Shun Tak Holdings, one of the flagship companies controlled by the clan that dominates Macau’s gambling industry, has smashed Singapore’s price record for luxury homes with its high-profile entry into the city state’s high-end property market.
Park Nova, a collection of 54 large apartments in a high-rise tower about 10 minutes’ walk from the Orchard Road shopping belt, set a record when a penthouse measuring 5,899 sq ft (548 square metres) sold for S$34.38 million (US$26 million). Translating to HK$33,800 per square foot, the duplex – the largest of three penthouse units – features five bedrooms, a family room and study.
“We see the robust economic development [in Singapore] and talents in technology and finance sectors have been lured to the city on back of the government’s favouring policies,” Shun Tak’s executive chairman and chief executive Pansy Ho Chiu-king said during a Wednesday press briefing. “Thus there is an increasing demand in the high-end housing market for the scores of professionals.”
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The successful debut in Southeast Asia gives the property-to-hospitality conglomerate confidence to expand its reach, Ho said, adding that Singapore will be Shun Tak’s focus in the coming years. The company has sold 13 of the 54 Park Nova apartments, with sizes starting from 1,432 sq ft going up to 5,899 sq ft, all to Singaporean buyers, company executives said.
Singapore’s prices for private homes rose 3.3 per cent in the first three months, according to data provided last month by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the biggest quarterly gain since the second quarter of 2018, as buyers took advantage of low interest rates and expectations that prices will climb further after the economy recovers.
Shun Tak, founded by Ho’s late father Stanley Ho in 1972, is poised to follow through on Park Nova’s success with three more projects.
The ultra luxury Les Maisons Nassim, featuring 14 apartments – each with its own lobby and lift – located near the EtonHouse Orchard international school in a tony neighbourhood of so-called good class bungalows (GCBs), is expected to be launched this year.
Along Cuscaden Road in the Orchard vicinity, the 142-room Artyzen Hotel is expected to open in 2022. Separately, Shun Tak is renovating a commercial building to turn it into an office tower.
The push into Singapore stands in stark contrast with Shun Tak’s footprint in Hong Kong, the birthplace and childhood home of the late casino tycoon, where the company had not launched any project in six years.
“We will pay close attention to Hong Kong and look for the right opportunity,” Ho said. “It is difficult to find suitable land supply in Hong Kong. We do not want our investments to be scattered among different places, our purpose is to keep the investment concentrated and in-depth.”
Sun Tak’s most recent property development in Hong Kong was in 2015, when it launched a cluster of five villas at the Chung Hom Kok cape in Stanley on the southern tip of Hong Kong Island. The five three-storey detached houses range from 4,374 to 6,615 sq ft in size, each featuring an outdoor pool, a family lift and a green garden.
Singapore took the crown two years in a row on a list of economies compiled by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management (IMD) in 2020, while Hong Kong grabbed the fifth spot, down from second in 2019.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong dropped off Washington-based think-tank Heritage Foundation’s list published in March, a year after ceding the No 1 position it held for 25 years to Singapore.
“Given the extreme volatility on the economic and political fronts, conglomerates who have large resources will have to diversify across asset classes and countries to try to smooth out their overall risk trajectory,” said Alan Cheong, Savills’ research and consultancy executive director in Singapore.
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