdued 2020, projects such as Park Nova, 8 Deep Water Bay and CapitaSpring are set to excite investors once again as real estate markets ride the global economic recovery in 2021.
Park Nova: A Stunning Singapore Debut For Shun Tak Holdings
With a 60-year track record of success in China’s Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong-listed Shun Tak Holdings is leveraging its expertise in real estate development and hospitality to make an indelible mark on Singapore’s luxury segment.
Shun Tak boasts a prestigious portfolio of commercial, hospitality and residential projects across Asia, and has attracted funds from governments and renowned institutions around the world including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Lujiazui Group and China Resources Land Limited. In recent years, the group has expanded into top-tier cities across mainland China as well as Singapore, with a vision of curating new living concepts for residents in these markets.
Committed to Singapore
As Shun Tak’s first development destination in Asia, Singapore is a key long-term market for the group. In addition to redeveloping the 111 Somerset Road mixed-use project and transforming No. 9 Cuscaden Road into a five-star luxury hotel, the group recently invested in two upmarket residential properties, demonstrating its long-term commitment to the metropolis.
The two unique residential offerings are Park Nova, comprised of 51 luxurious units and three penthouses in a 21-story residential tower, and Les Maisons Nassim, consisting of 14 bespoke residences with high collectible value.
“We have been exploring investment opportunities beyond our home base, Greater China, and the acquisition of two residential projects and one commercial development, as well as a five-star hotel on Cuscaden Road in the pipeline, reaffirms our confidence in the Singapore market and paves the way for future developments,” says Pansy Ho, Executive Chairman and Managing Director of Shun Tak Holdings.
A Premium Address
Park Nova will be Shun Tak’s first project launched in Singapore. Located near Orchard Boulevard in the city-state’s prime District 10, the ultra luxury development reflects the developer’s philosophy of combining its expertise in hospitality and sustainability to create an unparalleled living experience.
“For our Singapore debut, we are excited to introduce a new residential concept that offers the best of nature in a vibrant metropolis. Park Nova, a one-of-a-kind luxury residence refined by Shun Tak’s expertise in hospitality and tourism, is redefining the notion of urban living,” says Ho.
The freehold development is a three-minute walk away from the upcoming Orchard Boulevard MRT Station and is close to a host of premium lifestyle attractions, from luxury retail shops and fine dining restaurants to deluxe hotels and urban landmarks along Orchard Road.
Park Nova—the name also harks back to Nova, a collection of luxury residences Shun Tak first launched in Macau over 20 years ago; a name that suggests the birth of a new star, the dawn of a new mindset, and a new way of living with the promise of sustainability.
A Vision of Green Living
Park Nova is designed to be a living and breathing urban garden that brings nature closer to the residents of its 54 exclusive units. Its distinctive biophilic design features a lush vertical garden, copious outdoor space, abundant natural light, verdant communal planters and high-end club facilities for residents’ health and wellbeing.
Each floor is surrounded by lush greenery that improves natural ventilation, cooling and residents’ health. Residents will also be able to enjoy stunning, unobstructed views past the colorful urban garden to bustling Orchard Road and the iconic Botanic Gardens, the first UNESCO Heritage Site in Singapore.
Park Nova’s biophilic architecture is the brain child of PLP Architecture, an award-winning studio behind some of the world’s greenest and most intelligent designs.
The Epitome of Luxury Living
Park Nova residents can choose from a range of homes—from 2-bedrooms with study to 4-bedroom residences and penthouses—that cater to singles, couples and a variety of family types. Each unit comes with interiors of the highest quality as well as fittings and accessories from world-leading luxury brands such as Molteni&C, Vola and Laufen.
Residents can choose to unwind amid nature at a 25-meter pool and hot spa that sit in the heart of the garden. A Sky Lounge will also be available for hosting exclusive parties and private soirees in an intimate setting that boasts stunning views of the city.
Reflecting Shun Tak’s rich heritage in hospitality, Park Nova comes with a host of exclusive services, including a concierge service that caters to the needs of residents.
Whether for investment or as a luxury home, Park Nova is a one-of-a-kind green urban experience embedded in a bustling city, perfectly capturing the essence of Singapore’s cosmopolitan allure.
CapitaSpring in Singapore’s central business district is ready to meet the needs of companies in a post-Covid world.
More than a year after the pandemic forced many office workers to operate out of their homes, the jury is still out on what the workplace will look like in a post-Covid-19 world.
While some benefits to working from home have been identified, the experience also comes with certain drawbacks. These include the lack of social interaction, reduced productivity and the blurring of boundaries between work and personal time.
Since early April, workers have started streaming back to the office as the Singapore government eased restrictions and allowed 75% of a firm’s employees to be at the workplace at any one time, up from 50% previously.
As such, companies are likely to adopt a hybrid model that offer various workspace options for employees, with the office remaining a crucial part of workplace strategy.
Developer of the Future
CapitaLand, one of Asia’s biggest real estate groups, has a bold vision of what the future of work will look like.
“Previously the conversation always centered around trying to squeeze more people into the same workplace, which should not be the main thrust of workspace planning. The pandemic has now shifted the conversation in the right direction, which is ‘How do we make our workspace more productive,’” says Chew Peet Mun, Managing Director, Work space and Residential, CapitaLand Singapore.
“While you can work anywhere, the growing realization as we talk to our tenants is that the office is most effective as a meeting point for collaboration, brainstorming and idea generation,” Chew says.
“As a developer, our vision for the future is to create a robust CapitaLand ecosystem for our tenants, where a productive workspace is no longer just measured in physical square footage, but seen as portals within a hub, designed to bridge integral partnerships within an extended business network,” he adds.
CapitaLand’s upcoming premium Grade A integrated development, CapitaSpring, is the latest example of a future-proof building. It is mapped out with this ecosystem in mind, ensuring that its spatial design and programs respond to the current and future needs of tenants.
Community Builds Commercial Success
CapitaSpring will leverage its resources and those of the wider CapitaLand group to foster a community that benefits its tenants in a variety of ways. For instance, tenants can easily tap shared social activities and spaces in the building through the group’s CapitaStar@Work app.
“We have all seen the negative effects of working in isolation during the pandemic. When you participate in activities inside our CapitaLand ecosystem, the network effect will multiply your efforts in a way that you won’t be able to do if you are working at home or in silo,” says Chew.
As part of its efforts to build an inclusive community, CapitaSpring will also have a dedicated Community Manager to actively foster partnerships and collaboration among the CapitaSpring community and curate unique activities tailored to the needs of tenants.
These programs will afford tenants new insight in areas such as sustainability and fintech, as well as offer a platform for serendipitous meetings between tenants and across CapitaLand’s workspace portfolio for collaboration and new growth opportunities.
Choose Your Workplace
CapitaSpring’s people-centric design was created with workplace flexibility in mind, allowing tenants to seamlessly work anywhere in the building.
Equipped with the latest WiFi 6 technology across the entire development and ample power points, employees can choose to plug-and-work at shared flexible work and social spaces throughout the building.
“Some individuals may find that some of these spaces are better suited to the way they work and collaborate, and they will also be closer to their main offices and the building’s wider ecosystem. With these options, some people may find that working from home may not be the best choice for them,” says Chew.
Core and Flex
One of CapitaLand’s key strategies to help tenants future-proof their businesses is the “Core-Flex” workspace model, which has been deployed at CapitaSpring.
The Core-Flex workspace model refers to fully integrated solutions—from hot desks, meeting facilities, private offices to large enterprise suites—all in one building. Under this model, tenants can have the option to refine traditional office space (Core) with a host of flexible workspace options (Flex) in a lease according to their needs.
Around 10% of CapitaSpring’s office net lettable area will be set aside for flexible workspaces, allowing companies to be more nimble and transform their workspaces efficiently in the face of a fast-changing business environment.
Through the Core-Flex model, CapitaSpring can more effectively support new and flexible requirements of conventional office tenants, as well as cater to the expansion needs of small and midsized enterprises. “The Core- Flex strategy gives tenants the flexibility to resize their workspaces to fit their changing requirements,” explains Chew.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, CapitaLand had planned to deploy advanced building technology aimed at improving user-experience, beefing up security and enhancing workplace wellness.
Features such as facial recognition access, a contactless destination control system and pre-registration for guests via CapitaStar@Work app serve to provide convenience, minimize contact and safeguard businesses for pandemic readiness.
CapitaSpring will also roll out a long-range wide area backbone network, a future-proof flexible approach that allows for swift deployment of IoT sensors in accordance to future market demand. Tenants will not only enjoy these services across the building’s common spaces, but can choose to have them in individual offices.
Branding Still Matters
The relevance and importance of office spaces for the reputation and branding of businesses remain undisputed despite the work-from-home trend. While not all employees will return to a traditional office space in the short term, having a prestigious office space and location can still add a premium to a company’s brand.
“The traditional office will remain an important space for staff engagement, fostering of workplace culture and building of social bonds; a place where serendipitous meetings can happen,” says Chew. “We also believe that this is a time for new traditions to be forged for companies to succeed in this volatile climate. This is why we are confident CapitaSpring is the first important step in achieving our vision of the workspace of the future.”
Hong Kong’s latest residential development echoes its verdant surroundings to offer the ultimate in luxury green living.
Images: Adam Kuehl
Sensitivity to context has always been a fundamental part of architecture but is often overlooked in favor of optimizing floor area. Occasionally, however, a partnership between developer and architect demonstrates the type of understanding of the surroundings that can elevate a building to something that imparts a more profound experience.
That is precisely what Nan Fung Group and Vervain Resources aimed to create at 8 Deep Water Bay Drive. The site is nestled amid Hong Kong’s verdant and hilly southern side with outlooks toward Tai Tam to the east and Mount Cameron to the northwest. Architects from P&T Group designed along the contour of the hill, helping to make the entrance more approachable, rather than greeting residents with monolithic podium walls.
Nature has also been a critical part of the planning, in which the surrounding greenery translates to sculpted, multilevel green spaces within the grounds and openness to nature for each of the 52 apartments. Strolling past the expansive tower lobbies and through the clubhouse gallery path takes you to the development’s centerpiece: the Metta Garden, a spiritual journey unveiling the beauty of flora by layers as an extension of each private living space. The grounds’ grand entrance opens into the parterre, a gravel courtyard ringed by low stone walls and punctuated by the Iris Garden and Lily Pond on both sides. Trees flank the Sylvan Walk to create a romantic allée, complemented by an open lawn connecting the space with its surroundings. This is echoed by a green expanse called the Farm which seamlessly blends green living from the surrounding natural beauty with the interiors into a single transcendent whole. Listening, observing and responding authentically to the landscape immerses you in grace, a journey that can be completed through meditation or yoga at the Aura Point. Those who prefer more active relaxation are catered for by the interconnected 20-square-meter indoor and 25-square-meter outdoor pools—or just indulge yourself in the outdoor Jacuzzi.