Dyson snaps up Singapore’s super penthouse


Room with a view: Dyson and his wife will be calling the three-storey penthouse in Guoco Tower (right) home. The five-bedroom apartment has a pool and a wine cellar. — AFP

SINGAPORE: British billionaire and inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner James Dyson has bought the most expensive apartment in Singapore, where his company plans to build an electric car.

The three-storey “super penthouse” at the top of Singapore’s tallest building sold for US$54.2mil (RM224.3mil), according to media reports.

Accessed by its own lift, the downtown apartment once valued at S$100mil (RM304.1mil) has five bedrooms, a 600-bottle wine cellar, pool, jacuzzi, and a private garden with city views that include the Marina Bay Sands hotel, marketing documents show.

Dyson, 72 and a Brexit supporter, announced plans in January to move his company’s head office from Britain to Singapore to be closer to its fastest-growing markets.

His firm – whose products include bladeless fans, air purifiers and hair dryers – plans to build its first electric car in the city-state.

The Wallich Residence penthouse sits on top of the tallest building in Singapore – Tanjong Pagar Centre – built by developer GuocoLand Ltd.

Before its unveiling, the highest asking price for the “bungalow in the sky” reached a dizzying S$100mil in 2017, making it Singapore’s most expensive.

Title records show Dyson and his wife became tenants of the 99-year leasehold property on June 20.

Royal meet: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth presenting Dyson with the insignia of members of the Order of Merit during a private audience at Buckingham Palace in 2016. — Reuters
Royal meet: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth presenting Dyson with the insignia of members of the Order of Merit during a private audience at Buckingham Palace in 2016. — Reuters  

The records did not state the price paid, but media reported Dyson, who has been given permanent residence status, bought the property for S$73.8mil.

“Given the decision to locate the headquarters in Singapore and the growing focus of the company’s business in the region, of course James Dyson has bought a property there,” a Dyson spokesman said, without giving further details of the purchase.

Dyson is one of Britain’s best-known entrepreneurs, creating a multibillion-dollar company from an insight that a cyclone could collect household dust better than a clogged-up bag.

Singapore is an island of well-heeled stability that attracts the super-rich from its less-developed South-East Asian neighbours, as well as millionaires from mainland China.

The city intensified property restrictions last year after a 9.1% annual increase in home prices and as developers paid record amounts to buy land.

Foreigners now have to pay levies of more than 20% to buy property under the new rules, but citizens and permanent residents pay far lower taxes.

“From the onset, the buyer was always going to be a foreigner,” said Leong Boon Hoe of List Sotheby’s International Realty, one of the agencies marketing the penthouse.

“It’s a place to be able to showcase your wealth”. — Reuters

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