Downtown Singapore mansion on the market for a record price

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 April, 2013, 2:18am

A downtown mansion near Singapore's Orchard Road is going on the market for a jaw-dropping S$300 million (HK$1.88 billion), with the owner betting that developers may profit from dividing the site.

If it fetches the asking price, the home on 33 Nassim Road, owned by Wing Tai Holdings chairman Cheng Wai Keung, would set a Singapore record. It would also be one of the highest prices ever paid for a home, anywhere.

The 85,000-square-foot site on an elevated lot near the Botanic Gardens includes a two-storey home, swimming pool and tennis court, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, the sole marketing agent.

"These kinds of assets come onto the market once in 10, 15 or even 20 years," said Karamjit Singh, of Jones Lang LaSalle in Singapore. "The potential buyers of this league would be able to recognise the opportunity."

These kinds of assets come onto the market once in 10, 15 or even 20 years. The potential buyers of this league would be able to recognise the opportunity
Karamjit Singh, Jones Lang LaSalle in Singapore

Singh estimated the property, which is in an area that includes the residence of the British high commissioner and the embassies of Japan and Russia, could fetch between S$250 million and S$300 million.

The site may be sold as two lots, which could yield a total of five homes, he said, adding that the owner decided to put it on the market after receiving unsolicited offers.

Alan Cheong, senior director of research and consultancy at broker Savills, said: "This is beyond economics - it's mind boggling and probably one of the highest in the world. It's no small change even for the ultra-high net worth."

The price is 79 per cent higher than the US$135 million listing for the Crespi-Hicks Estate in Dallas, according to broker Douglas Newby, who is marketing the property.

Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man, who is ranked the 28th richest on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, owns a 27-storey home in Mumbai supposedly valued at about US$500 million, adding to his US$22.4 billion net worth.

But it's doubtful if any single home in Asia, or elsewhere for that matter, has ever actually sold for more than S$300 million. The French Villa La Leopolda famously sold for €370 million (HK$4.4 billion) in 2008, reportedly the most ever paid for a home, but the billionaire Russian buyer, Mikhail Prokhorov, walked away from the deal and his deposit two years later.

Residential prices in Singapore climbed to a record in the first quarter as an increase in the number of millionaires drove up demand. Singapore is Asia's most expensive housing market after Hong Kong.