There are still plenty of opportunities for investors looking to buffer their property portfolio against regional headwinds.
May 17, 2019
The Asia-Pacific real estate market has ridden a wave of expansion over the past decade, powered by robust economic growth and strong capital inflows into the region. However, recent headwinds have emerged to threaten the continued growth of the sector. These challenges—ranging from the continued trade spat between the U.S. and China to rising borrowing costs—have persisted into 2019, resulting in heightened uncertainty.
Amid the volatility, however, lies unique developments and concepts that have risen above the competition to grab the attention of investors and buyers. One luxury residential project that has literally taken Singapore’s real estate market to new heights is the Wallich Residence—a one-of-a-kind development that offers an ultra-exclusive, urban-living experience in the heart of the city’s business district.
Developed by GuocoLand, Wallich Residence is perched atop Singapore’s tallest building—the 290-meter Guoco Tower—which has helped elevate the profile of downtown Tanjong Pagar district, one of Singapore’s most sought-after neighborhoods.
Also injecting a dose of vibrancy into the premium end of Singapore’s residential market is the luxurious Marina One Residences, which launched unit sales at its second tower this year. This groundbreaking project is the result of a historic collaboration between Malaysia’s and Singapore’s state-owned investment funds.
More exciting launches are in the pipeline. For instance, developer Aurum Land is introducing a new living concept that combines nature and art in a prime lifestyle district. The Hyde condominium will offer an oasis of tranquility in bustling Singapore, with the lush foliage of Goodwill Hill providing the residence with an air of exclusivity, while high-end boutiques and Michelin-starred restaurants lie minutes away on Orchard Road.
Projects such as these helped boost prime residential prices in Singapore by 9.1% in 2018 to S$3,480 (US$2,565) per square foot as buyers returned to the market in force, according to property consultancy Knight Frank. While the growth trend stalled when the government introduced new cooling measures in July, analysts say a severe price correction in 2019 is unlikely given the city’s stable economic fundamentals.
In Hong Kong, the city’s prime housing prices rose 3.9% in 2018 to HK$33,956 (US$4,328) per square foot, decelerating from a 7.3% increase a year earlier, data from Knight Frank showed. But like Singapore, differentiated offerings are expected to continue to do well over the long term.
One such development is Discovery Bay on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island. Located between the waters of the South China Sea and tree-lined hills, this once-barren land was transformed in the 1980s by developer HKR International Limited into a 650-hectare, world-class, resort-style residential development. As Hong Kong’s largest, low-density, premium integrated development, Discovery Bay is highly sought after by families seeking a vibrant child- and pet-friendly community within the territory.
Over on Hong Kong island, meanwhile, Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited iconic Victoria Harbour residential project is making waves in the market, with the development’s luxury apartments in high demand and registering record prices.
Against a backdrop of uncertainty, investors should take the opportunity to refine their real estate strategies and identify developers and projects that can help build resilience against market volatility into their portfolios.
Wallich Residence: Taking Luxury Urban Living to New Heights
The city’s tallest residential address has it all, including a prime location, unparalled views and the buzz of living in one of Singapore’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
Perched atop Singapore’s tallest building, the ultra-luxury Wallich Residence is a truly one-of-a-kind development, offering an exclusive living experience in the heart of Singapore’s business district. Developed by GuocoLand, the 99-year leasehold residential development is the crowning glory of the majestic Guoco Tower—which soars a staggering 290 meters into the sky—and takes up the 39th to 64th floors of the integrated tower.
Guoco Tower has helped transform the entire Tanjong Pagar district in Singapore’s downtown, elevating it to a level that is on par with its prestigious neighbors, Raffles Place and Marina Bay. Yet, with its many heritage shophouses and its proximity to Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar also boasts a more colorful character than its relatively straight-laced peers. With so many unique qualities, it’s no surprise that Wallich Residence has set new benchmarks for home prices in the area, and is helping to spark Tanjong Pagar’s transformation into one of Singapore’s newest and most exciting prime neighborhoods.
Wallich Residence is also poised to ride the development of the Greater Southern Waterfront, which will be created following the relocation of Tanjong Pagar’s container terminals to Tuas in western Singapore. A total area of 1,000 hectares, the equivalent of three times the size of Marina Bay, will eventually be freed up for development when the port’s lease runs out in 2027. This will open up a vibrant waterfront lifestyle district in central Singapore. Development of the Greater Southern Waterfront will begin within the next five to 10 years, the government announced earlier this year.
An Integrated Development
Being part of Guoco Tower means that residents of Wallich Residence can take advantage of the other aspects of this unique 5-in-1 integrated development. Guoco Tower also houses the luxury Sofitel Singapore City Centre hotel, 890,000 square feet of premium Grade A offices, 100,000 square feet of retail and a 150,000-square-foot urban park that offers a swathe of lush greenery. The mixed-use project was designed by the renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, which is behind some of the most famous skyscrapers across the globe including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai—the world’s tallest building—and Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago.
With a myriad of food and beverage outlets across 100,000 square feet of retail space, there is no shortage of dining choices at Guoco Tower. These include East Japan Railway Company’s first overseas Japan Rail Cafe, Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House by acclaimed restaurateur and chef Ricky Ng, and Michelin-starred restaurant Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine.
New Standard in Luxury Living
As Singapore’s loftiest address, each of Wallich Residence’s 181 units offers an unparalleled view of the city and beyond. Yet, the development is also rooted to the buzz of its surrounding neighborhood. Residents can take a high-speed lift from their homes directly to Tanjong Pagar MRT station, whose entrance is a mere 50 meters away from the lift lobby. Those working in the central business district can potentially go from home to office in a matter of minutes.
The development is comprised of one- to four-bedroom units, four penthouses and one ultra-luxurious super penthouse. Each home is designed with the highest quality fixtures and fittings, and offers stunning unblocked views.
With four levels of amenities, residents do not have to leave Wallich Residence to get their dose of relaxation, wellness and entertainment. On offer is a hotel-style concierge service that begins on the ground floor at a dedicated car drop-off and entrance for residents. Once inside the lobby, they will find the concierge in an expansive space designed to welcome them home or to receive their guests.
On the 39th floor, stunning views serve as a backdrop to an infinity pool, landscaped gardens and an al fresco dining space. A jacuzzi, entertainment rooms and a fully equipped gym round off the offerings on this level. Further up on the 52nd floor, lush sky gardens and a theatrette are ideal for hosting your guests at social events. There is also a networking suite that can also be used as a corporate boardroom. To entertain friends or business partners, The Wallich Room on this level comes with a fully equipped kitchen. Meanwhile, the panoramic views are nothing short of spectacular on the 62nd story, Singapore’s highest observation deck in a residential development.
Getting around Singapore from Wallich Residence is a breeze given its central and connected location. It seamlessly connects to key arterial roads such as the Marina Coastal Expressway and Ayer Rajah Expressway. Residents will be able to reach Changi International Airport by car in as few as 16 minutes, the premium shopping belt of Orchard Road in eight minutes, and the lifestyle and entertainment hub Marina Bay in just four.
With its ultra-luxurious trappings, central location and status as one of Singapore’s most iconic residential addresses, Wallich Residence at Guoco Tower is elevating urban living to new heights in Singapore.
The Singapore group’s visionary approach to building communities has given rise to a growing portfolio of innovative living and working spaces.
Leading luxury real estate group Aurum is renowned for creating innovative spaces that redefine the living and working experience for businesses, individuals and families in Singapore and beyond. From luxury condominiums to high-end coworking spaces, the group’s business units—Aurum Land, Found8, Core Collective and Aurum Investments—are blazing new trails with each new project it undertakes.
The group’s award-winning property arm, Aurum Land, has championed the seamless fusion of function and form in its developments for more than 35 years. The result of these efforts are a growing portfolio of living spaces that have made an indelible mark on the city. Guided by a culture of innovation coupled with deep market insight, Aurum Land is managed by a team of passionate industry professionals who bring with them extensive development expertise, design excellence and technical skills.
The boutique developer adopts an experiential, human-centric approach to building spaces and communities. The end goal is to inject life into its developments, while breaking down the walls that limit the possibilities of connectivity. Among its award-winning projects is The Asana, a luxurious urban sanctuary featuring 48 exclusive apartments, which is located in one of Singapore’s most distinguished districts. Another of its recent offerings is NYON, an exceptional freehold residence that seeks to capture the best of living on Singapore’s vibrant East Coast through the harmonious union of heritage and modernity.
The Hyde: An Urban Oasis
Aurum Land’s latest project is The Hyde, which seeks to transform the notion of living in an urban setting through a vibrant blend of nature, art and luxury. Located at 11 Balmoral Road in central Singapore, the luxury freehold residence is inspired by the avant-garde Serpentine Galleries in London’s Hyde Park—an iconic space that has championed the possibilities of contemporary artistic endeavor for almost 50 years.
In the heart of bustling Singapore, The Hyde is an oasis of tranquility. The lush greenery of Goodwill Hill provides the residence with an elegant air of exclusivity that separates it from the high-end boutiques and the Michelin-starred restaurants of Orchard Road, which is just a stroll away. One can also find within the vicinity distinguished members-only clubs boasting exclusive facilities for social and recreational pursuits. With this broad spectrum of lifestyle offerings, The Hyde’s neighborhood is a charming kaleidoscope of life’s pleasures.
For residents with children, some of the city’s best educational institutions catering to students of all ages are located nearby: the Anglo-Chinese School and Singapore Chinese Girls’ School are within one kilometer of The Hyde, while St Joseph’s Institution, the Chinese International School and Raffles House Preschool are also in close proximity.
The Hyde is inextricably linked to the rest of Singapore. The central business district and iconic lifestyle hub Marina Bay are several minutes’ drive away, while a pair of adjacent train stops—Newton and Stevens MRT stations—provide a convenient gateway to the rest of the island.
Luxury Living Exemplified
At The Hyde, art and nature combine easily to offer a truly refined living experience in one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Each of the 117 apartments sits high off the ground to offer commanding views of the luxuriant expanse of Goodwill Hill.
Residents can indulge in the surrounding greenery with leisurely evening walks or weekend picnics for the whole family. Those seeking healthier pursuits can jog or participate in group fitness activities in peaceful environs, away from the stress of the concrete jungle. Those seeking an even larger expanse of nature can head to the Singapore Botanic Gardens—the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site—which is located within walking distance of The Hyde.
Ranging in size from 495-square-foot apartments to the exclusive 1,798 square-foot penthouse, The Hyde caters to a range of residents, from working professionals to families with children. Each unit comes with roomy layouts, floor-to-ceiling glazed facades and sashless windows—a first for a residential building in Singapore—that allow for completely unblocked views.
The theme of nature is repeated in each apartment with granite and marble bathrooms that feature state-of-the-art fixtures by European brands Gessi and Laufen; cutting-edge, smart-home devices further heighten the living experience.
Residents will also be able to enjoy world-class facilities that sit among sculpted landscapes, with a signature Olympic-sized constellation pool as its centerpiece. A jacuzzi, gymnasium, playground for kids and a garden club house for entertaining guests also offer respite from the city. Meanwhile, a cantilevered sky club features an unblocked panoramic view of picturesque Goodwood Hill during the day, and the city’s glittering skyline at night.
The Hyde’s enviable location, aura of exclusivity and odes to art and nature come together alluringly to offer an unparalleled urban living experience in the heart of the city.
More Than Meets the Eye
In a time when customer experience is the gold standard, Aurum is not only a leader in luxury real estate, it is a lifestyle platform that provides access to a diverse network of innovators and business leaders, fitness and wellness professionals and investment opportunities.
Aurum’s latest business Core Collective is a one-of-a-kind concept designed for fitness and wellness professionals. Its state-of-the-art facilities swap conference rooms and cubicles for yoga studios, treatment rooms and a fully equipped gym. Aurum Land buyers will enjoy complimentary monthly fitness services including personal training and group exercise classes such as yoga, pilates and boxing. They will also enjoy complimentary monthly wellness services such as physiotherapy, acupuncture, sports massage and life coaching.
For business leaders and entrepreneurs looking to grow their business across the Asia-Pacific, Aurum’s innovation ecosystem Found8 provides instant access to a curated network of peers, mentors and experts. Aurum Land buyers will enjoy complimentary membership to Found8’s coworking spaces in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, as well as hotdesking access to affiliate coworking spaces across 30 cities globally. Found8 hosts inspiring events that feature key opinion leaders from the tech industry, among them Bradley Horowitz, Google’s Vice President of Product Management. Found8 members also enjoy 40% off HubSpot—the leading marketing and customer relationship management platform—and S$20,000 (US$14,700) in google credits as part of its partnership with Google for Startups.
New residential projects, increasingly convenient transportation links and a world-class ice rink are set to further enhance one of the city’s most unique communities.
Sitting on a magnificent seafront stretch of Lantau Island in Hong Kong, Discovery Bay is an exclusive residential community that nestles between the calm waters of the South China Sea and verdant tree-lined hills. In 1977, the area was a barren piece of land, but has since been transformed by leading developer HKR International Limited (HKRI) into a 650-hectare, world-class, resort-style began in the 1980s and to date, a total gross floor area of more than 1 million square meters has been developed or is under development.
As Hong Kong’s largest, low-density, premium integrated development, Discovery Bay is highly sought after by families seeking a vibrant child- and pet-friendly community within the territory. Residents can choose from a range of living options, including spacious standalone garden homes as well as low-, mid- and high-rise residential apartments. Buildings are modern and high quality, making it difficult to tell whether they were built several years ago or decades earlier. The self-contained community offers a carefree, seaside lifestyle experience for residents, enhanced by a tantalizing range of leisure amenities for those seeking an active and healthy lifestyle. As part of a program to continuously enhance the development’s facilities, a world-class ice rink is expected to open in 2020 and further upgrades to commercial services will benefit residents and visitors alike.
Escape From the Bustle
Discovery Bay is also one of the few eco-friendly residential communities in Hong Kong, with two-thirds of the development being used as landscaped spaces and green zones. These include a park, a natural mangrove, several hiking trails and a waterfront promenade. With such a high-quality standard of living on offer, Discovery Bay has attracted residents from around the globe. More than 50% of its residents are non-Chinese, forming the core of a multicultural community.
“Surrounded by mountains and sea, with facilities and amenities that have been thoughtfully expanded, and additional residential complexes that have been progressively and sensitively developed in harmony with the landscape, Discovery Bay has a high level of liveability and strong sense of community life that is unique in the Hong Kong market,” says Elke Chu, Head of Sales and Marketing and Portfolio Development, HKRI.
While the development enjoys a high degree of privacy, it is also conveniently connected to the rest of Hong Kong. The area is serviced by ferry services to the central business district, and there are shuttle bus services to designated MTR stations and to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). Taxi services are available at the Auberge Discovery Bay hotel at DB North, offering convenient access to and from downtown areas. There is even a privately built tunnel fully financed by the developer, which further improves connectivity for residents.
Discovery Bay further benefits from the role of Lantau Island as the “Double Gateway.” It is located only 15 minutes to HKIA, and with the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, residents can also conveniently cross over to Macao and Zhuhai. The infrastructure of Lantau Island will be further enhanced with HKIA’s third runway project and land-reclamation development Lantau Tomorrow Vision in the pipeline.
A Slice of Italy
The 16 phases of Discovery Bay’s buildout are known as villages by its residents. As a reflection of the hilly landscapes and magnificent sea vistas that the villages enjoy, these phases are named after towns in some of Italy’s most scenic regions. Earlier phases include villages respectively named after the town of Siena—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy’s most visited tourist attractions—and Amalfi, a stunning stretch of coastline in the south famed for its sheer cliffs and rugged shoreline dotted with beaches and fishing villages.
Similarly, the latest residential project in Discovery Bay, Poggibonsi, is named after a small town in Tuscany that is surrounded by mountains, vineyards and wineries. Some units in this newest village offer its residents full views of the stunning scenery as well as Hong Kong’s iconic cityscape.
Having forged a unique reputation as a residential enclave offering a world-class, urban living experience, Discovery Bay is not done with its journey as it continues to be enhanced to meet the changing needs of its community. Says Chu: “HKRI will continue to develop and grow Discovery Bay to provide the best homes, ancillary facilities and living environment for its residents and visitors.”
Marina One Residences: The Definitive Luxury Residential Address
Design meets sustainability at one of Singapore’s most prestigious locations with premium retail and lifestyle offerings on tap.
Located in the heart of Singapore’s vibrant downtown, the second tower of the luxurious Marina One Residences has been launched for sale. The award-winning development consists of two 34-story towers, each housing 521 units, and is part of Marina One—a sustainable mixed-use project that includes Grade A offices and premium lifestyle offerings.
Marina One Residences central location, stunning architecture and premium amenities make it an attractive proposition for both investors and potential home owners. Buyers can choose from one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units as well as penthouses.
The story of Marina One’s genesis is as inspiring as its iconic design. The project is part of a historic collaboration between the Malaysian and Singapore governments. The project’s developer, M+S Pte Ltd, is owned jointly by the two sovereign wealth funds, Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad (60%) and Singapore’s Temasek (40%).
M+S was set up in June 2011 specifically to develop four land parcels in Marina South and two land parcels in Ophir-Rochor as the integrated developments of Marina One and DUO, respectively.
Green Living in the City
Sustainability is a key theme in the design of Marina One, which has been brought to life by Christoph Ingenhoven, founder of Ingenhoven architects and a recognized leader in green architecture.
One key design element of the development is the structure’s curved levels, which have been compared with rice terraces that can be seen in some parts of Asia. Beyond aesthetics, the louvres on the inner edges of the terraces also serve to protect those on the inside from the sun’s heat.
Another striking feature of the Marina One is the Green Heart, a 65,000-square-foot garden in the center of the integrated development that has been crafted to resemble a rainforest valley. Designed by Gustafson Porter + Bowman, the landscape architects behind Bay East at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, the Green Heart boasts 386 species of plants and is the largest biodiverse garden in the central business district.
Set amid the lush greenery and spectacular waterfall features are integrated private and public spaces. Residents can focus on their wellness at the 50-meter lap pool or the fully equipped 200-squaremeter gym. To unwind after work or on weekends, they can entertain their guests at the private dining rooms and teppanyaki terraces.
From the Green Heart, Marina One residents can directly access the great variety of lifestyle and retail options in Marina One, such as The Macallan Boutique bar, Virgin Active Fitness Club, Cold Storage supermarket and the two renowned signature eateries, Majestic Restaurant and Wakanui Grill Dining. Open sky terraces and transport facilities are also right at their doorstep.
Once inside, each home at Marina One Residences has been thoughtfully designed to offer a premium living experience. Every unit is equipped with Villeroy & Boch bathware, high-end appliances from Miele and signature Poggenpohl kitchen designs. The meticulously crafted interiors seamlessly blend into the development’s overall design, with a customized signature weave adorning the balcony facade.
Location, Location, Location
Marina One sits in the heart of one of Singapore’s most vibrant and prestigious residential and business addresses: Marina Bay. The district is a buzzing hive of round-the-clock activity for people to live, work and play. Some of the world’s top multinationals sit comfortably alongside Michelin-starred restaurants and world-leading entertainment outlets.
Marina One is a stone’s throw away from some of Singapore’s most recognized attractions, including Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and the ArtScience Museum. The area is also home to high-profile international events such as the Formula One Grand Prix and performances by international stars.
As the centerpiece of Singapore’s urban transformation, Marina Bay will continue to evolve as a vibrant downtown hub. This puts Marina One Residences right at the heart of this dynamic evolution, ensuring it is well positioned to reap the tremendous benefits that are expected from the area’s growth.
All Roads Lead to Marina One
Marina One residents will be spoiled for choice when it comes to transport and connectivity options. The development is served by a comprehensive transport network, including underground MRT stations and major expressways that conveniently connect residents to the rest of the island. The development is also close to Marina South Pier, a terminal for ferries traveling to the Southern Islands, and to Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Singapore’s state-of-the-art cruise terminal.
With so much to offer, Marina One Residences is destined to become one of Singapore’s most sought-after residential addresses.