Singapore-listed OUE Group has sold a trophy home in the most elite enclave of the city’s ultra rich to its executive chairman, Stephen Riady for S$95 million ($68 million), according to a stock exchange announcement.
Under the terms of an agreement between the developer and its chairman, who also serves as chairman of Indonesia’s Lippo Group, Riady is set to take possession of the mansion developed by OUE, now that the company has developed a dream home on the 3,182 square metre (34,251 square feet) site on Singapore’s Nassim Road.
The trophy acquisition follows a string of luxury real estate purchases by billionaires in the tax-lenient city-state, with a company owned by Wing Tai boss Cheng Wai Keung having just two weeks ago sold a house on the same road for S$230 million, the highest ever price paid in Singapore for a residential property.
Indonesian Mogul Buys a Slice of By-Gone Empire
Riady, who holds an approximately 68.65 percent interest in OUE, has already put down over S$57 million for the luxury stand-alone house or “good class bungalow” in local property terms. The Indonesian-Chinese tycoon is set to pay a further S$23.75 million on the date he takes possession of the home, while the final S$14.25 million payment will be made on completion of the transaction, which is due to take place on 31 December 2019.
Riady’s new home, at 26A Nassim Road, was designed by award-winning Paris-based architect Jean Francois Milou to occupy part of what had been the grounds of the British High Commissioner in Singapore until an OUE unit had acquired the freehold parcel from the UK government three years ago.
After the slice of Britain’s former colonial heritage had been on the market for nearly a year, Riady’s company paid S$50.4 million for the site in 2016 — at a twenty percent discount from the original asking price.
Based on site area, Riady is paying OUE the equivalent of S$2,774 per square foot for his new luxury abode.
In June, Cushman and Wakefield had valued the property at S$87 million, while Knight Frank had given a price point of S$85.5 million, putting the price Riady has agreed to pay some 10.1 percent above the average of the two estimates.
OUE said in its regulatory filing that the sale price had been arrived at after taking into account various factors, including the independent valuation reports by the valuers, and that no discount to the average market value of the property had been given.
In line with bourse rules for interested-person transactions, Riady had recused himself from board decisions regarding the transaction, according to the statement, with OUE indicating that the sale was in its ordinary course of business.
Award-Winning Luxury Living
Although the design of the house is shrouded in secrecy, the project resembles a job given the codename House N by architectural practice Studio Milou – the same team that designed an award-winning home at Singapore’s 33 Holland Road.
According to renderings published on the website of the Paris design studio, House N is an ultra-modern sanctuary-style living space intended to create a meditative environment in harmony with the property’s natural surroundings.
Tall glass windows look out on a leafy garden, while high-ceilinged, open-plan rooms have a two-tone, black and mahogany colour scheme.
Equidistant between Eden Hall – the official residence of the British High Commissioner – and the Embassy of the Philippines, the cutting-edge property is a ten-minute walk from a landed property purchased last month by British billionaire James Dyson on nearby Cluny Road.
Studio Milou has been contacted to confirm that 26A Nassim Road is in fact House N, however, the architectural practice, which has an office in Singapore, had not replied by the time of publication.
Providing Shelter for the Super-Rich
Riady’s purchase comes just three weeks after his new vacuum-magnate neighbour paid S$2,700 per square foot for his bungalow at 50 Cluny Road, picking up a 15,185 square foot property complete with an indoor waterfall overlooking the Singapore Botanic Garden.
In June, the inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner had smashed the record for the most expensive non-landed residence in the city when he paid S$74 million for a super penthouse in the Guoco Tower.
The price Riady is paying for 26A Nassim Road is slightly higher than the S$2,720 per square foot a buyer – believed to be Singapore-owned trust SG Casa – paid for Cheng Wai Keung’s 84,544 square foot property last month on the same road.
Chief operating officer of List Sotheby’s, Leong Boon Hoe, said that the proactiveness of the Singapore government in attracting foreign direct investment has spurred demand for residential property, while the growth of higher income groups and the expanding high-net-worth community in the city has also fuelled the demand for luxury residences.