PropertyGuru Property Report No.170 (February - March 2022)

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120 ASIA’S BEST LUXURY BOLTHOLES

VIENTIANE TRACKS POSITIVE 128

112 GLUT FEELING IN THAILAND

BENOY’S BIG DESIGNS 84

104 CAMBODIA’S LOCAL HEROES

HUA HIN FOR THE WIN 131

USD10; SGD13; IDR135,000; MYR41; THB330

NO. 170 asiapropertyawards.com/newsroom

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I FEEL LIKE A QUEEN ON THIS THRONE

With features such as one-click sanitation and water stream experiences, the Eir intelligent toilet TM

provides a higher level of personal cleanliness. This sleek toilet can be installed into any wall and pairs nicely with contemporary bathroom settings.

Water Filtration

One-Click Sanitization

Various Water Stream Experiences

Multiple Installation Options

KOHLER.ASIA 2


Designed to be Designed means that the Components™ collection was made for designers, decorators and consumers who want a personalized space. The Components collection invites you to combine a spout, handles and finish to create the perfect look for the room you want. The versatility and personalization of the Components collection enables it to be used in a wide range of looks and styles. 3


Grand Trinity

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Grand Trinity

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UOL

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UOL

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HIGHLY COMMENDED BEST LUXURY BOUTIQUE CONDO DEVELOPMENT

35 Gilstead by Amcorp Global Limited and TG Development Pte Ltd

HZS Design FREEHOLD RESORT HOMES S AT PRIME DISTRICT 11

F REEHOL D Choice Units from $2,2xx/- psf

A r t i s t ’s I m p r e s s i o n

A FREEHOLD LEGACY AT DISTRICT 11 70 exclusive freehold residences nestled atop elevated ground to overlook unblocked views and landed houses at Chancery. Indulge in a world of total tranquility and enjoy quality lifestyle in absolute

Visit our sales gallery at Prince Charles Crescent (Opposite The Crest Condo) By Appointment: 11am-7pm

(65) 6351 6628 W W W. 35 G I L ST E A D.C O M

For enquiries, call

Jointly Developed By: A r t i s t ’s I m p r e s s i o n

Developer Name: Amcorp Forward Pte Ltd • Co. Reg. No.: 201731793H • Tenure: Freehold • Legal Description: Lot 1364C, TS28 at Gilstead Road • Developer's Licence: C1276 • 10 Encumbrances: Mortgage registered in favour of Hong Leong Finance Limited • BP No.: A1525-00011-2017-BP01 Approved on 11 January 2019, A1525-00011-2017-BP02 Approved on 15 February 2019 and BP03 - A1525-00011-2017 approved on 15 November 2021 • Expected TOP Date: 31 May 2024 • Expected Date of Legal Completion: 31 May 2027


HIGHLY COMMENDED BEST BOUTIQUE CONDO DEVELOPMENT

Lattice One by Amcorp Global Limited

HZS Design DWELL IN INTIMACY IN DISTRICT 20 0

A r t i s t ’s I m p r e s s i o n

Fi nd yo u r p e e r le ss ha ve n a wa y from fro m th e c a c o p h o ny of c i t y l i v i n g . For th ose w ho se e k the p e r fe c t b a la n c e b et we e n u r b a n i t y a n d l a n g u i d q u ietu d e , l i fe a t i t s b e st i s n ow y o u rs to ow n .

F REEH O LD Limited Units from $1,9xx/- psf

RETREAT TO INDULGENCES Make daily departures to your inner senses. Dive into tranquility and reawaken your energy. There’s privacy and openness for everyone. Return trips are encouraged. You’re always just a lift away.

Visit our sales gallery at 25 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 By Appointment: 11am-7pm

(65) 6351 6628 W W W. L AT T I C EO N E . S G

For enquiries, call

Developed By: A r t i s t ’s I m p r e s s i o n Developer Name: Amcorp Development Pte Ltd • Co. Reg. No.: 200704202Z • Tenure: Estate in Fee Simple • Developer’s Licence: C1277 • Encumbrances: Mortgage registered11 in favour of Hong Leong Finance Limited • BP No.: A1698-00609-2017-BP01 Approved on 23 April 2019 • Expected TOP date: 31 March 2024 • Expected Date of Legal Completion: 31 March 2027


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Ametus

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WINNER

WINNER

WINNER

WINNER

WINNER

BEST DEVELOPER (VISAYAS)

BEST HOTEL INTERIOR DESIGN

BEST CONDO DEVELOPMENT (VISAYAS)

BEST AFFORDABLE CONDO DEVELOPMENT (METRO CEBU)

BEST MEGA MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT

Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

Radisson Red by Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

MesaVirre Garden Residences by Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

Casa Mira Towers Mandaue by Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

Patria de Cebu by Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

WINNER

WINNER

WINNER

WINNER

BEST DEVELOPER (MINDANAO)

BEST TOWNSHIP DEVELOPMENT

BEST CONDO DEVELOPMENT (METRO DAVAO)

BEST HOUSING DEVELOPMENT (MINDANAO)

Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

Davao Global Township (DGT) by Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

One Paragon Place by Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

Velmiro Uptown CDO by Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

WINNER

WINNER

SPECIAL RECOGNITION IN SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

SPECIAL RECOGNITION IN ESG

Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

Cebu Landmasters, Inc.

Ametus

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WINNER BEST LEISURE CONDO/APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT

Ion Forte Green City by NCT Group of Companies

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HIGHLY COMMENDED BEST HIGH END CONDO/APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT (CENTRAL)

Grand Ion Majestic by NCT Alliance Berhad

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German European Sch Singapore

DA I R Y F A R M R D

HillV2 HILLVIEW

PB

UK

W

HI

D

LL VIE

HR

E PR EX

IMA

SS W AY

Singapore Quarry

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

HUME (U/C)

Murnane Reservoir

Hindhede Nature Park Bukit Batok Nature Park

Old Bukit Timah Fire Stn

RD NG RO D JU

Temasek Club S’pore Korean Int’l Sch

RA

D AV E SO E UZ A

OL

Sin Isl Cl

Upper Peirce Reservoir

IL

UP PB UK IT T IM AH RD

CO

RR

ID

Rifle Range Nature Park

O

R

JL

N

Bukit Timah Shopping Centre

JU

RO

LANDED ESTATE

NG

KE

Cheong Chin Nam Rd Eateries

Hollandse Sch

Chatsworth Int’l Sch Bukit Timah Campus

MacRitchie Reservoir

The British Club

Beauty World Centre

CH

IL

BEAUTY WORLD

Singapore Island Country Club (Bukit)

Bukit Timah Saddle Club

LANDED ESTATE ITH

IT TIM

AH

RD

PA N Swiss Sch In S’pore

KING ALBERT PARK

The Grandstand

King Albert Park Mall (KAP) Bukit Timah Railway Stn

IS LA ND

EX PR ES SW AY

SIXTH AVENUE

Methodist Girls’ Sch

Sixth Ave Centre Guthrie House

GREENWOOD LANDED ESTATE

Nanyang Girls’ High Sch National Jnr College

D

CLEMENTI RD

Singapore University of Social Sciences

N RD

E

AY

D AN SL NI PA CLEMENTI AV E6

S ES Ngee Ann PR Polytechnic EX

BUK

EAR

ENG NEO AV

DUN

W

Bukit Timah Pri Sch

BUKIT TIMAH

Bukit Timah Plaza

Bukit Timah Community Building

Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre Pei Hwa Presbyterian Pri Sch

R RAIL C O

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Raffles Girls’ Pri Sch

LANDED ESTATE

SIM Global Education

TAN KAH KEE

ADAM R

E

IT T

AV

AH TIM KIT BU

UP

The Rail Mall

RID

Hwa Chong Institution

OR

Coronation Shopping Plaza Nanyang Serene Pri Sch

Adam Rd Food BOTAN Centre

GARD


Lower Peirce Reservoir

ngapore land Country ub (Island)

MARYMOUNT

e

LO

RN

I

I EH

GH

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AY

CALDECOTT BUKIT BROWN

MOUNT PLEASANT (U/C)

St. Joseph’s Institution

NIC DENS Raffles Town Club

Singapore

Catholic Jnr College

CALDECOTT (U/C)

WINNER

WINNER

BEST BREAKTHROUGH DEVELOPER

BEST PRIVATE CONDO ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

CSC Land Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd

VERDALE by CSC Land Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd and COLI (Singapore) Pte Ltd

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Open For Viewing

Allgreen

Visit Our Sales Gallery at Fourth Avenue next to Sixth Avenue MRT Station Viewing by Appointment Only Open Daily from 10am to 7pm 36

DEVELOPER: SKY TOP INVESTMENTS PTE LTD • CO REG. NO.: 201311463R • DEVELOPER’S LICENCE NO.: C1300 • TENURE OF LAND: ESTATE IN FEE SIMPLE (FREEHOLD) • ENCUMBRANCES ON THE LAND: MORTGAGE IN FAVOUR OF UNITED OVERSEAS BANK LIMITED • LEGAL DESCRIPTION: LOT 04954N MK 04 AT ANAMALAI AVENUE, BUKIT TIMAH ROAD, LILY AVENUE • EXPECTED DATE OF VACANT POSSESSION: 31 DECEMBER 2022 • EXPECTED DATE OF LEGAL COMPLETION: 31 DECEMBER 2025 ALL PERSPECTIVES ARE ARTIST’S IMPRESSION.


WINNER BEST BOUTIQUE CONDO LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

T.O.P. SOON

Juniper Hill by Allgreen Properties Limited

Allgreen

Golden Circle Membership (Gold Status) with the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Visit Our Sales Gallery at Fourth Avenue next to Sixth Avenue MRT Station Viewing by Appointment Only Open Daily from 10am to 7pm 37

DEVELOPER: ALLGREEN PROPERTIES LIMITED (UEN: 198601009N) • DEVELOPER’S LICENCE NO.: C1268 • TENURE OF LAND: FREEHOLD • LEGAL DESCRIPTION: LOT 00103K TS26 AT 39 EWE BOON ROAD • ENCUMBRANCES ON THE LAND: MORTGAGE IN FAVOUR OF DBS BANK LTD • EXPECTED DATE OF VACANT POSSESSION: 31 DECEMBER 2022 • EXPECTED DATE OF LEGAL COMPLETION: 31 DECEMBER 2025 *TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY


Kingsford

WINNER

WINNER

BEST MEGA-SCALE CONDO LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

BEST MEGA-SCALE CONDO DEVELOPMENT

Normanton Park by Kingsford Group

Normanton Park by Kingsford Group

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Kingsford

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WINNER

WINNER

BEST CONDO DEVELOPMENT (SINGAPORE)

BEST ULTRA LUXURY CONDO DEVELOPMENT

Park Nova by Shun Tak Holdings

Park Nova by Shun Tak Holdings

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ISSUE 170 Publisher Jules Kay Editor Duncan Forgan Deputy Editor Al Gerard de la Cruz Senior Editor Richard Allan Aquino Digital Editor Gynen Kyra Toriano Senior Media Relations Executive Tanattha Saengmorakot Media Relations & Marketing Services Executive Piyachanok Raungpaka Product Lifecycle Marketing Manager Marco Dulyachinda Editorial Contributors Liam Aran Barnes, Bill Bredesen, Diana Hubbell, Steve Finch, George Styllis, Jonathan Evans Head of Creative Ausanee Dejtanasoontorn Senior Graphic Designer Poramin Leelasatjarana Sales Director Udomluk Suwan Regional Manager of Awards Sponsorship Kanittha Srithongsuk Business Development Executive, Sponsor Partnership Priyamani Srimokla (Priya) Regional Solutions Manager Orathai Chirapornchai Solutions Manager (Australia) Watcharaphon Chaisuk (Jeff) Solutions Manager (Cambodia) Phumet Puttasimma (Champ) Solutions Manager (India and Sri Lanka) Monika Singh Solutions Manager (Indonesia) Amanda Michelle Wulan Putri Solutions Manager (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau) Huiqing Xia (Summer) Kai Lok Solutions Executive (Malaysia) Samuel Poon Solutions Manager (Myanmar and Greater Niseko) Nyan Zaw Aung (Jordan) Solutions Manager (Philippines) Marylourd Pique Maria Elena Sta. Maria Business Development Manager, Corporate Sales (Singapore) Alicia Loh Solutions Manager (Thailand) Kritchaorn Rattanapan Rattanarat Srisangsuk Solutions Manager (Vietnam) Quan Nguyen (Val) Distribution Manager Rattanaphorn Pongprasert Editorial Enquiries duncan@propertyguru.com Advertising Enquiries petch@propertyguru.com Distribution Enquiries ying@propertyguru.com PropertyGuru Property Report is published six times a year by

© 2022 by PropertyGuru Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission of the publisher KDN PPS 1662/10/2012 (022863)

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CONTENTS | Issue 170

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Gadgets

Trends

Style

It takes more than a pandemic to slow the pace of tech innovation

Turn your bedroom into a romantic chamber worthy of Romeo and Juliet

Earn your fashion stripes in the Year of the Tiger with these must-haves

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Project Confidential: King of the hills

Interview: The lady is a champ

Design Focus: Giant steps

Gran Meliá Lombok makes the most of its paradisiacal site in the island’s coastal hills

Linda Chern believes that strong governance and finite space will keep Singapore’s luxury residential market motoring

Benoy has evolved from humble beginnings to become one of the leading lights in global architecture

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Welcome to a life well-lived. Forbes Estates Lipa is an exclusive enclave South of Manila that eases you into a slow, quiet and intentional way of living — the pinnacle of understated elegance and grounded opulence that are anchor points of everyday experiences. This suburban solace affords you the elusive luxury of space, time, and a life well-lived.

Luxury of space

Luxury of time

Luxury of a life well-lived

Build and design your own suburban solace with our repertoire of residential offerings.

Savor your time to move, muse, play and commune in family-friendly club and park amenities

Live in a community surrounded by craft, culture, commerce, and culinary provenance.

Inquire at forbesestates.ph

The information and drawings outlined in the page are conceptual and subject to change without prior notice. The Developer reserves the right to make additions, deletions and modifications to the drawings as the Developer may deem appropriate or desirable.

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CONTENTS | Issue 170

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Neighbourhood Watch: Thu Thiem

Destination: Cambodia

Destination: Thailand

Ho Chi Minh City’s new central business district is poised to be a fulcrum of life in the decades to come

Phnom Penh’s condo boom has slowed, but developers are reaping dividends by catering to the country’s growing investor class

The damage wreaked on Thailand’s real estate industry by the pandemic is highlighted by oversupply and weak buyer sentiment

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Special Feature: Shelters from the storm

Dispatch: Tracking positive

Dispatch: Shooting from the hip

An upsurge in interest in buying second homes means that Asia’s resort residences sector is thriving

The glut in Vientiane’s residential market is set to be addressed by a new rail link with China

Hua Hin is transforming into a hub for second home investment by young, wealthy Thais


Damosa Land Inc.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

WINNER

WINNER

BEST HIGH END CONDO DEVELOPMENT (HCMC)

BEST HIGH END CONDO ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

BEST BOUTIQUE DEVELOPER

Promena by National Housing Organization, JSC.

Promena by National Housing Organization, JSC.

National Housing Organization, JSC

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EDITOR’S NOTE Issue 170

The start of a new year always brings mixed emotions. On one hand, it’s a chance for renewal. On the other, a return to the old routine after the holiday period can be a conduit for rumination over a change of scene. We’ve got the antidote for such melancholic musings in this, our resort residences issue. In the special feature we reveal some of Asia’s finest luxury boltholes: a paradisiacal potpourri that encompasses urban retreats and good old-fashioned tropical beachside beauties. Elsewhere, on a similar theme we travel — virtually of course — to Indonesia to run the rule over the new Gran Meliá Lombok by Invest Islands. Thailand and Cambodia are two destinations with thriving second-home markets. We look at how both countries are shaping up for real estate investment as we move (slowly) towards the post-pandemic era. We also take a short hop south from Bangkok to check out how Hua Hin is shaking off its reputation for dowdiness and luring wealthy young Thais. Elsewhere in the issue we speak to Terence Seah of Benoy about the famed design firm’s big-hitting projects around Asia, look at how Thu Thiem in Ho Chi Minh City is evolving and speak to Linda Chern of CBRE about her experiences at the highest end of the luxury res market in Singapore. Enjoy!

Duncan Forgan Property Report duncan@propertyguru.com

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Artist’s Illustration

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VALUE PROPOSITION FOR FUTURE CITIES In a situation of growing pressure of population growth, climate change, rapid urbanization and running out natural resourceson human beings, the transformation towards smarter and more sustainable will become an urgent need for urban.

5 CORE VALUES OF “SMART CITY” Currently, 74 million people added to the world's population every year, which cause a concern of the number of 11 billion by 2050. At this time, the world is demanding for a much larger planet that three folds the available Earth to accommodate such huge number of people. The trend of urbanization is taking place rapidly as a inherent result of economic growth, emerging cities are also developing vertically to meet the high demand of a large part of newly joined residents. Following these two trends, people are always afraid of a more unpredictable climate change and challenges as natural resources are running out. Statistics showed thaturban areas account for about 54

two-thirds of energy consumption and 70% of emissions which cause global warming and climate change. This is the premise for "smart city" to come to life. Construction experts have listed 5 core pillars to develop smart and sustainable cities which are Sustainable quality; Reducing energy consumption; Saving resources; Health safety and Reducing environmental impact. In construction, paints as well as other materials are critical to decide the quality of buildings. Currentlytheyare also produced on five pillars, helping to speed up the process of developing smart urban and cities while addressing requirements on sustainable development.


Advanced paints technology could help to save by 20% of energy used for lighting in buildings

SMART CONSTRUCTION SOLUTION To develop cities in a smart way, construction is considered as the foundation as this is the first step to form any cities. In this industry, there have been various smart solutions proposed and applied. “As sustainability is one of our core values, AkzoNobel always focuses on the sustainable development especially that of urban areas. Equipped with an extensive knowledge of sector specifications and regulations, AkzoNobel is proud to support the construction and real estate developments by offering a one-stop paints and coatings contact point for industry professionals. The 5 core values are reflected in our business approach of People. Planet. Paint, which is also our commitment to playing our part in pioneering a world of possibilities to bring surfaces to life while empowering people and minimizing our impact on the planet,” said My Lan Nguyen, General Director of AkzoNobel Decorative Paints Vietnam. Technological innovation towards green and smart is taking place actively in paints industry to meet the market demand. Since 2007, the AkzoNobel product portfolio including Dulux Professional has been scanned annually for eco-premium solutions. An eco-premium solution is defined as a product that provides the same or better functionality for the customer application, while also having a clear eco-efficiency benefit over the most common alternative in the marketplace. Eco-efficiency is about creating more value with less environmental impact.

For instance, Anti BacteriaTM technology helps to prevent mold and harmful bacteria, Paint Happy™ helps to neutralize paints smell and Airfresh Technology™ is capable of absorbing formaldehyde (which is banned to be used in food) are contributing to creating healthier and heath-friendly living spaces. In additions, KeepCoolTM helps to reduce wall surface temperatures by up to 5°C, thereby reducing cooling costs by 10% 15% thanks to the ability to maximize solar reflection. These technologies are available in the Dulux Professional products for projecting channels, bringing the same benefits to not only housing projects but also office and service buildings. More popularly and noticeably, gardens have been put into campus in recent urban areaswith green walls, hanging gardens, sky parks ..., which not only increase the look and feel but also help to save energy and reduce noise. Moreover, buildings with renewable energy systems such as solar, or intelligent lighting systems with sensors to help to save energy to the most have become more popular. Other advancedbuilding materials are also contributing to the trend of green architecture such as smart bricks to help to cool the buildings down, scattering glass to reduce heat and energy consumption... TM

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DETAILS | Gadgets

GOING VIRAL It takes more than a pandemic to slow the pace of tech innovation

SUNNY SIDE UP Play it cool with the Urbanista Los Angeles headphones. They recharge whenever they’re exposed to any light, be it the sun or your indoor lamps. These battery-free, wireless headphones thus offer virtually infinite playtime, plus noisecancelling and on-ear detection tech.

EUR235, urbanista.com

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Glorious View, Glorious Lake Lakeside Living Second to None Only in Putrajaya

Wake up to clear skies and blue waters, hike the TERRA trail, fabulous shops and dinner by the lake

WINNER BEST MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT

TERRA by Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd

Follow us

Putrajaya Holdings

w w w.pjh.co 57 m .m y

Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd (364152-k)


CLOSED CASE Flip phones might be having their cute throwback moment, but foldable phones appear to be the next evolution of the smartphone. Samsung’s Z Fold 3 becomes a slick 7.6-inch tablet upon opening, revealing a vivid AMOLED display inside as well as a stylus. It’s also IPX8 water-resistant.

From USD1,800, samsung.com

ANALOGUE CATALOGUE The Sony Walkman lives on as an Android 9 media player. The NFC and Bluetooth-enabled NW-A100 Series can play audio files in various formats ranging from MP3s to FLAC. It’s a nod to sentimentalists who prefer their tunes in higher quality than those on streaming platforms.

USD330, sony.com

GAME FACE MAGIC MIKE Make those ASMR sounds as crisp as can be with the aural stylings of Blue Yeti. This USB microphone comes with four pickup patterns, making it a truly universal voice recorder for your podcasts, YouTube vlogs, Twitch streams, and musicmaking sessions.

USD130, bluemic.com

What you need for your professional livestreaming or vlogging needs is probably not your laptop camera but the Logitech StreamCam. It records high-definition 1080p clips at 60 frames per second and features intelligent exposure and smart auto-focus systems to help you look sharp under any lighting.

USD170, logitech.com

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DETAILS | Trends

BEDT IME STOREYS Turn your bedroom into a comfortable romantic chamber worthy of Romeo and Juliet

BETWEEN THE SHEETS If you’re in the market for long-lasting latex foam mattresses, get the Zenhaven by Saatva which offers lower back support and pressure-point relief. Doze off soundly on its naturally hypoallergenic latex material, handcrafted with breathable organic cotton and nontoxic, Kiwi-made wool.

Up to USD3,195, saatva.com

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LIKE A LOG With its one-of-a-kind angles and eyecatching colour options, the Blu Dot Nook is one seductive bed frame. The steel frame, crisscrossed by durable plywood slats, is upholstered in luxurious acrylic and wool. More than just a style choice, the angular headboard serves to shield you from light and noise.

Up to USD2,195, bludot.com

SIDE PIECE Sleep with the Scroll Vine Inlay Nightstand on hand, a drawer of tropical hardwood and engineered wood in a thin, brushed brass frame. With its bone inlay of lush, delicate spirals, curves, and foliage, the nightstand is a good-looking companion that will never leave your side. BOUDOIR BUSINESS

USD598, anthropologie.com

It’s the new normal era so convert your dressing table into your work-from-home desk. Furniture Village’s Earth Dressing Table is just the multitasker you need, a five-drawer bedroom statement piece shaped out of rustic oak and oak veneer, with an industrial touch of powder-coated metal.

GBP699, furniturevillage.co.uk COUNTING ELECTRIC SHEEP Unveiled at this year’s CES show, the next generation of the Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed is filled with sensors that can detect snoring and unhealthy sleeping positions. With a tilt here and a temperature tweak there, the bed makes healthy choices for you as you explore dreamland.

From USD1,099, sleepnumber.com

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DETAILS | Style

ROARING GOOD T IME Earn your fashion stripes in the Year of the Tiger with these must-haves

TAIL SPIN Instead of hands, the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac: Year of the Tiger watch just displays the hour and minute on apertures. It shows off a tiger motif in all its feral glory, engraved on the dial with a grand feu enamel finish.

Price upon request, vacheron-constantin.com

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SAVAGE BEAUTY Walk on the wild side with Versace’s Lunar New Year Tiger Jacket. The men’s version is a light windbreaker featuring an embroidered tiger motif on the back while the women’s version is a polyester showstopper with a tigress back print.

From THB63,000 (USD1,900), versace.com

CAT WALK Rather than drive tigers to extinction, garb yourself in Balenciaga’s oversized button dress with fierce stripes and an equally ferocious orange shade. The silk crepe dress is part of the fashion house’s Year of the Tiger collection, executed with slinky feline flourish by Balenciaga’s creative director Demna.

USD2,450, balenciaga.com

BUON ANNO The Gucci Horsebit 1955 Tiger Mini Bag is a wildly gorgeous keepsake for the Year of the Water Tiger. The tiger and floral motifs emblazoned on the Italianmade, off-white leather bag come from a vintage design by the artist Vittorio Accornero, the mind behind the fashion house’s Flora print.

SGD1,750 (USD1,300), gucci.com

KICKS AT THE CAT Turn the streets into your personal Silk Road this Lunar New Year with the Nike Air Jordan 1 Low OG CNY Sneakers. Laced with golden tassels and other ornate details, these limitededition black-and-red kicks sport proudly Chinese zodiac patterns as well as the trademark Swoosh logo.

USD952, farfetch.com

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ADVERTORIAL

A PLACE TO CALL HOME As the priorities of Malaysian property seekers shift in a new era, Tropicana Corporation Berhad listens to the pulse of the market

The desire for home ownership transcends the challenges facing Malaysia at the moment. Despite the protracted pandemic, four in five Malaysians still intend to buy properties in the future, according to PropertyGuru Malaysia’s Consumer Sentiment survey last year. The search for a great Malaysian home begins and ends near the established, affluent neighbourhood of Kota Kemuning. Here, award-winning Malaysian developer Tropicana Corporation Berhad has masterplanned Tropicana Aman, a massive walking and biking community that features a huge linear park and lake at its centre. Connected by major roads and highways, including the proposed West Coast Expressway (WCE) that directly links Banting to Perak, Tropicana Aman is truly an accessible, strategically located township. With 85 acres of parkland, Tropicana Aman is the kind of township the nation needs right now. Sustainability and environmental awareness are priorities for many Malaysians today, with 90% of respondents in the PropertyGuru survey considering it important to live sustainably. An estimated 57% of those surveyed also prioritise living in a location without owning a vehicle. Tropicana Aman’s Central Park forms the lynchpin of the township. The park, which represents 10% of the

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township’s total land area, is ringed by a 100-foot-wide, tree-lined boulevard. It even contains an extensive lake, along which lies a seven-kilometre trail designed for biking, jogging or walking. A recreational hub, comprising an exclusive clubhouse and numerous world-class sports and leisure amenities, fronts the lake, too. Tropicana Aman is a highly walkable community, with culde-sacs, controlled access, and minimal traffic making it a safe place for children and the elders to explore. Fanning out from the central park are a series of gated and guarded communities, each of which flaunts its own distinct character and design. The latest of these residential parcels is Freesia Residences. Inspired by the eponymous springtime flower, the community is nestled in 5.2 acres of greenery with ample views of the lake and park. With various lot sizes to choose from, Freesia Residences allow for limitless possibilities when it comes to configurations and landscaping. The best part is buyers get to pick their preferred floor tiles, bathroom tiles, sanitary fittings, and more to personalise their style, thanks to T•Living, Tropicana’s unique home customisation series. Freesia Residences is composed mainly of semi-D Park and Lake villas surrounded by gardens and greenery.


ADVERTORIAL first-time home buyer’s dream: stylish serviced apartments conveniently set above SouthPlace Shoppes, the city’s newest retail and commercial destination. The building overlooks the city of Shah Alam as well as Tropicana Metropark’s centrepiece 9.2-acre Urban Park, which contains an idyllic canal, children’s playground, as well as walking and biking pathways. Property seekers can choose from functional studios to two-bedroom units with a decent variety of spatial and room configurations. Units at SouthPlace Residences are as sustainable as can be, featuring water-efficient fittings, inverter air-conditioners, and green-certified products.

With options that include expansive 5+1 bedroom units, Freesia Residences are especially suitable for multigenerational families, in addition to couples and growing families. These well-ventilated, naturally lit homes feature tall ceiling heights and all bedrooms come with en suite baths—every room is sizable enough to be a junior suite. Also, the units offer a covered area wide enough to park three cars side by side.

Residents have the everyday convenience of simply visiting SouthPlace Shoppes downstairs to shop, dine, relax and play. Tenants in the retail podium meanwhile benefit from the affluent catchment area that includes the estimated 15,000 residents as well as 1.3 million consumers from Subang Jaya and Shah Alam. With typical individual built-up sizes of 1,665 sq ft and floor-to-floor heights of 6 metres, SouthPlace Shoppes offers opportunities for a vibrant, tailored tenant mix, including grocer anchor tenant Mercato and the first park-front dining in Subang Jaya. With Malaysians looking to change their home situation due to Covid-19, township developments like Tropicana Aman and Tropicana Metropark are coming to the forefront. With their thoughtfully designed residential components, welllandscaped large central parks, and crowd-pleasing retail spaces, these projects make great homes the new normal in Malaysia.

In addition to families, more than half of millennials intend to get a property after 30 years of age, according to the PropertyGuru survey. It was by listening to the home ownership ambitions of the youth that Tropicana Corporation Berhad built SouthPlace Residences, part of the 88-acre freehold integrated development Tropicana Metropark in Subang Jaya. These residences are truly a

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KING OF THE HILLS Gran Meliá Lombok, Invest Islands’ spectacular new development in Indonesia, makes the most of its paradisiacal site on the coastal slopes BY AL GERARD DE LA CRUZ

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WITH MORE THAN 20 SEASIDE VILLAS AND A BEACH CLUB, THE WATERFRONT SECTION OF GRAN MELIÁ LOMBOK PROMISES TO BE AS EXCITING AS ITS HILLSIDES

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here there’s a cornucopia of marine life, there’s Pantai Torok.

The unspoiled waters in the Elysian bay, gaping down the white sandy coast of southern Lombok Island, ripple with everything from giant sea turtles to coral reefs. “We even have the dugong,” says Jack Brown, one of the area’s most prominent expatriates. “You can see them from the beach.” Brown, along with business partner Kevin Deisser, is developing the first Gran Meliá project on the island. The USD70-million project, crowned Best Hospitality Development (Asia) at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards in 2020, will be, as Meliá Hotels International CEO Gabriel Escarrer described it, a “destination resort in itself.” The seeds for the project germinated in faraway Mallorca where University of Granada alum Deisser met fellow hospitality industry stalwart Brown. In 2015, the duo reunited halfway across the world in Gili Trawangan where they established the business outfit that would become Invest Islands. Having banked land in exotic sites across the Indonesian archipelago, the development company now boasts around 60 hectares of landed assets under management. But it was Pantai Torok that captivated the team. “The location was the first draw,” says Brown. “It has this idyllic, pristine beach, and you have the whole bay to yourself.” The landowners, a tight-knit community of farmers, had been surprisingly willing to part with the site. Although a variety of crops grew well in some places, the site was too steep in general to be agriculturally sustainable. “It worked out quite well because the locals, in general, prefer flat land,” says Brown. “We’re like, ‘Well, we want the hill because we get the views. We can have the altitude and see more from up there.’ Also, beachfront land is not the best for growing because of the salt.” lnvest Islands acquired plots incrementally from the landowners, many of whom are related to each other. From a single land certificate of less than a hectare, Invest Islands’ acquisitions multiplied to 16 hectares. “It was a kind of chain reaction,” recalls Brown.

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The site was initially master-planned as a private residential development with two- and three-bedroom villas. “Originally it was, ‘Hey Charlie, we need some awesome-looking villas that could be built on steep land,” says Brown, referring to Charlie Hearn, founder of Bali-based firm Inspiral Architects. “But we hadn’t defined what the project was, what it was going to be, and who was going to manage it.” That manager turned out to be Meliá Hotels International no less. The Spanish hotel chain and Invest Islands last year inked a 15-year hotel management agreement, ensuring the project will be built and operated up to par with the opulent standards of the Gran Meliá brand. Under the new master plan, the site’s 2.3-hectare beachfront gives rise to 22 villas, designed by Balinese design practice Studio WNA, plus a beach club designed by Inspiral. Around 105 villas stud the hillsides in thematic zones: the modernist Aurora residences; the La Residenza homes, styled after the

THE BUILDING TYPES RUN THE GAMUT FROM ALTITUDINOUS ECOLUXURY VILLAS TO EXERCISES IN PURE MODERNISM SUCH AS THE AURORA VILLAS, PICTURED

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THERE ARE BEAUTIFUL UNDULATING HILLS ON THE SITE—INTERESTING ANGLES. I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING INTEGRATED INTO THE LANDSCAPE: BRINGING IN A NATURAL ASPECT THAT MADE THE BUILDINGS FEEL LIKE THEY’RE ALMOST GROWING FROM THE GROUND


THE PROJECT INCLUDES BESPOKE TENTED SUITES KNOWN AS KAYMA, WHICH FEATURE PRIVATE POOLS AND WOODEN DECKS, TAKING GLAMPING TO THE NEXT LEVEL

eponymous 1920s architectural movement; and, on the site’ steepest points, eco-luxury villas by Inspiral. The site also hosts luxurious Kayma tented suites for glamping enthusiasts. “There are beautiful undulating hills on the site—interesting angles,” says Hearn. “I wanted to do something integrated into the landscape: bringing in a natural aspect that made the buildings feel like they’re almost growing from the ground.” The slopes challenged Inspiral as much as the builders, Balinese construction giant Tunas Jaya Sanur (TJS), which signed a memorandum of understanding with Invest Islands in 2020. The project necessitated numerous excavations into the mountain and employed the use of many retaining walls. Construction was especially arduous during the rainy season, let alone the pandemic. Defining the roads and access routes relative to the plots, many of which had been presold, weighed heavily on the architects. The accuracy of the curve radiuses on the roads was crucial to the master-planning process, too.

“Designing on a steep hill is a double-edged sword,” says Hearn. “In one sense, it allows you to do things which make the building look more spectacular. The biggest challenge is working out all the routes and inclines to get to all the various plots and locations because we’ve got to make sure that works for an easy sense of transport accessibility to every site.” Even though they proved easier to work on than the hillside, the flatlands presented the team with another quandary entirely. The low gradient of the beachside meant that the units behind the waterfront villas do not get full bay views. To add elevation to the area, builders utilised land from the hillside excavations. While not one for pastiches of vernacular architecture, Hearn made sure to slip Lombok’s character into the buildings. The island’s famous ikat textiles and handicrafts suffused the conception of the design, with abstracted patterns finding their way to the roofs, screens, and motifs. “Lombok has quite a distinctive style so we put little aspects of that into the project,” 71


ONLY THE SECOND GRAN MELIÁ PROPERTY IN INDONESIA, THE LOMBOK DEVELOPMENT IS GEARING UP FOR A 2024 OPENING WITH MOST VILLA TYPES NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION OR NEARING COMPLETION

says Hearn. “Just being here in Indonesia where you have a certain way of living—that changes your perspective. The culture here, there’s no way of escaping it. It’s such a strong culture that it embeds you, and it consequently comes out in the design.” Adhering to Inspiral’s ethos, the project keeps the supply chain as close to home as possible. The stone finishes, for example, are sourced from Lombok and Java. Inspiral also recommends eco-friendly treated bamboo and plantation timber in general. “We always make a big point of never using timber that’s from rainforests,” says Hearn. To reduce the strain on groundwater, edifices are equipped with rainwater catchment tanks as well as greywater reuse systems. Solar roof panels provide counterpoints to the grid. When it finishes in 2024, Gran Meliá Lombok will feature a YHI spa, a Yoshi Izakaya restaurant, a fitness centre, and a kids’ club, among others. Lombok’s prospects energise Brown, who attributes his entrepreneurial spirit to his great-grandfather who worked in Scotland’s Harris Tweed

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industry. With its rising middle class, Indonesia is well placed to provide the property, only the second Gran Meliá project in the country, a dependable fount of guests. “You get people moving up and they like to have something like Meliá, Spanish luxury intertwined with Lombok’s culture and heritage,” says Brown. “It’s something unique and quite desirable from an experiential perspective.” With the might and splendour of the Meliá brand behind it, the team waxes optimistic about the resale value of the units and the overall appeal of the resort. Like the turtles circling Pantai Torok’s reefs, the fauna of a different kind will have more reason to come back to Lombok. “On the hillside, you’re like an eagle, perched, ready, surveying the land,” says Hearn, adding, “whereas, down the beach, you are more like a shell, sat on the ground, absorbing, trying to catch the light and breezes differently.”


LOMBOK GETS A LIFT When hospitality industry stalwarts Jack Brown and Kevin Deisser began acquiring plots in Lombok, they had a prescient sense of how fast their landbanks would appreciate. “We started buying land in south Lombok back then at USD20 or USD30 a square metre,” recounts Brown. “Now it has gone up to USD100 to USD150 a square metre, depending on how far you are from the sea.” It is also an indication of how fast the Indonesian island is catching up with Bali just 163 kilometres away. With the impending arrival of its first Gran Meliá property, Lombok is poised to follow the lead of its more famous neighbour. Invest Islands, Brown and Deisser’s business outfit, struck a deal in 2021 with the Spanish luxury hotel brand to develop a lush 16-hectare site at Torok Bay on Lombok’s southern coast. “If you add a five-star hotel, facilities, and a beach club, the land price is only going to increase,” says Brown. “We’ve seen this happen in Bali. We’ve seen it happen in Phuket in Thailand where only 10 years ago there were areas with not any facilities.” Still, securing building permits and licences like the elusive Izin Mendirikan Bangunan (IMB) is more streamlined in Lombok than in Bali, where the government is more selective with prospective developments. “We’re lucky in Lombok,” says Brown. “As long as your hotel project is reasonably good, they’ll try and help you build it. That’s what we’ve noticed because there’s an undersupply in Lombok.” With enormous landbanks in Indonesia from Lombok to Sumba, Invest Islands hopes to develop more projects over the next year or so, including a 14-hectare eco-village, The Mandala.

THE HILLY SITE AND SALTY BEACHFRONT WERE NOT VIABLE FOR AGRICULTURE BUT LENT THEMSELVES WELL TO DEVELOPMENT, GIVEN THE PAINTERLY VIEWS OF TOROK BAY

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The lady is a champ Hotshot salesperson Linda Chern believes that attributes including strong governance and finite space will keep Singapore’s luxury residential market motoring for years to come BY BILL BREDESEN

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IN TINY SINGAPORE, LANDED PROPERTY LIKE THE MANSION PICTURED HERE IS HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER BY HNW INVESTORS

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s head of residential services at CBRE, Linda Chern focuses on the high end of Singapore’s real estate market. That often means helping clients buy and sell so-called “good class bungalows,” or GCBs, which Chern describes as the “crème de la crème” of properties in the city-state. There are only 2,800 total GCBs, spread across 39 designated zones, and only Singaporeans can buy them. From the very beginning of her career, when she joined Challenger Properties in 1997, Chern has had a knack for selling ultra-luxury real estate. She won “Rookie of the Year” out of the gate and hasn’t looked back since. She later became one of 28 original agents at the local real estate firm OrangeTee, which today is a major player, and helped set up the firm’s global division listing overseas properties. In her heyday, Chern closed 100 deals a year in London alone, selling properties mostly to Singaporean buyers. The firm’s listings were also in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. “You name it and I’ve done it,” Chern says. For a time, she spent every weekend on the 20th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, where she assisted clients as they met with overseas agents marketing residential real estate in Europe and beyond. Chern later did stints at IP Global and Knight Frank before joining CBRE in July 2021. Even amid the pandemic, Singapore’s domestic property market has been red hot. But Chern says her phone still rings constantly with requests for her to sell overseas homes to Singaporean buyers. Chern says she’s considering getting into international properties again in 2022 once she’s fully settled in at CBRE. “I still have clients chasing after me for listings and we still have people coming into Singapore to buy,” she says. “Once the travel guidelines are eased again, we expect more people to come into Singapore looking for homes.”

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SINGAPORE REMAINS A DREAM DESTINATION FOR INVESTORS, A FACT REFLECTED IN THE DYNAMISM OF ITS RESIDENTIAL MARKET

Amid the booming local market, Chern is also pushing to expand her 12-member team at CBRE by two or three people this year. “There’s never enough,” she says. “I told management: We need to expand if we’re going to work with overseas offices and bring in more UK properties.” How have sales of high-end residential properties in Singapore held up amid the pandemic? We saw 7.5% year-over-year growth in Q3 of 2021. It has not let up at all. People are still buying. For some projects, buyers don’t even turn up—they just buy them. It’s normal now to buy property online after a video tour. Transactions have become very easy. You can do a Zoom signing witnessed by a lawyer, and then send the original documents over and it’s done. 78

Is there any particular segment that’s driving sales? Singapore transacted 80 GCBs this year alone, worth USD2 billion. Previously you’d probably see less than USD1 billion a year. And in high-end homes, we’ve done 137 small-landed homes this year. This is a lot more than the whole of 2018 and 2019. Locals are afraid if they don’t buy they will be priced out of something. Singaporeans are cash-rich. And a lot of parents feel like their children are being priced out of the market, and so they book new launches for them. We see a lot of second and third generations being helped by their parents to pay the deposit, and thereafter the child takes over the loan.


With higher and higher prices, are there concerns about bubbles? There’s always talk in Singapore, but then it still goes up. So far, there have been nine rounds of cooling measures since 2017. But the fact of the matter is there’s a tight supply. You don’t have much stock. I’m running out of listings—I have no first-class bungalow listings—and clients are still waiting to buy. What makes Singapore’s real estate market so enduringly attractive? The market is stable and transparent compared to other countries. And we’ve had economic expansion and

household income growth. Also, there is finite land in Singapore, like I mentioned, so people find that it’s attractive in terms of price growth trajectory. Singapore has one of the highest homeownership rates in the world. People want to be in Singapore. Doing business here is a lot easier than elsewhere. Our government is stable, the economy is stable, and you don’t see a lot of deviation in government measures and stuff like that. What are some of the hottest residential areas in Singapore right now? The embassy zone around Nassim, the Orchard area, and the CBD have always been—and always will be—popular. In Nassim, you have GCBs as well as high-end homes. Les

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YOUNG SINGAPOREANS ARE BENEFITING FROM CASH-RICH PARENTS WHO BOOK NEW LAUNCHES FOR THEM TO PREVENT THEM BEING PRICED OUT OF THE MARKET

Maisons sold well. The penthouse there sold for USD75 million, which is around USD6,200 per square foot. Two other units sold there for about USD35 million and USD39 million each. That’s around USD5,700 to USD5,900 per square foot, which is high for an apartment in Singapore. The market here is very location-centric and propertycentric. So you have Les Maisons hitting that sort of range, but the property down the road might be doing USD3,000 to USD4,000 per square foot. It all depends on whether the property is new, where it is, who built it. Singapore is very unique in that sense. What other developments are generating buzz? The latest one, which sold 77% over one weekend, was Canning Hill Piers, at Fort Canning, which is considered part of the River Valley zone. Avenir in that area also did well. Towards the city area, Midtown Modern launched by GuocoLand did well, too. In the Holland Village area, you 80

have Leedon Green and One Holland Village—there are so many launches in Singapore. On the east coast, properties like MeyerHouse and Nyon all did decently. How important are foreign buyers in Singapore’s luxury home market? They’ve always had a huge part to play. Foreigners cannot buy land in Singapore except in the Sentosa area. But over the years, since back in the day, you would have many Indonesians and Malaysians buying properties in Singapore. Now we’re increasingly seeing Chinese buyers and Americans, too. Americans pay the same stamp duties as Singaporeans for their first home under a free trade agreement.


HOLLAND VILLAGE IS AMONG THE WIDE ARRAY OF LUXURY PROPERTY HOTSPOTS IN SINGAPORE

Chinese buyers are a force in real estate markets around the region. What more can you say about their involvement in Singapore’s property market?

buying to rent own multiple homes and rent them out all the time. People find it’s good to hold and then resell when the prices go up.

It’s huge. Many people from China have become Singaporean citizens so they are flagged as local buyers. Of the 80 GCBs transacted this year, I think the Chinese who became Singaporeans bought almost half of them.

What’s the most memorable property you’ve ever sold?

What are some unique challenges with foreign buyers? Their first question is always: Where should I buy? Then they want to know about schools. Of course, it’s different between those who are coming here to stay and those buying as an investment. The latter, if they’re looking to rent the property, will want to know what sizes most renters are looking for. In Singapore, rental use is never that great. It’s 3% or less. You won’t get a property that gives you a 5-6-7% rental return. The only good thing is the low-interest rates and the rental pool is good. The rental market is tight. Most people who are

There are so many memorable houses I’ve seen. More than any of them, I loved a piece of land that I sold in Leedon Park. It was an elevated piece of land—and you must understand that land in Singapore is scarce, so to have an elevated and flat piece of land to build a nice house on is quite a rarity. A plot of land like that is truly something special.

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ADVERTORIAL

THE NEXT STAGE Singapore real estate group GuocoLand paints a captivating, forward-looking picture of urban development GuocoLand, the developer, hopes to do with Guoco Midtown what it did with Guoco Tower in 2016. The completion of the tower, Singapore’s tallest, revitalised and transformed Tanjong Pagar, a historic area in the city’s CBD, into a captivating district of innovation, commerce and community. Guoco Midtown is charting a similar course. Adaptive to innovative technologies and receptive to postpandemic concepts of working and living, the development is attracting a new community of companies, talents, residents and visitors to the area. Towering above Guoco Midtown is a new-generation office tower offering 770,000 sq ft of premium, grade-A offices with flexible, efficient floor plates. These spaces embody the offices of the future insofar as they revolutionise the commercial leasing model. Under a core-and-flex concept, tenants have the flexibility to choose from long-term dedicated office spaces or shorter-term spaces for special project teams and similar working arrangements. The future of the world is in the city. Two-thirds of humanity will be living in urban areas by 2050, according to the UN. The city of the future, however, is already making itself known to the world. The pandemic has only played up the human need for wellness and connection, mixed with an overwhelming desire to change the status quo of work and lifestyle. The urban environment holds the key to all these fundamental yearnings. Today, a megadevelopment in Singapore presents itself as a spectacular vision of such a future. An integrated mixed-use development set on 3.2 hectares of land, Guoco Midtown will be a futuristic confluence of business, lifestyle, culture and heritage. This “city of the future” takes inspiration from other midtowns in the world while creating its own identity, shaped by the wants and dreams of the property market.

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As the boundaries between home, work and play continue to blur together, GuocoLand ensures that Guoco Midtown’s residential developments stay one step ahead of the changing times. Midtown Bay, a community of 219 premium residences, is a pioneer of the business home concept. Residents can convert certain portions or entire levels of their abodes into home offices and even designate areas for entertaining and receiving clients and guests. Such level of adaptability is a genuine advantage and a sign of things to come in the design of Singaporean homes.


ADVERTORIAL

Residents of Midtown Bay have access to the Network Hub within the development, where one can use five storeys of facilities and lounges for meetings, conference, training and collaboration. The Network Hub also creates a healthy mix of business and entertainment. Built around a lush courtyard, the Network Hub is crowned by a lap pool where one can relax after a gruelling day with business associates. In a future-forward city, connectivity should not come at the expense of sustainability. The 558 luxurious homes of Midtown Modern, another residential component of Guoco Midtown, sit directly above the Bugis MRT Interchange in the heart of the city and abound with green spaces such as a forest-themed garden and rooftop gardens. Surrounded by biodiversity and a wide range of facilities, Midtown Modern offers an excellent place to lay down roots as a family.

GuocoLand also makes the effort to link up with community partners, which help to curate events and activities that draw all walks of life to the area. The three “retail villages” of Guoco Midtown are centred around key public spaces and offer superlative experiences in shopping, dining and entertainment. Guoco Midtown is proof that high density and high liveability are not mutually exclusive in the city of the future. Says Cheng Hsing Yao, CEO of GuocoLand Group, “‘City of the future’ is about having the best of both worlds—soaking in the vibrancy and diversity of the city centre and retreating to greenery and nature to uplift our spirit and nurture our well-being.”

Good placemaking is at the heart of any city of the future. GuocoLand invested profusely in the creation of parks, plazas, thematic gardens, and open spaces, making public areas more comfortable for people to come and visit.

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Giant steps

Benoy has evolved from humble beginnings to become one of the leading lights in global architecture, with a significant and growing footprint in Asia BY DIANA HUBBELL

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enoy has had a profound and lasting impact in reshaping the fabric of cities throughout the world. Its impact belies its humble roots. The architecture and design firm started as a modest three-man operation when it was founded in 1947 in Nottinghamshire in England. “Our founder joked that he started by designing cowsheds,” says Terence Seah, director and head of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shenzhen at Benoy with a laugh. “We always joke that we went from the farm to all these destinations.” Significant works include Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Elements Mall in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The latter was Benoy’s first foray into the Asian market and it was about as challenging as a retail element could be. The mall was part of a massive construction on an elevated podium engineered to transform Hong Kong. “There are 21 towers. There’s the airport express line. There’s the MTR,” says Seah. “If you think of the most complicated compilation of urban infrastructure, that’s it. It’s like New York’s Penn Station.” More ambitious projects—including ION Orchard in Singapore—kept pouring in from the East. Eventually, the firm expanded its footprint in the region. Today, Benoy is well and truly embedded in Asia with 10 offices in cities including Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. By taking a holistic approach to master planning, the firm quickly built up a reputation within the region. “We always manage to create a cocktail that is very popular,” Seah says. “[Our projects] tend to become true destinations. People keep coming back because they serve a complex layering of needs. Whether it’s housing or working or hospitality, when you consider how they interrelate with each other, it creates a larger whole.” Part of looking at the larger whole means evaluating the impact a project can have from an ethical standpoint. “We approach design through three tenets: social, economic and environmental,” says Seah. “We tend to focus on the social aspect. A lot of our projects are mixed-use and in densely populated urban areas. We have to be able to find the synergy between different facets of customers or people visiting our developments.”

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“[Our projects] tend to become true destinations. They serve a complex layering of needs. Whether it’s housing or working or hospitality, when you consider how they interrelate with each other, it creates a larger whole”

TERENCE SEAH OF BENOY IS PROUD OF HOW THE FIRM’S PROJECTS IN ASIA HAVE BECOME DESTINATIONS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT

For instance, SookSiam, a stunning dining development within the ICONSIAM shopping complex in Bangkok, mimics a Thai floating market and features work by more than 200 Thai artists and artisans.

To reduce the carbon footprint of its retail spaces, Benoy turned to passive cooling strategies, including strategic shading and natural ventilation, to keep the public spaces cool with minimal use of fossil fuels.

The space creates a viable way for hawkers from all regions of Thailand to make a living and showcases a contemporary social space that promotes various elements of regional Thai culture. When domestic travel was curtailed due to the global pandemic, the attraction drew Bangkokians in droves to sample much-missed regional dishes from around the country.

While some of the technology the firm uses is new, much of it draws on how people in the Middle East maintained a comfortable ambient temperature for generations before the invention of electricity. The design also considers that days in Dubai traditionally get going in the afternoon and pick up after the sun goes down.

“We also used the vernacular of the floating market,” Seah says. “I think a lot of people underestimate that retail is also a form of architectural vernacular. When you go to old villages and old cities, you see how little businesses activate the fact to engage with customers.” Seah and his colleagues often draw inspiration from local architectural traditions, not only because it grounds a project with a sense of place, but also because it often makes environmental sense. For instance, Benoy has designed several projects in Dubai, a city renowned for both its scorching temperatures and energy-guzzling, air-conditioned shopping malls.

“In the Middle East, you design according to people’s habits,” says Seah. “There are some lessons to how people live and how they’ve adapted to different environments. Modern designers could learn a lot from that and tailor our design.” In many ways, one could say that Benoy is a firm looking towards the future yet grounded in the lessons and wisdom of the past. Developers in urban areas in Asia Pacific often rush to embrace the new, rather than draw on the immense cultural depth at their disposal. “We think it’s a more democratic way to work with city planning by incorporating traditional elements in a modern way,” says Seah. The result is design for people that feels both contemporary and timeless.

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Sanya CDF Mall II, China Situated on the island of Hainan, this shopping complex needed to seamlessly integrate indoor and outdoor spaces, all the while maintaining a comfortable temperature with maximum energy efficiency. “Only one little portion, maybe 3% of everything, is air-conditioned,” Seah says with pride. To keep things cool, he turned to local tradition. “What we did was to look at the weather as well as how people used to live there. They have their vernacular of architecture, which is quite like ones you find in Southeast Asia.” He also looked at the surrounding coastal environment. “The concept was a series of seashells. The top-level was slightly elevated to give that sense of space and movement all around.”

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Bahrain Marina, Bahrain Located near the waterfront, this masterplan encompassing a mix of hospitality and residential offerings presented several challenges. “We created multiple layers because we wanted to be in the great outdoors and near the water, so we wanted to embrace the outdoors and the sun, ‘’ he says. “So there’s a ring and then a second ring, which is a grand arcade, which has a lot of strong shading lines. In a sense, it’s a little like a modern souk, but quite airy and filled with light. Unlike a souk where you might get lost inside, some views orient your circulation pattern.”

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Jewel Changi VIP Lounge, Singapore “In most destinations, when you talk about the airport, no one wants to go there,” Seah says. From the beginning, he envisioned helping to transform Changi International Airport into an attraction. “It’s also about the unique position of Singapore as a hub in attracting travellers to transit. Many times, we were talking to the client and the concept was a gateway. There was this great garden of Eden concept. If you’ve experienced arriving at Changi at Terminal 1, you just take five minutes and walk into the Forest Valley. It’s a very magical experience. The journey of a passenger transforming into a tourist should be seamless.”

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ICONSIAM, Thailand The challenge of this project was two-fold: how to make a luxury shopping centre stand out in Bangkok, a city already packed with high-end retail options, and how to draw Thais to the western bank of the Chao Phraya River, away from the main city centre. “In many ways, the client was very visionary. They want to do something that captures the imagination of the Thai people, as well as the tourists,” Seah says. The design itself is “a compilation of Thai motifs based on a krathong (a small floating container fashioned of leaves) and the shape of the lotus flower. It was also about separating the vertical zones into distinct experiences so that you don’t feel fatigued going between seven layers.”

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Yongchuan Li, China When Benoy first took on this project, half of the work had already been completed, but the overall design wasn’t working. The previous developer had planned for vast plazas in the middle of structures—a common architectural trope in this part of China, but one that often resulted in stagnant, windswept spaces. “We could have torn it all down, but we wanted to find ways to reintegrate this,” Seah says. “It creates something else: a culture.” To inject life into the project, he turned to locals for inspiration. “In many parts of Asia, street life is what animates public social life, so we thought it was better to insert this energy into that form of the plaza.”

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EAST Beijing Hotel, China Located near the heart of 798, Beijing’s legendary Art District, this buzzy hotel draws a creative clientele. “I heard from a friend that every time she stays there, she sees Ai Weiwei,” Seah says. Naturally, the hotel’s design reflects its surroundings. “Because the hotel was very close to the art quarters, we wanted to work with a series of themes that worked with the area. This client is a very enlightened client who is committed to engaging with local artists.” That means playful design features pops of colour and original works by local artists. “More importantly, it was about understanding how people move in the whole development and the whole city.”

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ADVERTORIAL

THE HEIGHTS OF DEVELOPMENT Rare freehold homes in the enclave of Bukit Timah offer fantastic opportunities for families and property seekers in Singapore

ROYALGREEN Artist’s impression

Given its astounding healthcare and educational system, Singapore is one of the most liveable places on earth for raising a family. Last year, it ranked number one on Save the Children’s End of Childhood Index, cementing its reputation as one of the world’s kid-friendliest nations.

Last year, Royalgreen, a residential project by awardwinning developer Allgreen Properties, obtained its temporary occupation permit (TOP). It is the first of the projects under the developer’s Bukit Timah Collection to have achieved this.

When it comes to putting down roots in the city-state, property seekers are spoiled for choice. From the chic yet family-friendly vibe of Bukit Timah to the cosmopolitan comforts of Orchard Road, there is something for every kind of household in Singapore.

Just a five-minute walk from the Sixth Avenue MRT station along Anamalai Avenue, Royalgreen is a rarity for its location. The 285 exquisite homes of this low-rise complex are freehold, just the kind of property that would last generations of families in the heart of Bukit Timah. Units can accommodate most families, with choices ranging from two-bedroom to four-bedroom premium types.

Known for its elite schools, Bukit Timah is a sought-after area for premier landed homes and condominiums. The residential enclave is due a serious transformation as the Bukit Timah-Rochor Green Corridor completes, cutting a long trail for cyclists and pedestrians across the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Gardens by the Bay, and Jurong Lake Gardens.

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Amenities and conveniences proliferate in this section of Prime District 10. Royalgreen is close to the Sixth Avenue Shopping Centre, Guthrie House, The Grandstand and Coronation Shopping Plaza, and a little further down, Serene Centre and Holland Village.


ADVERTORIAL

JUNIPER HILL Artist’s impression

The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which contains the highest point in Singapore, also beckons to residents of Royalgreen. However, the development itself brims with everyday opportunities for members of the family to relax and play. Residents enjoy a thoughtfully curated suite of facilities, including a 50-metre lap pool and rooftop tennis court. Younger families looking for homes near prestigious schools would be drawn to Juniper Hill, another project by Allgreen Properties in the Bukit Timah-Tanglin enclave. Juniper Hill is expected to obtain TOP in Q2 2022. This exclusive collection of 115 freehold homes, which range from two-bedroom to five-bedroom units, stands within a kilometre of reputable academic institutions like ACS, SCGS and SJI. Apart from its proximity to top schools, Juniper Hill boasts a strategic location along Ewe Boon Road, a five-minute drive to Orchard Road.

tennis court, spa sanctuary, children’s pool, playground, gym, function room, and sky fitness. Juniper Hill provides its residents with a host of complimentary concierge services for the first two years after the project’s completion. Allgreen Properties has partnered with Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore to assist residents with bookings for accommodation or restaurants at the hotel. In addition, residents can arrange to have their everyday needs taken care of, from laundry services to delivery of freshly baked goods. Families and investors alike will enjoy quality time in Royalgreen and Juniper Hill for years to come. For Singapore real estate, these developments symbolise a peak achievement—probably as high as the famous hill on Bukit Timah itself.

With its efficient layouts and flexible spaces, Juniper Hill caters to various kinds of end users. Every home boasts premium finishes and fittings. Selected two-bedder units come with en suite bathrooms for both bedrooms. Set on higher grounds of the road, Juniper Hill is beautifully landscaped, with multiple gardens set on various levels of greenery. On the topmost floor is a yoga deck, a lush sky lounge and dining deck, perfect for stargazing or just a quiet time alone. Unlike other comparable boutique developments, Allgreen Properties has done a good job in providing a full suite of facilities in Juniper Hill which include a 50-metre lap pool,

ROYALGREEN Artist’s impression

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Rising star BY JONATHAN EVANS

Billed as Vietnam’s premier central business district, Thu Thiem is poised to be a fulcrum of life in Ho Chi Minh City in the decades to come

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The Opera Residence

Empire City

Broma – Not a Bar

This high-end development by SonKim Land is the third phase of the Metropole Thu Thiem project which also incorporates the mixed-use Galleria and Crest Residences. Named for its proximity to the famous Saigon Opera House in District 1, it enjoys the most enviable location of all three addresses, occupying a riverside situation next to the new Thu Thiem Bridge, allowing easy access to the action on the other side of the river. The building’s design, with two 20-storey towers (“Scala” and “Massimo”) projecting from the fourth floor, encourages the interplay of natural light with its mirrored surfaces. It also emphasises ecology. A 50-metre rooftop pool is interlaced with pathways and trees (alongside several other sporting facilities). The Opera Residence’s 646 impeccably designed units could very well become Thu Thiem’s most prestigious address upon its opening in early 2023.

In the heart of the Thu Thiem peninsula, Empire City— a 14.6-hectare development led by Singapore’s Keppel Land, along with Hong Kong and Vietnamese partners— brings an integrated mega-project to Mai Chi Toh Street in the new CBD. The sprawling colossus avails itself of the area’s greatly improved infrastructure, offering ease of lifestyle, entertainment/retail options, and business. A total of 3,000 apartments are strewn across numerous blocks in various stages of completion (Linden, Narra, Cove, and Tilia), divided between one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units, duplexes, and penthouses. The living quarters are complemented by a dazzling array of luxurious leisure amenities (tennis court, and 50-metre pool), topped by an expansive riverside park as well as access to the project’s lofty, hotly anticipated centrepiece, Empire 88 tower.

A smattering of bars is under construction in Thu Thiem. But District 1 is still the go-to spot for beers and more sophisticated adult beverages. One of the finest bars is Broma on Nguyen Hue Street. Recommended by World’s Best Bars, the double-deck venue is famed for live music, comedy shows, televised sporting events, and dazzling views. Party animals can partake of bespoke cocktails or menu favourites like the Earthquake (tequila, amaretto, blackberry and blue Curaçao) or the Rum Bo Hue (rum, cinnamon and chilli). A selection of international craft beers, meanwhile, keep discerning boozers happy. The alluring décor of leather benches, candles and fairy lights is offset by design quirks including a 3-metre fluorescent fish tank.

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Once a vast area of swampland on the opposite side of the Saigon River from District 1, Thu Thiem has witnessed one of Asia’s most radical transformations in recent times. With master planning by design and architecture firm Sasaki, the riverside peninsula will act as the southern hub’s new central business district while harbouring some of its most coveted real estate. It’s a component of the planned Thu Duc City, a “city within a city” that is expected to be a major driver for Vietnam’s future economic growth. Indeed, it is projected that activity in Thu Duc will generate one-third of the GDP in Ho Chi Minh City. Whatever the outcomes, it seems fair to say that Thu Thiem will be one of the hottest addresses in south Vietnam for years to come.

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La Haye Kitchen & Bar

Thu Thiem Parish Church and Lovers of the Holy Cross Convent

Central Plaza and Socar Mall

For now, the standalone restaurant scene in Thu Thiem remains somewhat muted. One notable success story is La Haye, a fusion restaurant that combines European techniques (primarily French and Italian) with Japanese ingredients and flavours. Creative menu selections include conchiglioni duck ragù and mussel pasta with cream sauce, while the warm-toned hues and faintly rustic ambience exert enough pulling power to ensure that La Haye is successful enough to justify a recent second outlet in the luxurious riverfront development Diamond Island. Occasional themed party nights, live music and specially created cocktails help seal the deal.

These two institutions were awarded protected-heritage status in 2019, safeguarding both sites from the CBD construction. Over the years, both buildings have been reconstructed many times. Most structures standing today are from recent decades, except the church rectory, dating from 1875—an example of early vernacular French colonial architecture—and a tamarind tree remaining from the initial 1830s convent building. The widespread persecution of their religion forced Catholic nuns from the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross to flee to Thu Thiem, and the church’s first iteration was built in 1859. Both church and convent helped develop Saigon’s schools, hospitals and clinics. Many nuns also worked as teachers, and the church constructed two primary schools. The order expanded from 23 nuns in 1840 to 340 in 1960, educating more than 8,500 children.

The focal point not just of Empire City, but of Saigon’s new CBD, will be Empire 88 tower— the latest creation of German starchitect Ole Scheeren, the figure behind Singapore’s Interlace and Bangkok’s MahaNakhon Tower. Comprising first-class offices (36 storeys) and residences (34), as well as hotels, its undulating exterior is designed to resemble rice terraces, topped by a terrarium, Cloud Space, a tropical plant-strewn events venue doubling as an observation deck. Along Empire 88’s base runs a public park, Central Plaza, which will provide ample riverside space for pedestrians. Further inland, Socar Mall is already completed, hosting cinemas, supermarkets, leading cosmetic brands, food courts, and an events venue.

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CLOSER TO HOME A decline in foreign investment has slowed the pace of Phnom Penh’s condo boom, but developers are reaping dividends by catering to Cambodia’s growing investor class BY GEORGE STYLLIS

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or the past decade, foreign investors have been driving Cambodian real estate, turning sleepy backwaters into frenetic hubs. But after two years of the pandemic, amid travel bans and other restrictions, developers are recalibrating their focus on the local market to survive. As last year came to a close, Cambodia saw its real estate market limp towards recovery as vaccination rates soared to among the highest in the world and lockdowns were lifted. Sales galleries were busy once again after being closed for months following an outbreak of infections in February, and players in the country’s real estate industry were optimistic they were on course for better times ahead.

PHNOM PENH’S SKYLINE HAS UNDERGONE A TRANSFORMATION IN RECENT TIMES AS THE FORMERLY LOW-RISE LANDSCAPE IS PUNCTUATED BY NEW TOWERS

It seemed like it was business as usual. But those driving the market were not foreigners. Instead, interest skewed heavily towards locals, who in the race for quick sales and fat profits have long been overlooked. “Locals are making up a much bigger portion of buyers at the moment,” says Kim Kinkesa, senior research manager for CBRE Cambodia. Cambodia’s real estate sector began to boom around a decade ago, with land and condominium prices commanding eyewatering sums. At the market’s height between 2013 and 2016, condos were changing hands for as much as 300% over the original purchase price. In areas like Sihanoukville, where the buying frenzy—driven by a casino rush among Chinese investors—was most acute, prices rose five and even ten-fold. As the trend was replicated in other parts of the country, real estate became one of the hottest commodities in Cambodia, with the number of condo units quadrupling at times from one year to the next. Fast forward to 2022, and foreign travel to Cambodia is still but a trickle. Analysts say that foreign investment has declined concurrently. As Cambodia successfully quashed the virus in the first year of the pandemic, there

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In the residential sector, we will see a two-tiered market with landed housing continuing to outperform the condominium sector, which is expected to see minimal price growth in 2022


BUILDING BOOM TAKES WING A new airport currently under construction in Phnom Penh has become a magnet for developers. The ambitious project, located 20km from Phnom Penh in Kandal province is due to span 26,000 hectares when fully complete and will be able to handle 50 million tourists a year. Kim Kinkesa, senior manager of research and consulting at CBRE Cambodia, said the project has so far seen improvements to roads, bridges and other infrastructure in the nearby area and drawn developers anticipating a potential boom in tourism. “A lot of new infrastructure to support the project has emerged and that has opened up a lot of new

areas for residential property. The project is also linked to the growth of landed property.” One of the projects slated to launch nearby will be the Aeon 3 mall, which when completed will be the country’s largest retail complex. General Kun Kim, a senior minister, said both the airport and the mall would help boost the south of Phnom Penh which has lagged behind other parts of the city in terms of development. “We urge developers to look into the potential of areas like the site of the new Phnom Penh International Airport in Kandal.”

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was broad hope it would weather the global health storm in reasonable shape. But two months into 2021 the country was hit by its worst wave of infections, prompting crippling lockdowns.

But the continued global restrictions on foreign travel— especially China’s ban on outbound travel—has forced significant shifts in the market, with landed property, not condominiums, now becoming all the rage.

“Yes, certainly [there has been] a slowdown in domestic demand since the outbreak in February,” says Ross Wheble, director of Knight Frank Cambodia.

“For the residential sector, we will see a two-tiered market with landed housing continuing to outperform the condominium sector, which is expected to see minimal price growth in 2022,” says Wheble.

“This impacted footfall at sales galleries as potential buyers were wary of visiting given the increasing number of Covid cases.” The wave of infections and restrictions didn’t last long as Cambodia mounted one of the most robust vaccine drives in the world.

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In the third quarter of 2021, there were 22 new launches of landed property compared with only two in condominiums. One of the most popular areas for development is the south of Phnom Penh where there were 54 completed landed residential projects and another 30 under construction as of mid-last year.


The area, which has often been overlooked by developers in favour of downtown neighbourhoods popular with expats and foreigners, has been given a boost by the construction of a huge new airport nearby and Cambodia’s biggest shopping mall, the Japanese-owned Aeon 3.

BUILT FOR SPEED Construction on a major expressway that will slash journey times between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville is due to be completed six months ahead of schedule.

CBRE’s Lawrence Lennon said with landed property moving on average 11% during the second and third quarter, the trend was “a reflection of Cambodian buyer’s preference for landed property over more high-rise formats, though a trend bolstered by the high number of new launches.” In areas outside of Phnom Penh, locals, too, have come to dominate the market. The pandemic has seen Cambodians travel more domestically, spurring demand for properties in coastal and provincial markets like Kep and Kampot, said Wheble. “Several housing projects as well as high-end

The 190km-long expressway, which would cut the journey time between the two cities by car from five hours to two, should now be completed in September this year. THE SLEEPY SOUTHERN TOWN OF KEP HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED BY AUTHORITIES AS BEING RIPE FOR DEVELOPMENT AS A DESTINATION FOR TOURISM

“It is the first-ever expressway project in Cambodia and is the most important strategic route in the kingdom,” the transport ministry said. The USD2-billion project, which is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative, would connect the two cities at a time when Sihanoukville looks to reposition itself as an IT hub after its real estate industry boomed amid a casino rush and later went bust. Since then, the government has been trying to clean up the city and rid it of a reputation for crime. This year, the city will host the East Asia Seas Congress 2021, the Southeast Asian Sailing Championship from December 12-17, and the ASEAN Tourism Forum from January 16-22. “Hosting events such as these represent ideal opportunities to showcase Sihanoukville to the region and beyond,” says Sihanoukville’s deputy governor Long Dimanche. 109


resorts have launched or are in the pipeline off the back of this growing trend,” he says. “Kep is becoming an active investment destination with the government creating a new 2.7-kilometre public beach that will be 30 metres wide.” But, for now, Phnom Penh remains the country’s key market and locals its key investors. Analysts say without the scale of foreign investment it was getting before, the market won’t grow as big or fast. But many see that as a good thing. In the years leading up to the pandemic, the real estate sector was showing signs of a bubble forming. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) report detailed some key concerns. It said: “Real estate developers are reportedly offering loans to buyers and are financed by foreign funding, while not being subject to stringent regulatory and supervisory oversight. Credit is increasingly being channeled to the real-estate sector, which is exhibiting pockets of vulnerability.”

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Kim Kinkesa said condo developers must adapt to capture some of the country’s rising middle class. Some like Prince Real Estate, one of the country’s biggest developers, have already started doing that by lowering their prices to the more affordable range for Cambodian buyers of between USD1,000 per sqm to USD2,000 per sqm. They have also started offering more customisable options like cooking facilities and fewer furnishings following Cambodian tastes, she said. “What we are seeing is some of the condos that were originally for Chinese are now being redesigned or changing the condition of the handover to attract more local buyers,” she said. “I think the market can grow more maturely and sustainably than it did before.” It remains to be seen whether the market starts overheating again when foreign investors return. But the pandemic has proven that going local can bear rich fruit for developers in Cambodia.


SIHANOUKVILLE HAS SUFFERED DURING THE PANDEMIC, BUT A NEW EXPRESSWAY LINKING IT TO PHNOM PENH WILL PROVIDE A BOOST

KEP TO GET MAKEOVER The tourist city of Kep is famous for its crabs but not so for its beaches. But that might soon change. Last year the government department in charge of maintaining Cambodia’s beaches gave the green light to a proposal to widen and revamp some 2.7km of coastline in the province with trees, shops and recreational facilities to make it attractive to tourists. Currently the city has only one designated beach, which is too narrow for tourists to make good use of, said Vao Sokha, the director of the city’s planning department.

While Kep has long been popular among locals and tourists for its seafood, it has struggled to compete with destinations like Siem Reap, home to Angkor Wat, and Kampot. Sokha hopes that with a better beach and the development of two islands—Koh Tonsay and Por island—it will be more than just a good lunch spot. “Kep province has great potential for tourism. If we do not develop it, how can we attract tourists?” Sokha asks.

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THE HARD YARDS As Thailand edges towards a full reopening, the damage wreaked by the pandemic on the real estate industry is highlighted by oversupply and weak buyer sentiment BY AL GERARD DE LA CRUZ

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DESTINATIONS LIKE PHUKET REMAIN HIGHLY COVETED AMONG SECOND-HOME INVESTORS

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lifetime seems to have passed since Thailand reported the world’s first imported case of Covid-19 from China in January 2020.

stood to catalyse speculative activity in investment-class condominium units. But macroeconomic fundamentals stayed problematic.

But as year three of the pandemic begins, Thailand remains in a quagmire with its property market reckoning with another iteration of the virus.

Purchasing power has out-and-out slumped, with household debt soaring to 89.3% of the GDP as of Q3 2021. In a recent survey by property portal DDproperty.com, around 66% of consumers have cited loss of income as a deterrent to purchasing a property.

Reopening remains a fraught issue for the tourismdependent economy, which had been predicted to grow by just 0.9% in 2021. Through a carefully coordinated system of quarantine exemptions and sandbox schemes, the kingdom tentatively welcomed over 400,000 tourists. The total far trailed the 6.7 million arrivals recorded in 2020. Nonetheless, it offered an existential boon to consumer sentiment. To intubate the real estate sector, the central bank in October started bending loan-to-value (LTV) rules, allowing buyers of second and third homes to take out mortgages equivalent to 100% of the property value. The eased curbs 114

“If I could ask the government for anything, it’s to help support the economy to get back to normal,” says Jeremy O’Sullivan, head of research and consulting at JLL Thailand. “We need more thoughtful efforts to help businesses start producing, exporting, and employing more people. There has to be a much bigger focus than finance.” Developers have focused on delaying launches and clearing condominium stock, 728,000 units of which have stagnated in Bangkok alone, according to JLL. Having inundated the market with launches before 2019, developers have attempted to stimulate it with up to 30% in discounts as well


TOURISM IS SLOWLY RETURNING TO THAILAND, BUT NUMBERS PALE IN COMPARISON TO PRE-PANDEMIC TIMES

as waived shrinking funds, among other gimmicks. Bangkok condos of all grades averaged at a price of THB105,279 (USD3,130) per sqm last year, with new launches fetching around THB80,000 per sqm. CBRE Thailand believes it will take up to two years to clear unsold inventory. The absorption rate of unsold units has decelerated to 6,000 to 7,000 units per annum.

“The ones that are doing well have been very well tailored by the developers to meet a very specific demand category,” says O’Sullivan. “There has to be a loser somewhere, and the loser will be the person and landlords that have not optimised their property to meet a very specific demand group.”

“Condominiums are oversupplied and overpriced because of speculative demand from investors during pre-Covid-19 times,” says Artitaya Kasemlawan, head of residential sales project, advisory, and transaction services at CBRE Thailand. “New projects must be priced realistically for the local market to sell well.”

The luxury market appears inoculated against pandemicinduced headwinds. Residential properties priced between THB5 million and THB15 million decreased their supply yearon-year in 2021 while their more affordable counterparts increased, according to DDproperty. With price points now a little under THB300,000 per sqm on average, superpremium Bangkok condos have never been more beguiling, JLL data shows.

Developers are keeping themselves solvent by segmenting property seekers with almost laser precision. Low-rise housing priced at THB3 million to THB15 million as well as affordable, commuter-focused condominium developments are rewarded with impressive sales rates nowadays, report JLL and CBRE.

“We predict that the premium, the super-premium, and luxury type of properties will be the first to see a positive return of activity,” predicts O’Sullivan. “The performance of mid-level or more affordable kinds of units are directly tied to economic recovery because it’s very much dependent on salaried workers.” 115


Condominiums are oversupplied and overpriced because of speculative demand from investors during pre-Covid-19 times. New projects must be priced realistically for the local market to sell

“Luxury buyers invest when there is an opportunity for getting a good deal on an attractive project in a prime location,” says Artitaya. In a bid to lure high-net-worth individuals, pensioners, digital nomads, and skilled professionals from overseas, the Thai cabinet approved in September a stimulus package offering 10-year visas and other privileges to those who can invest at least USD250,000 or USD500,000 in real estate or their equivalent in government bonds and foreign direct investment. But with travel restrictions tethering the Chinese to the mainland and Thai developers refraining from overseas sales roadshows, impact from the scheme would be minimal at best initially, according to O’Sullivan. “The price points are typically not the target of the Chinese investors, which were the single biggest international buyer category preCovid.” The reopening efforts were nonetheless able to pique international interest in the kingdom’s resort destination properties. After the sandbox model launched in Phuket in July, CBRE Thailand reported having fielded numerous inquiries for vacation or second-home properties from foreign residents, expatriates, and tourists. By November, tourism authorities announced more confident strides towards open borders, letting vaccinated people from over 116

60 countries skip quarantine under the “Test and Go” scheme. Still, the proportion of foreign buyers in the housing market stood at just 10%—”not significant” enough, concedes the Real Estate Information Centre (REIC). “The economy and the real estate markets are very sensitive. They want to see a light at the end of a tunnel,” says O’Sullivan. “And by the government setting this path, even though it’s not hitting the figures exactly, it’s keeping the industry positive, which I think is the best impact it’s having so far.” Bangkokians and other locals (those with the means to do so anyway) have learned to retreat to the fringes of the Thai capital where they can work in space and privacy from their single detached homes. The price index for landed residential properties last year rose 13% from Q3 2019 or well before the pandemic while that of condominiums plummeted 16%, according to DDproperty. Median asking prices hit THB40,000 per sqm in the subdistrict of Thawi Watthana alone, posting a record 83% annual price growth. “Locations with the highest price growth are in Bangkok suburbs because most landed properties in these areas are more affordable for the majority,” states Kamolpat Swaengkit, country manager of DDproperty.


PRIME OFFICE SPACE IN BANGKOK IS EXPECTED TO PERFORM WELL AS WORKERS DEMAND BETTER QUALITY SPACES AND FACILITIES IN THE ‘NEW NORMAL’ ERA

OFFICE CHANGES IN THE WORKS Almost 2.3 million sqm of mostly prime-grade office spaces are pipelined for the Thai market through 2026, according to JLL. But with new ways of working and the threat (perhaps) of more lockdowns, the office segment reckons with a surfeit of supply and, consequently, the burden of proving itself worthy to occupiers.

Changing working styles and attitudes will further embed hybrid arrangements in the status quo. In a survey of occupiers, JLL found that workers ideally want to be in the office three days a week on average. They prefer to spend the remainder of that time in a neutral location such as a café or a flexible working area.

“Ultimately what it will drive to is that basically, the older buildings are going to suffer the worst because they won’t be able to attract the tenants,” says Jeremy O’Sullivan, head of research and consulting at JLL Thailand. “Traveling to the office is not a requirement anymore. It’s a luxury in some cases. Occupiers are choosing nicer buildings, nicer facilities to keep attracting their workers to come to the office.

Foot traffic in office spaces last year registered positive changes and monthly improvements compared to preCovid levels. However, rents will continue to decline in the long term, O’Sullivan predicts. In some cases, new buildings will set the standards for pricing.

“That’s a big change that’s happening.”

“It’s going to be a market of two halves where we’re going to have new, super-luxury, beautiful office spaces with very high asking prices,” says O’Sullivan. “Then on the other side, poorly optimised, older buildings which will have tumbling rents and increasing vacancy.”

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“In addition, the expansion of BTS and MRT routes makes traveling to the city much more convenient.” With 460 kilometres of mass transit lines poised to go online, Greater Bangkok could soon rival the London Underground in sheer length halfway through the decade. The pandemic will surely have been defanged by then. Should the government’s vaccination drive and reopening efforts succeed, new home sales could climb back to prepandemic levels in 2023, predicts the REIC. But as previous waves of the disease have shown, caution is the only real safety net in the pandemic era. With many expats having left, rental suppression reigns supreme in large swathes of Bangkok. “Rental yields are going to take years to recover,” says O’Sullivan. 118

“Capital gain has always been a tough one in Thailand,” he adds, “because the resale market is quite difficult, and new supply has typically been favoured by Thai buyers. It’s not always true, but it’s a trend we do see.” Over the next year, end users will be the key demand group for residential Thai property. It thus falls on buyers to view their purchase through the prism of an owner-occupier. “Buy it because you enjoy it yourself,” says O’Sullivan. “I think it’s the message at the moment.”


STIMULATING TALKS The Thai government is responding in kind to the pandemic with promotional campaigns and measures designed to make the real estate business active, if not great, again. In December, the Thai cabinet approved a one-year extension of discounts on ownership transfer and registration fees for residential properties no pricier than THB3 million. The move came as part of a larger stimulus plan that dangled everything from oneyear exemptions of licences for selling liquor, tobacco, and gaming cards to deductions on the jet-fuel excise tax. A few months earlier, the cabinet had approved a stimulus package offering 10-year Thai visas and a host of tax privileges to affluent individuals, pensioners, digital nomads, and skilled professionals from abroad. That is, in exchange for real estate purchases and foreign direct investment in the kingdom, among other requirements. Yet the Thai property market falls short of more sustainable stimuli, analysts say. For instance, the market would likely appreciate reduced taxes and expenses around ownership transfer across the board, not just for the under-three-million pricing segment, according to Artitaya Kasemlawan, head of residential sales project, advisory, and transaction services at CBRE Thailand. Policymakers would also do well to extend the long-term lease registration from 30 years to 60 years. “These would justify investment returns in large-scale projects and leasehold low-rise housing for foreign buyers as they cannot buy freehold,” she explains. Thailand’s property ownership structures for foreigners have long had plenty of room for improvement. Foreign individuals can only own condominium units equivalent to up to 49% of the building’s area for now. WHILE THE PREMIUM MARKET IN BANGKOK REMAINS HEALTHY, THE PERFORMANCE OF THE AFFORDABLE TO MIDRANGE SECTOR IS DEPENDENT ON THAILAND’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY

“Some flexibility could be applied to the foreign ratio in the condominium market,” says Artitaya. “It doesn’t have to be applied to all markets but in locations which are most popular with foreigners.” As for leasehold property, Thailand can emulate the example of countries where lease terms run anywhere from 70 to 99 years. “This is long enough for foreign buyers to consider without necessarily offering freehold ownership.”

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SHELTERS FROM THE STORM The pandemic may linger in the rear-view mirror, but an upsurge in interest in buying second homes means that Asia’s resort residences sector is thriving BY LIAM ARAN BARNES

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wo years on from the first lockdowns, there is little indication of a defining rear-view mirror moment for the pandemic. In the near term, society will likely struggle to psychologically shake off the trauma. And the shackles of the ‘new normal’ will be hard to cut loose. But for those with the means, second-home investments have proven an antidote to the impact the pandemic continues to have on society and wellbeing. Unlike during the global financial crisis of 2008, there was no surge in distressed sales across secondhome destinations. Quite the opposite: Almost 20% of respondents in Knight Frank’s 2021 Global Buyer Survey said they had moved since the start of the pandemic, while 33% said they were more likely to buy a second home soon. “With the rise of remote working, second homes or ‘co-primaries’ are becoming a viable option for more buyers seeking a better work-life balance,” the report noted. Low-interest rates on home loans, pandemic-era savings, and the trend for hybrid work have made it more feasible for people to live a dual lifestyle. That fundamental change in where and how people live is likely to revitalise second-home markets, which were once reliant on weekenders and seasonal visitors. Expectations for such properties are inevitably increasing. With greater flexibility around remote working, owners are staying longer and many now view second-home properties as “co-primary” homes. So, there is a greater demand for restaurants, retail and other amenities that make urban living so appealing. “From fast broadband to cinema rooms, gyms and A-grade technology, second homes now have a much longer wish list to fulfil,” Andrew Shirley, editor of Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report, explains.

The 2021 Attitudes Survey conducted by Knight Frank for the Wealth Report, for instance, reveals that 26% of UHNWI plan to purchase a new home in 2021. Some 56% of respondents to the survey, meanwhile, said that clients are more likely to buy a property in a coastal or resort destination, and 47% in a rural location, because of the virus. “The attraction of more space at often lower prices, at a time when people were less tethered to offices and schools, is perhaps not a surprise,” Shirley adds. The story was different in Asia, where only 27% of those surveyed responded positively to the question. Still, the region remains a hotbed for branded residences and, increasingly, homes within integrated communities. Recent research by hospitality consultancy firm C9 Hotelworks notes that pipeline projects in upscale segments are highly concentrated in Southeast Asia, which accounts for more than 90% of total pipeline stock. Nearly half of the upcoming supply is affiliated with luxury hotel brands. Globally, Asia Pacific is second only to North America, the largest market by schemes until 2013, with 26% of the total supply of branded residences, according to Savills’ 2021 Branded Residence Spotlight report. “While North America, the birthplace of branded residences, historically accounted for the majority of global supply, the sector has since diversified geographically,” says Paul Tostevin, director of world research at Savills. “Brands have spread rapidly into other global regions, particularly in Asia Pacific and the Middle East where economic growth and rising domestic wealth has supported expansion over the last decade.” With demand for coastal, rural, and urban residences expected to continue through 2022 as other segments eye recovery, we round up some of the latest branded, integrated, and boutique resortstyle properties from around the region.

The last 12 months has also been a time in which the health benefits of rural and resort-style living were brought into sharper focus. Demand for homes in locations that offer wellness and wellbeing was already on the rise pre-pandemic, but the trend has been catapulted up ultra-high-net-worth individuals’ (UHNWI) agendas by the pandemic.

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ANANTARA DESARU COAST RESIDENCES

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ne of Malaysia’s most ambitious resort launches in recent years welcomed its first residents in 2020. The result of a joint venture between Minor International and local firm Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn. Bhd (a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Bhd), Anantara Desaru Coast Residences is the first Malaysia-based investment by the Thai hospitality giant, placing Desaru Coast, in the southern state of Johor, firmly on the radar of both global tourists and affluent homeowners. The exclusive 20-unit residential project, operated as part of the wider 123-key Anantara Desaru Resort & Villas, comprises three types of pool villas ranging from 3,100 to 6,426 sq ft. Aesthetics draw heavily from traditional kampong houses, designed to suit the tropical Malaysian climate with slanted carved wooden panels, louvres and vents under the roof, and French windows that offer natural airflow throughout the properties. The seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces feature floor-to-ceiling windows, open dining and lounge areas, and spacious pool decks. Each unit is surrounded by greenery for added privacy 122

and comes with spacious en suite bedrooms, most boasting ocean, and lagoon views. Residents, meanwhile, have access to the resort’s signature Anantara amenities, including a spa and well-appointed fitness centre that offers wellness fanatics and adrenaline junkies a welcome respite to relax or revive. Other attractions in the area include The Els Club Desaru Coast, home to two golf courses, and countless eateries, bars, and retail outlets along the coastline.


INTERCONTINENTAL HALONG BAY RESORT & RESIDENCES

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ith its iconic limestone karsts, emerald waters, and 1,600-plus islands and islets, Halong Bay is easily one of Southeast Asia’s most striking—and recognisable—landscapes. And it’s against this ethereal backdrop that InterContinental Residences Halong Bay is taking shape. Due to debut in early 2023, the 60 luxury residences run the gamut from one-bedroom apartments to 41 standalone villas. The property, situated at the bay’s gateway Bai Chay, is part of the larger 175key InterContinental Halong Bay Resort project. Residents, therefore, have access to a host of immersive resort facilities, including the Spa Village Garden, a multi-purpose gym, Planet Trekkers children’s playground, five restaurants, two bars, and a large conference room. Ownership also comes with inclusion in the rental program, with apartments and villas available for third-party guests to book through IHG’s global channels.

under-construction Halong Marina is bound to elevate the appeal of the global hospitality chain’s latest luxury residences in Vietnam. Upon completion, the development is slated to be Quang Ninh province’s tourism, financial, and commercial services hub, featuring upscale retail, leisure, and entertainment outlets. Further afield, Cat Ba and Ba Be national parks offer some of the country’s prettiest hiking trails, whilst golf enthusiasts can take advantage of the stunning links at both BRG Ruby Tree Golf Resort and FLC Ha Long Bay Golf Club & Luxury Resort.

Its headline attraction may be the 580-metre private coastline with postcard vistas of the bay. But the 123


ISTANI VILLAS

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idden amidst the elevated greenery of Koh Samui’s Chaweng hills, Istani Villas strikes a slightly different tone to the resort island’s typical luxury accommodation. Sure, the exceptional sea views are there, as are the indoor-outdoor living concept—accentuated by full-length floorto-ceiling windows—and custom wood fittings and cream furniture. Yet Idea Development opts instead for minimalist stone facades and flat-roof terraces across each of the four 500-square-metre properties in a style it dubs “new-age tropical Thai”. The open-plan interiors incorporate generous living and dining spaces and a fully equipped kitchen divided by a breakfast bar, transitioning onto sleek terraces with infinity plunge pools. Each of the three bedrooms is en suite, outfitted with soaking tubs and rain showers with stunning sea views. Remote as the villas feel, the usual upscale amenities are only moments away. Top restaurants, retail outlets, the airport, international schools, and 124

hospitals are easily reached by car. Nearby Central Samui, the island outpost of one of Thailand’s leading shopping mall brands, ticks most retail and entertainment boxes. Meanwhile, culinary highlights in the area range from the hole-in-the-wall local fare to more refined beachside dining at the likes of Poppies and Samui Seafood Grill.


SEAFRONT RESIDENCES

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uzon’s San Juan isn’t traditionally the first resort destination that comes to mind when second-home buyers eye the Philippines’ countless coasts. Often overshadowed by Boracay, Bohol, and Palawan, the sleepy municipality on the western shoreline of the archipelago nation’s largest island is better known for historical sites and religious attractions than its upscale investment opportunities. But Cebu-based boutique developer AboitizLand aims to transform the area’s appeal with the launch of its debut Luzon residential development Seafront Residences. Located in Barangay Calubcub II, the ambitious 43-hectare beach community will comprise 800 residential units enveloping a new town centre and integrated green belts upon completion later this year. The brainchild of internationally renowned Filipino design firm Budji+Royal, Seafront Villas is a cluster of one- and two-bedroom beachfront condominiums—the latter with gardens—and threeand four-bedroom detached villas, some with views of Tayabas Bay and Mount Banahaw. The neighbourhood

structure is designed with pedestrian walkways that interconnect lifestyle amenities ranging from a beachfront clubhouse to swimming pools to a multipurpose sports court. In recent years, San Juan has become particularly popular with young people from Manila making the five-hour journey from the capital in search of sun, sea, sand, and some of the country’s best surf. Nature, meanwhile, extends beyond the waves to the hiking trails around Tangadan Falls in the neighbouring town of San Gabriel. Although retail, education, and healthcare offerings remain relatively limited in the nascent destination, upcoming development plans suggest this won’t remain the case for long.

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TOBA LAKE VILLAS

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oba Lake Villas aims to transport the ambience and tranquillity associated with the namesake volcanic lake in the heart of Sumatra to urban East Jakarta. Set on the banks of a 15-hectare lake with sweeping landscaped vistas, the flagship luxury residential component of the master-planned ASYA community feels far removed from the notorious sprawl of the Indonesian capital. Connectivity and convenience are key, however, to the popularity of this emerging locale, which is easily accessed from the Jakarta Inner Ring Road. The bustling Kelapa Gading and Jakarta Garden City townships are only moments away. Other doorstep amenities include AEON Mall and IKEA, a host of international schools, and world-class healthcare facilities. Closer to home, residents have access to two onsite clubhouses, complete with a top-of-therange fitness centre, spa, sports courts, an infinity pool embedded into the bank of the lake, and acres of green space dedicated to cycling, jogging, and mindful pursuits such as yoga.

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Each of the 94 four-storey properties capitalises on the immediate scenery with floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious balconies. Secluded gardens, meanwhile, enhance the privacy of the villas, which are accessible via smart digital door locks. The property also features an around-the-clock guardedgated system for added security and peace of mind.


CANTERBURY GOLF VILLAS

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ricket may well be a national obsession in Sri Lanka, but golf is increasingly finding a place in the affections of both locals and visitors on the “resplendent island”. One of the more recent additions to the burgeoning scene, the nine-hole course at Canterbury Golf Resort Apartments and Residencies functions predominantly as an attractive backdrop to what developer Homelands Skyline claims is the country’s largest residential project to date.

Amenities-wise, the golf course, pro shop, and training centre are inevitably the drawcards. But activities ranging from cycling to swimming to court sports, including basketball and tennis, are all catered for inside the gated community. Beyond the fairways, the bright lights of Colombo are within easy reach thanks to the property’s proximity to the main expressway.

Located just 20 minutes from the capital city Colombo in Piliyandala–Kahathuduwa, the 30 landscaped acres will be home to 1,200 units upon completion in 2024. The latest phase, Canterbury Golf Villas, is undoubtedly the more eye-catching of the two residential components. Home to 163 twostorey pool villas across four distinct categories, the properties are designed with a contemporary nod towards the country’s colonial heritage buildings. Think sleek rows of monotone facades, equipped with slanted roofs, iron railings, and sun terraces. The interiors, meanwhile, are characterised by exposed beams, brick feature walls, and high-spec wood fittings throughout. 127


Dispatch

Tracking positive The new rail line linking Laos with China looks set to address a glut in Vientiane’s residential market By Steve Finch

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ust weeks after Laos opened its first-ever railway from Vientiane to Kunming in southwestern China, construction resumed on what would be the tallest building in the country. Latsavong Plaza, a 34-storey Lao-Chinese joint venture of apartments, a mall, offices, and a hotel, had been abandoned after developer Chongqing Real Estate Company hit financial difficulties five years ago. The opening of the long-awaited train line caused long queues at ticket offices and

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SLEEPY VIENTIANE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED WITH A WAKE-UP CALL COURTESY OF THE NEW RAIL LINK WITH CHINA

has proved a catalyst for stalled property developments in Vientiane. A few weeks before its official unveiling, the delayed That Luang Lake Special Economic Zone held a week-long promotional seminar led by South Korean investor D&C Mineun. “We want to thank [attendees] for considering investing in Laos during a global pandemic,” Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune, a member of the Central Committee of the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, told


Dispatch

THE LAOS-CHINA RAILWAY IS A SIGNIFICANT CATALYST FOR INVESTMENT. INVESTORS BELIEVE THAT PROPERTY IN LOCATIONS WELL SERVED BY THE NEW RAIL LINE WILL GAIN VALUE RAPIDLY IN THE YEARS TO COME

business delegates from South Korea. “We are eager to support any requests.” The railway has given fresh impetus to a property market that had stagnated even before Covid-19. During the four years before the pandemic, Vientiane’s stock of apartments nearly tripled as developers began to build higher-end apartments to tap what was expected to be a growing pool of wealthier local and expatriate renters and buyers. Instead, many projects lay unfinished and prices at the top end of the residential market in Vientiane stagnated and began to fall by 2019. This trend was reflected in total investment by individual Chinese buyers—the majority overseas contingent in Laos—which peaked in 2017, the year after construction began on the railway. Investment started to fall in 2018 and 2019 before crashing at the onset of the pandemic, according to data from Juwai IQI, a Chinese overseas property portal with onthe-ground agents who receive inquiries on Laos. In early 2020, Laos all but closed its international borders and intermittently banned all flights except humanitarian connections, shutting out most tourists and investors. By mid-2020, Luang Prabang, the main tourism destination in the country, had become a ghost town with many of its properties displaying for sale and rent signs. Economic growth in Laos fell to just 0.4% the same year, the lowest rate recorded in this landlocked country of 7 million people in more than three decades, according to the World Bank.

Although Laos remained mostly shuttered to visitors during 2021, signs of optimism began to emerge for the real estate sector and the wider economy. Courtesy of donations from overseas—notably China— Laos achieved vaccination coverage of nearly 50% of the population by the end of last year, a rate well above original government projections. Economic growth was estimated at 3.7% in 2021, considerably higher than in many neighbouring countries, and was forecast to climb 7.6% this year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. “There is good news,” says Daniel Ho, managing director of Juwai IQI. “The LaosChina Railway is a significant catalyst for investment. Investors believe that property in locations well served by the new rail line will gain value rapidly in the years to come.” The opening of the railway has coincided with new property laws and initiatives backed by the government and aimed at spurring investment real estate. In September, the World Bank announced a project designed to register half of the remaining 2 million unregistered land plots in Laos by 2025. Only about 40% of land parcels in the country are legally registered and still 25% of Vientiane’s land bank remains untitled, a major risk for real estate developers. “Land rights that are guaranteed by a transparent and fair nationwide system give people added confidence in using land for social and economic development,” says

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Markus Kukkonen, a land administration and geospatial specialist at the World Bank. The land titling program aims to complement a new watershed Land Law that came into force in 2020 permitting foreigners to legally purchase land-use rights in Laos for the first time. In practice, many condos built by Chinese and Vietnamese companies already offered opportunities for leasehold apartment sales through their foreign legal structures. However, the new land law offers local legal protections. That Luang SEZ, a 365-hectare site between the new Vientiane railway station and the eastern outskirts of the capital, offers 99year leases and real estate tax exemptions for anyone investing more than USD100,000. These rank among the most favorable real estate investment terms in the country, says Sornpheth Douangdy, a senior counsel covering project finance, construction, and real estate at regional law firm VDB Loi in Vientiane.

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VIENTIANE’S MAIN TRAIN STATION IS EXPECTED TO WELCOME AN INFLUX OF TRAVELLERS — AND POTENTIAL INVESTORS FROM ITS GIANT NEIGHBOUR TO THE NORTH

Cranes tower over the skyline of That Luang SEZ, a vast project dotted with new highrise apartment buildings and roads which have retained the look of a construction site since work began a decade ago. Thousands of new residential units are due to come online before the project’s target completion date in 2030, but it remains unclear whether the Laos National Assembly has formally approved the attractive incentives offered by the project, says Douangdy. A lack of reliable real estate market data and oversupply in all property segments remain the key challenges facing a long-overdue real estate market recovery in Vientiane, he says. “Buildings from before the completion of the railway remain empty because they [developers] have built more than the demand of the market,” says Douangdy, adding he was yet to be convinced as to whether the railway will have a tangible positive effect on the residential market. “Rental fees and sale prices also remain too expensive.”


Dispatch

Shooting from the hip Formerly regarded as one of Thailand’s more sedate coastal destinations, Hua Hin is transforming into a hub for second-home investment by young, wealthy Thais By Liam Aran Barnes

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ith little in the way of experiential travel to be had during the pandemic, prominent media have made appetite-whetting an art. One of the latest of these speculative wish lists, this time by Bloomberg, offered a curated roster of destinations to capture the imagination of travellers who have largely been locked down in their home countries for the last two years.

HUA HIN’S LOCATION JUST THREE HOURS FROM BANGKOK IS MAKING IT A FAVOURITE INVESTMENT DESTINATION AMONG THAIS AND EXPATS ALIKE

booming gastronomic scene, glamping in Argentinean Patagonia, and surfing in a 3-million gallon wave pool in the soon-toopen Palm Springs Surf Club in California’s Coachella Valley. So far, so thrilling. But some choices were— at first glance anyway—less obviously pulsequickening.

Some of its selections in its “Where to Go 2022” line-up certainly carry about them a heady dash of the exotic.

To those familiar with Thailand, Hua Hin’s reputation as a stolid yet relatively unexciting beach destination popular with foreign retirees and weekenders from Bangkok precedes it.

Notable picks included Uruguayan fishing village Jose Ignacio, which is known for its

Yet its inclusion in Bloomberg’s list of the globe’s hottest travel spots is indicative of a

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WITH YOUNG BANGKOKIANS SNAPPING UP LUXURY PROPERTY AND TRENDY HOTEL BRANDS LIKE THE STANDARD DEBUTING, HUA HIN IS EXPERIENCING A RADICAL IMAGE MAKEOVER change in emphasis that has gathered pace under cover of the global health crisis. With young Bangkokians snapping up luxury property and trendy hotel brands like The Standard debuting, Hua Hin is experiencing a radical image makeover. “We are enchanted by Hua Hin’s history and the sense of subtle Thai elegance noticeable throughout the town,” says Amar Lalvani, executive chairman of Standard International. “We are excited to introduce the Standard’s unique vibrancy and sensibility to Hua Hin while introducing Hua Hin to our clientele who I believe will fall for its charms as well.” Famed for its long sandy beach, Hua Hin has been a retreat for Thailand’s royal family since the early 20th century. Just a three hours’ drive from Bangkok, the resort town has retained its popularity over the years: a convenient location, a decent selection of hotels, championship golf courses, and a relatively sedate atmosphere compensating for the rather murky ocean water and a slightly geriatric feel. But things have accelerated fast in Hua Hin’s favour during the pandemic. With periodical lockdowns sucking the life out of the big city, nature-starved Bangkokians have been snapping up luxury condominiums and beach villas en masse, noticeably lowering the area’s median age and increasing its cachet. Thai real estate insiders have noted this uptick in interest from wealthy Thai buyers and expats living in Bangkok. They attribute the shift to the pandemic, saying that investors are increasingly cognisant

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of the benefits of personal space and a healthy lifestyle—key selling points for luxury property in Thailand’s idyllic beach destinations. “We are about to start a new cycle,” says Bill Barnett, founder and managing director of C9 Hotelworks. “The pandemic has brought about a dynamic shift in a holiday home or second home properties. Call it urban angst but lifestyle property for Thais has become hot again. We have seen a big rise in domestic transactions in Hua Hin. “These are likely to benefit resort-style residences. Also vital is the enduring appeal of Thailand, which offers a great lifestyle, access to international schools, top-class medical facilities and fantastic links within the region.” The trend for buyers seeking a lifestyle reset is clear in Hua Hin where property developer Tjeer Kwant, chief executive of Banyan Residences, a luxury villa development just outside the town, says there has been a significant rise in buyers looking to escape the city and enjoy a healthier, active lifestyle. “This for us has been the key driver with families and couples looking for spacious second homes outside Bangkok,” he says. Kwant said that transaction values at Banyan Hua Hin had—as of September 2021— surpassed THB125 million. Data by Lazudi, meanwhile, noted that average property prices in Hua Hin recently increased after plummeting in the period immediately after the pandemic hit. It’s not just Thai and western expat buyers who are likely to fuel future interest in


Dispatch

Hua Hin and other beach destinations in Thailand. Chinese visitors are likely to be conspicuous by their absence this year as authorities in Beijing continue to pursue a “zero-Covid” strategy. But restrictions on travel won’t prevent covetous buyers from casting their net towards Thailand. In a report released in May 2021, Shanghaibased property technology company Juwai noted that Chinese buyer inquiries for Thai property increased 38% in the first quarter of 2021 from a year earlier. “This increase is exaggerated due to the freefall of a year ago during the pandemic’s onset, but is nonetheless a welcome trend,” it noted. Thailand is the third most popular destination for Asian cross-border buyers, with Australia in second place and the United States in the top spot. It is the top destination for Chinese buyers in particular, with the US and Australia ranking second and third respectively, according to Juwai. “Bargain hunters are buying now. The boom starts when travel reopens. Thailand’s real estate market has been hard hit by the

THE UNVEILING OF US HOTEL BRAND THE STANDARD IN HUA HIN LATE LAST YEAR IS INDICATIVE OF THE TOWN’S GROWING CRED

pandemic, but Asian buyer demand remains,” Juwai IQI Group executive chairman Georg Chmiel says. “Our data shows that Thailand is the third most popular destination for Asian cross-border buyers, and accounts for 10.6% of all Asian buyer interest.” With the pandemic still stubbornly hanging on in Thailand, Hua Hin is not yet overflowing with energy. Nevertheless, the seductive rhythms emanating from the DJ booth at The Standard’s chic beach bar prove that the destination is dancing to a subtly different beat from before. To the south of the town, on the beach of Khao Tao, acclaimed chef Jutamas “Som” Theantae—formerly of Karmakamet Conveyance in Bangkok—is working culinary magic at Som’s Table, her new beachside venture. Soon Teens of Thailand, one of Bangkok’s best cocktail bars, will open an offshoot in Hua Hin. While the pandemic has been poison for many of Thailand’s beach destinations, Hua Hin appears to have found the antidote by positing itself as “Bangkok-on-Sea”.

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The PropertyGuru Cambodia Property Awards programme held on 12 November 2021 its sixth annual edition and first virtual gala broadcast presentation. Urbanland emerged as the year’s biggest victor, clinching seven wins that include Best Developer and Best Housing Development (Cambodia) for its Chankiri Palm Creek project. Sophea Suites Co., Ltd was hailed Best Lifestyle Developer, winning Best Serviced Apartment Development and Best Serviced Apartment Interior Design for its eponymous project. Meanwhile, Mekong Land Development Co., Ltd earned the Best Breakthrough Developer award and won Best Residential Interior Design for its Mekong City development. Vue Aston by The Peninsula Capital Co., Ltd won the coveted title of Best Condo Development (Cambodia), as well as the Best Condo Development (Phnom Penh) and Best Condo Architectural Design awards. Catherine Chan, director of Goldfame Group, accepted the Cambodia Real Estate Personality of the Year award, making her the first female recipient of the title.

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1. Catherine Chan, the first female Real Estate Personality of the Year in Cambodia

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2. Urbanland’s Sharliza Rahman is all smiles after the company’s triumphant evening 3. Madam Chenda Heng accepts wins for Mekong Land Development Co., Ltd 4. Hor Dalynich of Sophea Suites Co., Ltd accepts Best Lifestyle Developer and other awards 5. Elliot Chen represents The Peninsula Capital Co., Ltd’s winning project

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6. Gabriel Tan accepts awards on behalf of Prince Real Estate (Cambodia) Group Co., Ltd. 7. Retail doyen Oknha Suor Pheng attends the virtual celebrations

THE JUDGES

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Sorn Seap, Awards Chairperson and Executive Vice President, Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association David Littlejohn, Sales and Marketing Manager, Comin Khmere Jenny Chea Sok You, Architect & Managing Director, CMED Construction Jovany Antonio, Managing Director, DA&G Asset Management Kinkesa Kim, Senior Manager, CBRE Cambodia, Research & Consulting Services Michel Cassagnes, Managing Director, Archetype Cambodia Pak Chanlino, Managing Partner & Attorney-At-Law, Vinaya Law Firm Simon Griffiths, Managing Director, The Mall Company Dr. Simon Vancliff, CEO, WB Sport Village Co., Ltd. Thida Ann, Managing Director, ProPnex Cambodia

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the winners DEVELOPER AWARDS Best Developer Winner: Urbanland Best Lifestyle Developer Winner: Sophea Suites Co., Ltd Best Breakthrough Developer Winner: Mekong Land Development Co., Ltd DEVELOPMENT AWARDS Best Mixed Use Development Winner: Prince Happiness Plaza by Prince Real Estate (Cambodia) Group Co., Ltd. Best Condo Development (Phnom Penh) Winner: Vue Aston by The Peninsula Capital Co., Ltd Highly Commended: Prince Happiness Plaza by Prince Real Estate (Cambodia) Group Co., Ltd. Best Housing Development (Phnom Penh) Winner: Chankiri Palm Creek by Urbanland Highly Commended: Mekong City by Mekong Land Development Co., Ltd Best Serviced Apartment Development Winner: Sophea Suites by Sophea Suites Co., Ltd DESIGN AWARDS Best Condo Architectural Design Winner: Vue Aston by The Peninsula Capital Co., Ltd Highly Commended: City View Residence by Hua Jun Property Development Co., Ltd Best Housing Architectural Design Winner: Chankiri Palm Creek by Urbanland Highly Commended: Mekong City by Mekong Land Development Co., Ltd Best Retail Architectural Design Winner: The Waterfront Community Mall by Blissful Capital Co., Ltd Best Residential Interior Design Winner: Mekong City by Mekong Land Development Co., Ltd Best Retail Interior Design Winner: The Waterfront Community Mall by Blissful Capital Co., Ltd Best Serviced Apartment Interior Design Winner: Sophea Suites by Sophea Suites

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Co., Ltd Best Housing Landscape Architectural Design Winner: Chankiri Palm Creek by Urbanland Highly Commended: Mekong City by Mekong Land Development Co., Ltd BEST OF CAMBODIA AWARDS Best Condo Development (Cambodia) Winner: Vue Aston by The Peninsula Capital Co., Ltd Best Housing Development (Cambodia) Winner: Chankiri Palm Creek by Urbanland SPECIAL AWARDS Special Recognition in ESG Winner: Urbanland Special Recognition in Sustainable Design and Construction Winner: Urbanland PUBLISHER’S CHOICE Cambodia Real Estate Personality of the Year Winner: Catherine Chan, Director of Goldfame Group, Founder and Executive Director of Urban Village & Factory Phnom Penh

WITH THANKS TO: • Silver sponsor Jotun • Official cable TV partner History Channel • Official magazine PropertyGuru Property Report • Official PR partner Two Way PR • Media partner Construction & Property Magazine • Official charity partner Right To Play • Official ESG partner Baan Dek Foundation • Supporting association Asia MarTech Society • Official supervisor HLB

For more information, please visit AsiaPropertyAwards.com


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The PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards programme, presented by Kohler and supported by Boysen Paints, celebrated its ninth annual edition on 11 November 2021. Premiering over AsiaPropertyAwards.com and partner channels, the virtual gala celebration spotlighted superlative development companies and their impressive interisland portfolios in 46 categories. For the second consecutive year, SM Development Corporation (SMDC) was named Best Developer in the Philippines. It clinched 10 other wins, including Best Lifestyle Developer and the all-new title of Best Developer (Luzon). Cebu Landmasters, Inc. also garnered 11 wins, including the all-new Best Developer (Visayas) and Best Developer (Mindanao) awards. PIK was named Best Breakthrough Developer while Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (Integrated Economic Centers) won Best Industrial Developer. Victorious projects in locations as diverse as Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Bacolod, Bataan, Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Cavite, and Rizal gained honours last year. Ramon S. Ang, president of San Miguel Corporation, accepted the Philippines Real Estate Personality of the Year title. 138

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1. San Miguel Corporation’s Ramon S. Ang receives the Real Estate Personality of the Year title 2. Jose Mari Banzon of SMDC accepts the coveted Best Developer (Philippines) award 3. Rafael Fernandez de Mesa accepting the Best Industrial Developer award 4. Jose Franco Soberano receiving 11 wins for Cebu Landmasters, Inc. 5. PIK’s Roman Mukhomadeev receives the Best Breakthrough Developer award

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6. Ann Leslie Ngo representing big wins for Worldwide Central Properties, Inc. 7. Ortigas Land’s Jenna Belardo accepting a prestigious Development award 8. Patrick Diaz receives wins for Summithome Realty Corporation

THE JUDGES

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Christophe Vicic, Awards Chairperson and Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines, Inc. Carlo Cordaro, President & CEO, Atelier A Cyndy Tan Jarabata, President, TAJARA Leisure & Hospitality Group Inc. Jaime A. Cura, Ph.D., ViceChairman, The RGV Group of Companies Jean Jacquelyn Nathania A. de Castro, CEO, ESCA Incorporated Kathleen P. Obcemea, Principal Interior Designer, KPO Beyond Designs Co. Luis Enrique T. Mangosing, CEO, Metro Development Managers, Inc. (MDMI) Raymond Rufino, CEO of NEO Roberto Vea, Director of Partnerships, Country Lead – Philippines, FlySpaces

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the winners DEVELOPER AWARDS Best Developer (Philippines) Winner: SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Best Developer (Luzon) Winner: SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Best Developer (Visayas) Winner: Cebu Landmasters, Inc. Best Developer (Mindanao) Winner: Cebu Landmasters, Inc. Best Industrial Developer Winner: Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (Integrated Economic Centers) Best Lifestyle Developer Winner: SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Highly Commended: • Federal Land, Inc. • RLC Residences Best Breakthrough Developer Winner: PIK Highly Commended: • Asiana Homes, Inc. • PH1 World Developers DEVELOPMENT AWARDS Best High End Condo Development (Metro Manila) Winner: Gold Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Highly Commended: • Mi Casa by Federal Land, Inc. • Sail Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) • The Sapphire Bloc by RLC Residences • The Velaris Residences by RHK Land Corporation Best Upper Mid End Condo Development (Metro Manila) Winner: Maple at Verdánt Towers by Ortigas Land Highly Commended: • Light 2 Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) • One Sierra by PIK • Shore 3 Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Best Mid End Condo Development (Metro Manila) Winner: UHome Recto by Summithome Realty Corporation Highly Commended: • Glam Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) • UHome Lacson by JNC Summithill Inc. 140

Best Upper Affordable Condo Development (Metro Manila Winner: Vine Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Highly Commended: • Bloom Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) • Charm Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Best Affordable Condo Development (Metro Manila) Winner: Urban Deca Homes Ortigas by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Highly Commended: • Hill Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) • Symfoni Kamias by Taft Properties • Urban Deca Homes Manila by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Best Condo Development (Central Luzon) Winner: The Hive Residences by PH1 World Developers Highly Commended: Cheer Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Best High End Condo Development (Southern Luzon) Winner: Green 2 Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Best Affordable Condo Development (Southern Luzon) Winner: Urban Deca Homes Hampton by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Highly Commended: Urban Deca Homes Mahogany by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Best High End Condo Development (Metro Cebu) Winner: The Suites at Gorordo by Worldwide Central Properties, Inc. Highly Commended: • Galleria Residences Cebu by RLC Residences • Mandani Bay Suites by HTLand Inc. Best Affordable Condo Development (Metro Cebu) Winner: Casa Mira Towers Mandaue by Cebu Landmasters, Inc. Highly Commended: • Northwoods Place by Priland Development Corporation • Urban Deca Tower Banilad by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Best Condo Development (Visayas) Winner: MesaVirre Garden Residences by Cebu Landmasters, Inc. Highly Commended: • Smile Residences by SM Development

Corporation (SMDC) • Style Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Best Condo Development (Metro Davao) Winner: One Paragon Place by Cebu Landmasters, Inc. Highly Commended: Lane Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Best Mid End Housing Development (Central Luzon) Winner: Springdale at Pueblo Angono by Robinsons Homes Highly Commended: Deca Clark Resort Residences 12 by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Best Affordable Housing Development (Central Luzon) Winner: Asiana Homes – Hermosa by Asiana Homes, Inc. Highly Commended: • Deca Homes Marilao by 8990 Holdings, Inc. • Deca Homes Marilao Extension by 8990 Holdings, Inc. • Deca Homes Meycauayan by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Best Housing Development (Southern Luzon) Winner: Seafront Residences by AboitizLand, Inc. Highly Commended: • Anyana – Bel Air West by Antel Land • The Villages at Lipa by AboitizLand, Inc. Best Affordable Housing Development (Visayas) Winner: Amoa by AboitizLand, Inc. Highly Commended: Deca Homes Pavia Resort & Residences by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Best Affordable Housing Development (Metro Davao) Winner: Deca Homes Mulig (Economic) by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Highly Commended: Deca Homes Talomo by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Best Housing Development (Mindanao) Winner: Velmiro Uptown CDO by Cebu Landmasters, Inc. Highly Commended: Deca Homes Gensan (Socialized) by 8990 Holdings, Inc. Best Township Development Winner: Davao Global Township (DGT) by Cebu Landmasters, Inc. Best Mega Mixed Use Development Winner: Patria de Cebu by Cebu Landmasters, Inc. Highly Commended: Blakes Tower by Eton Properties Philippines Inc.


Best Mixed Use Development Winner: Gold City by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Highly Commended: • East Gate by Taft Properties • The Suites at Gorordo by Worldwide Central Properties, Inc. Best Industrial Development Winner: Lima Estate by Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (Integrated Economic Centers) Best Office Development Winner: 107 Aguirre by Atlasland Best Lifestyle Development Winner: Gold Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Highly Commended: • Green 2 Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) • Light 2 Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) • Mandani Bay Suites by HTLand Inc. Best Alternative Housing Development Winner: UHome Recto by Summithome Realty Corporation Highly Commended: UHome Lacson by JNC Summithill Inc. Best Green Development Winner: Mandani Bay Suites by HTLand Inc. DESIGN AWARDS Best Condo Architectural Design Winner: Be Residences Lahug by Benedict Ventures, Inc. Highly Commended: • Gold Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) • Light 2 Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) • Sync by RLC Residences Best Condo Interior Design Winner: The Velaris Residences by RHK Land Corporation Highly Commended: • Gold Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) • The Residences at The Westin Manila Sonata Place by Robinsons Land Corporation Best Landscape Architectural Design Winner: Goldå Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Highly Commended: Vine Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Best Office Architectural Design

Winner: One Mandani Bay by HTLand Inc. Highly Commended: 107 Aguirre by Atlasland Best Hotel Interior Design Winner: Radisson Red by Cebu Landmasters, Inc. Best Mega Mixed Use Architectural Design Winner: The Magnolia Residences by RLC Residences Best Mixed Use Architectural Design Winner: The Suites at Gorordo by Worldwide Central Properties, Inc. BEST OF THE PHILIPPINES AWARDS Best High Rise Condo Development (Philippines) Winner: The Suites at Gorordo by Worldwide Central Properties, Inc. Best Mid Rise Condo Development (Philippines) Winner: Gold Residences by SM Development Corporation (SMDC) Best Housing Development (Philippines) Winner: Seafront Residences by AboitizLand, Inc. SPECIAL AWARDS Special Recognition in ESG Winners: • Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (Integrated Economic Centers) • Cebu Landmasters, Inc. • Eton Properties Philippines Inc. • PIK • RLC Residences Special Recognition in Sustainable Design and Construction Winners: • Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (Integrated Economic Centers) • Cebu Landmasters, Inc. • RLC Residences • SM Development Corporation (SMDC)

WITH THANKS TO: • Platinum sponsor Kohler • Gold sponsor Boysen Paints • Official cable TV partner History Channel • Official magazine PropertyGuru Property Report • Official PR partner FleishmanHillard • Media partners Hoppler, Manila Republic, Presello, Real Estate News Philippines, and The Manila Times • Official charity partner Right To Play • Official ESG partner Baan Dek Foundation • Supporting association Asia MarTech Society • Official supervisor HLB

For more information, please visit AsiaPropertyAwards.com

PUBLISHER’S CHOICE Philippines Real Estate Personality of the Year Winner: Ramon S. Ang, President, San Miguel Corporation

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The search for Singapore’s finest real estate culminated on 19 November 2021 with the 11th annual edition of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore), presented by Kohler and supported by Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd. GuocoLand won the Best Developer award for the second consecutive year while UOL Group Limited was named Best Hospitality Developer. Aurum Land won both the Best Lifestyle Developer and Best Boutique Developer awards. Hoi Hup Realty Pte Ltd was awarded Best Residential Developer. Meanwhile, Fairview Developments Pte Ltd (a unit of Tong Eng Group) was named Best Landed Developer. The Best Breakthrough Developer award went to CSC Land Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd. Park Nova by Shun Tak Holdings garnered the coveted Best Condo Development (Singapore) award while Nim Collection by Bukit Sembawang Estates Limited won Best Housing Development (Singapore). Kain Sim, Co-Founder and Chairman of ZACD Group Ltd., received the 2021 Singapore Real Estate Personality of the Year award.

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1. Koon Wai Leong represents Best Residential Developer awardee Hoi Hup Realty Pte Ltd at the virtual gala 2. Terence Teo of Tong Eng Group after accepting the Best Landed Developer award 3. PropertyGuru’s Dr. Tee Khoon Tan gives the Real Estate Personality of the Year trophy to Kain Sim of ZACD Group Ltd. 4. Dora Chng joins the virtual festivities on behalf of the year’s biggest winner, GuocoLand 5. UOL Group Limited’s Joyce Sng (left) receives the Best Hospitality Developer trophy 6. Aurum Land show off their Best Lifestyle Developer and Best Boutique Developer wins 7. CSC Land Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd.’s Long Zhang Qin (left) holds the Best Breakthrough Developer trophy 8. The Assembly Place team pose with their awards, including the Best Co-Living Operator trophy

THE JUDGES Kristin Thorsteins, Awards Chairperson and Head of Partnerships – SEA, IWG PLC Carolina Fagnani, Senior Director, Development, South East Asia and Pacific, Radisson Hotel Group Chua Shang Chai, Partner, Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP Greg Shand, Architect, Robert Greg Shand Architects Henry Woon, Director, Atelier Ten Joelle Chen, Sustainability Director, Singapore, Lendlease Teo Ho Pin, Senior Adviser, Managed Services, Surbana Jurong Private Limited Wenhui Lim, Partner, SPARK Architects 143


the winners DEVELOPER AWARDS Best Developer Winner:GuocoLand Best Residential Developer Winner:Hoi Hup Realty Pte Ltd Best Landed Developer Winner:Fairview Developments Pte Ltd (a unit of Tong Eng Group) Best Lifestyle Developer Winner:Aurum Land Best Hospitality Developer Winner:UOL Group Limited Best Boutique Developer Winner:Aurum Land Best Breakthrough Developer Winner:CSC Land Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd Best Co-Living Operator Winner:The Assembly Place DEVELOPMENT AWARDS Best Mega-Scale Condo Development Winner:Normanton Park by Kingsford Group Best Ultra Luxury Condo Development Winner:Park Nova by Shun Tak Holdings Highly Commended: Klimt Cairnhill by Low Keng Huat (S) Limited Best Luxury Condo Development Winner:Midtown Modern by GuocoLand with Hong Leong Holdings and Hong Realty (Private) Highly Commended: • Royalgreen by Allgreen Properties Limited • The Atelier by Bukit Sembawang Estates Limited Best Luxury Boutique Condo Development Winner:Van Holland by Koh Brothers Development Pte Ltd Highly Commended: 35 Gilstead by Amcorp Global Limited and TG Development Pte Ltd Best Boutique Condo Development Winner:One-North Eden by TID Pte. Ltd. Highly Commended: • Lattice One by Amcorp Global Limited • The Arden by CNQC Realty (Phoenix) Pte Ltd Best Private Condo Development Winner:Clavon by UOL Group Limited and Singapore Land Group Limited Highly Commended: • Fourth Avenue Residences by Allgreen Properties Limited 144

• Ki Residences by Hoi Hup Sunway Clementi Pte Ltd • The Watergardens at Canberra by UOL Group, Kheng Leong Company and Singapore Land Group Best Executive Condo Development Winner:Parc Central Residences by Hoi Hup Sunway Tampines JV Pte Ltd Best Strata Housing Development Winner:Belgravia Ace by Fairview Developments Pte Ltd (a unit of Tong Eng Group) Best Landed Housing Development Winner:Nim Collection by Bukit Sembawang Estates Limited Best Industrial Development Winner:Food21 by Logos Group Highly Commended: CT FoodChain by Chiu Teng Group Best Integrated Development Winner:Pasir Ris 8 by Allgreen Properties Limited Best Smart Building Development Winner:Frasers Tower by Frasers Property Singapore Best WFH Development Winner:Midtown Bay by GuocoLand Highly Commended: Clavon by UOL Group Limited and Singapore Land Group Limited Best Green Hotel Development Winner:Pan Pacific Orchard by UOL Group Limited Best Green Office Development Winner:Frasers Tower by Frasers Property Singapore DESIGN AWARDS Best Ultra Luxury Condo Architectural Design Winner:Klimt Cairnhill by Low Keng Huat (S) Limited Best Luxury Condo Architectural Design Winner:Midtown Modern by GuocoLand with Hong Leong Holdings and Hong Realty (Private) Highly Commended: Cairnhill 16 by TSKY Cairnhill Pte. Ltd. Best Boutique Condo Architectural Design Winner:Van Holland by Koh Brothers Development Pte Ltd Highly Commended: • Cairnhill 16 by TSKY Cairnhill Pte. Ltd. • Nyon by Aurum Land

Best Private Condo Architectural Design Winner:Verdale by CSC Land Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd and COLI (Singapore) Pte Ltd Highly Commended: The Watergardens at Canberra by UOL Group, Kheng Leong Company and Singapore Land Group Best Luxury Condo Interior Design Winner:Cairnhill 16 by TSKY Cairnhill Pte. Ltd. Best Boutique Condo Interior Design Winner:The Hyde by Aurum Land Highly Commended: • Cairnhill 16 by TSKY Cairnhill Pte. Ltd. • One-North Eden by TID Pte. Ltd. Best Private Condo Interior Design Winner:Ki Residences by Hoi Hup Sunway Clementi Pte Ltd Highly Commended: Pasir Ris 8 by Allgreen Properties Limited Best Mega-Scale Condo Landscape Architectural Design Winner:Normanton Park by Kingsford Group Best Luxury Condo Landscape Architectural Design Winner:Midtown Modern by GuocoLand with Hong Leong Holdings and Hong Realty (Private) Best Boutique Condo Landscape Architectural Design Winner:Juniper Hill by Allgreen Properties Limited Best Private Condo Landscape Architectural Design Winner:Clavon by UOL Group Limited and Singapore Land Group Limited Highly Commended: • Ki Residences by Hoi Hup Sunway Clementi Pte Ltd • The Watergardens at Canberra by UOL Group, Kheng Leong Company and Singapore Land Group Best Executive Condo Landscape Architectural Design Winner:Parc Central Residences by Hoi Hup Sunway Tampines JV Pte Ltd Best Hotel Architectural Design Winner:Pan Pacific Orchard by UOL Group Limited Best Hotel Interior Design Winner:Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay by UOL Group Limited and Singapore Land Group Limited Best Sales Gallery Architectural Design Winner:Ki Residences by Hoi Hup Sunway Clementi Pte Ltd


Best Co-Living Space Winner:96 Owen Road by The Assembly Place Highly Commended: • 138 – 142 Jalan Besar by The Assembly Place • Mill at 32 by The Assembly Place BEST OF SINGAPORE AWARDS Best Condo Development (Singapore) Winner:Park Nova by Shun Tak Holdings Best Housing Development (Singapore) Winner:Nim Collection by Bukit Sembawang Estates Limited

SPECIAL AWARDS Special Recognition in ESG     Winners: • GuocoLand • UOL Group Limited Special Recognition in Sustainable Design and Construction Winners: • GuocoLand • UOL Group Limited PUBLISHER’S CHOICE Singapore Real Estate Personality of the Year Winner:Kain Sim, Co-Founder and Chairman, ZACD Group Ltd.

WITH THANKS TO: • Platinum sponsor Kohler • Gold sponsor Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd • Official portal partner PropertyGuru.com.sg • Official cable TV partner History Channel • Official magazine PropertyGuru Property Report • Official PR partner Klareco Communications • Official charity partner Right To Play • Official ESG partner Baan Dek Foundation • Supporting associations Asia MarTech Society and Singapore Estate Agents Association • Official supervisor HLB

For more information, please visit AsiaPropertyAwards.com

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Rini Homes 8 Johor, Malaysia

Rini Homes 8 is a terraced house development at Skudai in the western corridor of Johor Bahru. The development is part of the established integrated township Mutiara Rini. The development offers two-storey terraced houses in a lush setting that includes the township’s 64-acre Urban Forest & Recreational Centre, filled with fruit trees, palms, and eco ponds. It also features a 32-kilometre bicycle track, plus jogging tracks. Accessible to major highways, Rini Homes 8 connects to a bustling commercial district with plenty of shops, banks and petrol kiosks. It also sits close to educational institutions, including Thorburn Chinese Primary Schools and Tamil Primary School. A gated and guarded community, Rini Homes 8 offers residents peace of mind with 24-hour security and protection from a nearby police station. Mutiara Rini has grown to an area of 1,438 acres since its launch in 1996. With a six-kilometre frontage onto Jalan Skudai-Gelang Patah. the former oil palm estate is accessible by way of the Skudai Highway and sits just 13 kilometres from Johor Bahru City Centre. Mutiara Rini has contained more than 11,000 houses and commercial units. The township now includes many landscaped green areas and an international-standard cricket pitch, the Mutiara Rini Oval.

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WINNER BEST MEGA TOWNSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Mutiara Rini Skudai by Boustead Properties Berhad


FACT BOX

Developer: Boustead Properties Berhad (Mutiara Rini Sdn Bhd) Product type: Two-storey terrace house Architect: Saadon Architect Launch date: October 2020 Completion date: October 2022 Total land area: 34 acres Number of units: 216 Average unit size: 2,280 sq ft Facilities: Urban forest, recreational centre, bicycle track, jogging tracks, guardhouse Price range: MYR571,200-935,000 Sales office contact Tel: +607 558 6080 Email: salesjb.mrini@boustead.com.my Address: No. 21, Jalan Jasa 25, Mutiara Rini, 81300 Darul Takzim

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Celyn II @ Bayu Sutera Seremban, Malaysia

Celyn II @ Bayu Sutera is the latest residential offering from Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd, the minds behind the Bandar Sri Sendayan township in Negeri Sembilan. Part of the Bayu Sutera enclave within Bandar Sri Sendayan, the development offers 255 two-storey link homes designed in contemporary style and with sustainable materials. The MYR143-million development occupies 16.7 acres, with a density of 15 units per acre, on a site conveniently linked to the North-South Expressway and the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway, These link homes have a generous built-up size of 2,142 sq ft. Options include four bedrooms and three bathrooms for the intermediate and end units and four bedrooms and four bathrooms for the corner units. Residents get exclusive access to the 9.5-acre central park at Bayu Sutera, which serves as the development’s social hub. Bicycle tracks, a reflexology path, and playground keep residents physically active within the community. Bandar Sri Sendayan gives residents access to the township’s wider amenities, including the 380,000-square-foot d’Tempat Country Club; scenic open spaces like Carnelian Park and Sendayan Green Park; thrillseeking attractions at the 34-acre Sendayan X Park; and shopping and dining opportunities at Sendayan Merchant Square. Good schools are also located within the township itself, perfect for growing families. 148

WINNER

WINNER

BEST TOWNSHIP DEVELOPER

SPECIAL RECOGNITION FOR CSR

Matrix Concepts Holdings Berhad

Matrix Concepts Holdings Berhad


FACT BOX WINNER

WINNER

SPECIAL RECOGNITION IN ESG

SPECIAL RECOGNITION IN SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

Matrix Concepts Holdings Berhad

Matrix Concepts Holdings Berhad

Developer: Matrix Concepts Holdings Berhad Product type: Two-storey link homes Architect: GLC Architect Launch date: November 2021 Completion date: August 2023 Total land area: 16.7 acres Number of units: 255 Facilities: Playpark, playground, parcourse, badminton court, walkway, reflexology path, terrace bench, shelter Price range: From MYR529,999 Sales office contact Tel: 1800-88-2688 Address: Wisma Matrix, No. 57, Jalan Tun Dr. Ismail, Bandar Seremban, 70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus

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Promena

Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh City Promena is a condominium project at the entrance of the Thu Duc Golf & Country Club in Ho Chi Minh City. Envisaged as a haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Promena is nestled on the side of a verdant 300-hectare golf course along No. 2 Street in Long Thanh My Ward. Promena is conceived as a development that brings nature inside. Every indoor area in the golf community maximises window spaces and encourages natural airflow, creating a harmonious coexistence between people and the natural environment. The design team, led by ADU Architecture & Design, incorporated the arch throughout property’s architecture. As a key architectural element of the project, the arch conveys timelessness, connectivity, beauty, strength, and longevity, as well as the developer’s respect for nature. The project features a clubhouse with a large deck. Residents have access to a 275-sqm restaurant and 135-

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sqm community room, among many other facilities. They can also bask in the jacuzzi, lap pool, and family pool, or just admire the water features. Children can enjoy the kids’ pool and playground while fitness enthusiasts can access the 77-sqm gym, 100-sqm outdoor exercise zone, and 100-sqm multipurpose court, plus a dedicated tennis court.


FACT BOX WINNER

HIGHLY COMMENDED

BEST HIGH END CONDO ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

BEST HIGH END CONDO DEVELOPMENT (HCMC)

Promena by National Housing Organization, JSC.

Promena by National Housing Organization, JSC.

Developer: National Housing Organization, JSC. Product type: Condominium Architect: ADU Architecture & Design Launch date: Dec 2022 Completion date: Q2 2024 Total land area: 8,605 sqm Number of units: 80 Average unit size: 143.45 sqm Facilities: Restaurant, outdoor café, gym, clubhouse, community room, kids’ pool, jacuzzi, family pool, lap pool, shade pavilion, playground, outdoor exercise zone, sports courts, tennis court Price range: USD490,000-748,000

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Terra

Putrajaya, Malaysia Terra is Putrajaya’s first integrated mixed waterfront development. Located by the serene, calming waters of Putrajaya Lake, the development is envisioned as a modern Malaysian lifestyle hub where one can live, work, play and connect. The development, part of Precinct 8 of Putrajaya, includes well-designed residential apartments and serviced residences, the latter operated by Fraser Hospitality. The homes integrate into a community mall and retail outlets fronting the lake. The development also includes an event hall with a capacity of 700 people. Homes at Terra follow an open-air concept, redefining contemporary living. This lets residents experience a modern lifestyle outside closed walls and relish the oasis-like, sensual atmosphere of the lakefront development.

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WINNER BEST MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT

TERRA by Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd


FACT BOX

Developer: Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd Product type: Mixed development Architect: GDP Architects Sdn. Bhd., Zon Design Rekabina Sdn. Bhd. Launch date: September 2022 Completion date: June 2024 Total land area: 9.3 acres Number of units: 348 Average unit size: 850 sq ft Facilities: Rooftop swimming pool, landscaped playground and gardens, gymnasium, multipurpose hall Monthly maintenance fees: MYR350- 400 Price range: MYR490,000-690,000 Sales office contact Tel: 03 8888 6633 Email: marketing@pjh.com.my Address: Level 1, Marketing Suite, Menara PjH, No. 2, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, Precinct 2, 62100 Putrajaya, Malaysia

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Senada Residences Bukit Kiara, Malaysia

Located amidst the prestigious neighbourhood of TTDI, Mont Kiara and Damansara Heights just 8km from the heart of Kuala Lumpur, KLGCC Resort combines its unique 360acre natural setting with well-planned architecture and spaces. With world-class amenities such as the World’s Top 100 and Southeast Asia’s number one golf club, and the Bukit Kiara natural reserves right at your doorstep, KLGCC Resort offers exquisite urban living in a truly world-class destination. Property seekers can choose their units from views of the Damansara Heights neighbourhood, the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club golf course, or the Kuala Lumpur skyline. Buyers also have a variety of options in terms of built-up sizes, ranging from 710 sq ft to 958 sq ft. The development teems with facilities and amenities, over 20 of which can be found in the two-acre Sky Park Garden on Level 4. They include swimming and wading pools, a jacuzzi, gymnasium, jogging tracks, playground, sauna, and outdoor fitness station, among others. The inter-connected retail allows residents to enjoy the six-level retail podium next to their residences with an abundance of stores for their daily shopping and dining needs. 154

Outside Senada Residences, residents can easily reach retail hubs and shopping hotspots, local and international schools, and medical and healthcare centres. Travel to and from the residences is easy with their excellent connectivity to major highways in the Klang Valley. The Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT Station is also a short distance from the development.


FACT BOX WINNER

WINNER

BEST CONDO/APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT (MALAYSIA)

BEST HIGH END CONDO/APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT (CENTRAL)

Senada Residences by Sime Darby Brunsfield Resort Sdn Bhd

Senada Residences by Sime Darby Brunsfield Resort Sdn Bhd

Developer: Sime Darby Brunsfield Resort Sdn Bhd Product type: Serviced apartment Architect: KSKA Arkitek Sdn Bhd Launch date: 2016 Completion date: Tower 1 (Q2 2022), Tower 2 (Q3 2022) Total land area: 4.028 acres Number of units: 429 Average unit size: 710-958 sq ft (Tower A), 732-958 sq ft (Tower B) Facilities: Gymnasium, function room, sauna, chess garden, playground, kids’ water play area, outdoor fitness station, swimming and wading pools, reflexology path, jacuzzi, putting garden, reading room, prayer room Monthly maintenance fees: MYR0.50 per sq ft (incl. sinking fund) Price range: MYR1,350-1,770 per sq ft Sales office contact Tel: 011-2837 3818 Email: wong.siew.hoong@simedarbyproperty.com Address: No. 2A, Jalan Bukit Kiara 1, Bukit Kiara, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur Website: simedarbyproperty.com/klgcc-resort/senada.php 155


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Mill@32

Geylang, Singapore Mill@32, formerly known as Leshan Gardens, is a new residential development in the Geylang enclave of Singapore. The project has undertaken several design and name changes in reference to its historic location. Geylang comes from the Malay word kilang, which means mill, press or factory, and the enclave used to be known for the production of oil from dried coconut flesh. The development is a cross between industrial aesthetics and Manhattan loft-style architecture. While the project’s brickwall façade has been retained, two new schemes were introduced to the design phase: Old School Cool Living and Industrial Chic Living. Vinyl flooring was incorporated into the development while stucco paint was used to create a feature wall in every unit. Terazzo lookalike tiles were also utilised as a back feature of the bathroom, artfully blending old world and contemporary design.

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HIGHLY COMMENDED BEST CO-LIVING SPACE

Mill at 32 by The Assembly Place


FACT BOX

Developer: Residential Launch date: August 2020 Total land area: 16,412 sq ft Number of units:38 units with 152 rooms Average unit size: 1,200 sq ft Facilities: Workshop Price range: From SGD1,200 onwards/room Sales office contact Tel: 9686 4134 Email: info@theassemblyplace.com Address: 10 Anson Road International Plaza #23-02A Singapore 079903

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Cairnhill 16

Cairnhill Rise, Singapore Cairnhill 16 is a 15-storey freehold condominium development at 16 Cairnhill Rise, a prime residential area in Singapore. Featuring 39 upscale units set within an idyllic garden environment, the nature-inspired development is envisioned as an oasis in the heart of the city. It stands in stark contrast to its neighbours with a contemporary yet unique façade. Cairnhill 16 is a well-connected, centrally located property. It is only a few minutes’ walk from Orchard Road and Newton MRT station and within easy access to the convenience of Singapore’s exclusive shopping belt. Young families will appreciate Cairnhill 16’s proximity to good schools. The luxurious condos are just within a kilometre of two prestigious primary schools: Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) and St Margret’s Primary School. In addition, residents enjoy an abundance of facilities onsite, including a 20-metre lap pool, gym, fitness terrace, jacuzzi garden, and reading lounge. On the roof terrace, residents can enjoy outdoor dining with amenities like a teppanyaki and charcoal barbecue grill.

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WINNER

HIGHLY COMMENDED

BEST LUXURY CONDO INTERIOR DESIGN

BEST LUXURY CONDO ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

Cairnhill 16 by TSKY Cairnhill Pte. Ltd.

Cairnhill 16 by TSKY Cairnhill Pte. Ltd.


FACT BOX HIGHLY COMMENDED

HIGHLY COMMENDED

BEST BOUTIQUE CONDO ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

BEST BOUTIQUE CONDO INTERIOR DESIGN

Cairnhill 16 by TSKY Cairnhill Pte. Ltd.

Cairnhill 16 by TSKY Cairnhill Pte. Ltd.

Developer: TSKY Cairnhill Pte Ltd Product type: Apartment Architect: LAUD Architects Pte Ltd Launch date: November 2021 Completion date: March 2024 Total land area: 15,407.6 sq ft Number of units: 39 Average unit size: From 775–1,744 sq ft Facilities: Lap pool, jacuzzi garden, gym, fitness terrace, reading lounge, teppanyaki outdoor dining, barbecue charcoal grill, roof terrace Monthly maintenance fees: From SGD756 Price range: From SGD2.2 million Sales office contact: Tel: 85118888 Address: Cairnhill 16 Showflat, 1 Peck Hay Road, Singapore

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LIKE OTHER BELOVED RESORT MARKETS ACROSS ASIA, BALI HAS MADE MOVES TO REOPEN ITS BORDERS TO FOREIGN TOURISTS. FROM MILLIONS OF VISITORS, THE HARD-HIT INDONESIAN ISLAND RECORDED ONLY TWO-DIGIT INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS FOR MOST OF LAST YEAR. NLEMAN/SHUTTERSTOCK

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HLB

www.hlb.global

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