A recent report by Credit Suisse Group predicted that by the year 2025, Singapore may have 437,000 millionaires. The bank’s Global Wealth Report for the year 2021 said that this would be a 60 per cent spike from the numbers recorded in 2020.
That doesn’t seem improbable considering the number of ultra-high-net-worth (UNHW) newly-minted citizens, who have clamoured to its shores—thanks to its strategic location in Southeast Asia and stable business-friendly environment. The sector that has most benefited from this has been its luxury real estate sector, which according to a recent report released by Singapore real estate company OrangeTee & Tie has seen some of the highest number of sales in the city-state during the last decade.
As if on cue, in 2018, the movie Crazy Rich Asians spotlighted the affluence levels in the island state. Although the film was largely shot in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, author Kevin Kwan has admitted to have been inspired by long-abandoned Istana Woodneuk for the ancestral house of the protagonist’s grandmother, the matriarch of the Young family.
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Bordered by Holland Road and Tyersall Avenue, and near Botanic Gardens in Singapore, the land is set in Tyersall Park and has belonged to the Johor state since 1862. Once a palace, it suffered irreparable loss due to a fire in 2006 and has remained abandoned since. The Singapore government bought parts of it in 1990, as an extension of the Botanic Gardens, and then in 2009, bought a further 98,000sqm.
As a recent news report by Bloomberg disclosed, there is speculation that the Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim is in talks with authorities to redevelop the area into a cluster of ultra-luxe homes. We are talking about a plot that is over 52 acres in a country that is 180,000 acres in total, in the Core Central Region (CCR) of Singapore.
“Such a huge land parcel to be situated in one of the most coveted locales in Singapore is indeed a rarity. If they are able to convert the space successfully for residential usage, then the new development could be on par with other super-luxury developments in the area,” says Christine Sun, senior vice president of Research & Analytics at OrangeTee & Tie.