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Crazy Rich Asians: Property Edition


Asia is fast becoming the playground of the uber-rich, judging by these insane property prices.

You got to be crazy rich to live in Singapore. ©

Crazy Rich Asians is now in cinemas and it’s doing gangbusters business at the box-office, already breaching the USD100 million mark in the North American market alone. The film is based on the best-selling book by Kevin Kwan, directed by Jon M. Chu and starring Constance Wu alongside Malaysia’s own Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh. It tells the story of a Chinese-American woman who travels with her boyfriend to meet his family in the East, only to discover that they are amongst the richest families in Singapore.

The Garden City being used as the backdrop for Crazy Rich Asians is no coincidence; after all, it is the most expensive city in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Worldwide Cost of Living report, Singapore maintained its position at the top of the list for the fifth year running. Unsurprisingly, the city also boasts some of the world’s most expensive real estate including a 25,741 sq ft bungalow at Cuscaden Road that sold for SDG145 million (MYR437 million) and a 34th Floor Penthouse at Twentyone Anguilla Park  worth SDG$42.9 million (MYR129 million) reportedly owned by notorious Malaysian businessman, Low Taek Jho.

Our neighbours down south also top the charts in Southeast Asia when it comes to retail space. In the last decade, at least 51 strata retail transactions have crossed the SGD10,000 (MYR30,000) per sq ft mark. Just three years ago, a 43 sq ft ground floor unit at The Arcade in Collyer Quay sold for SGD32,516 (MYR97,891) per sq ft, totalling to a whopping SDG1.4 million (MYR4.2 million).

Despite the insane figures, Singapore isn’t the only city that holds the bragging rights to crazy real estate prices.

What the Park!

If you thought to buy an extra car park lot at one of your local developments was a tall order, then you haven’t been to the Ultima apartment complex in the Kowloon district in Hong Kong. Parking one of your prized vehicles here would probably set you back close to HK$6 million (MYR3.1 million). That was the transacted price for the 16.4 ft x 8.2 ft parking bay at the Sun Hung Kai Properties’ development in early June, which ultimately works out to HK$44,444 (MYR23, 516) per sq ft. Yes, it is expensive but still cheaper than renting a car park at Ultima over the long run which can set you back around HK$10,000 (MYR5,300) per month.
Type: Car Park
Where: Kowloon district, Hong Kong
Price per sq ft: MYR23, 516 (HK$44,444)

There goes the neighbourhood

Tourists and billionaires love The Peak in Hong Kong. The area is home to some of the world’s most expensive houses and also one of the most expensive residential areas on the planet. Mount Nicholson, a luxury development consisting of 19 detached houses and 48 apartments located at the city’s highest point, is a prime example as it’s uber-exclusive and offers unobstructed views of Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour. These picturesque views come at a price of roughly HK$132,000 (MYR69, 840) per sq ft. That’s what a buyer paid last November to be a part of this neighbourhood, splashing out HK$1.1.6 billion (MYR618 million) for a pair of units measuring 4,579 sq ft and 4,242 sq ft respectively. Still, it’s a small price to pay for Asia’s ultra-rich considering the neighbours you may just run into…
Type: Apartment
Where: Mount Nicholson, The Peak, Hong Kong
Price per sq ft: MYR69, 840 (HK$132,000)

Peak Purchase

Just next to Mount Nicholson is Gough Hill, which just so happens to be home to the world’s most expensive house. In June 2016, Shenzhen-based tycoon Chen Hongtian purchased a 9,212 sq ft mansion at this address, reportedly paying HK$2.1 billion (MYR1.1billion). Certainly not many could afford the HK$182,370 (MYR96, 557) per sq ft sticker price at Gough Road and those who can, need little introduction. Pansy Ho, daughter and heiress of Macau’s casino magnate Stanley Ho, reportedly purchased a property just further up the street in July this year, shelling out HK$900 million (MYR477 million) for a 5,579 sq ft mansion. You know, for half a billion ringgit, some would say it’s better to purchase your own building. And someone sure did.
Type: House/Mansion
Where: Gough Hill, The Peak, Hong Kong
Price per sq ft: MYR96, 557 (HK$182,370)

Say hello to the Antilia

The Antilia towering over Mumbai. © Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

With 27 floors, the Antilia stands as the world’s most costly home. Although ‘home’ is a rather loose term because the Antilia is in fact a skyscraper. Owned by Indian business tycoon, Mukesh Ambani, the extravagant abode is located in Mumbai, India and was reportedly built at a cost between USD1-2 billion (MYR4-8 billion). Its 27 floors boast 400,000 sq ft of living space along with its own recreational areas, a spa, terraced gardens, a temple and a 50-seater cinema hall. There are also three helipads, a multi-storey underground car park and is serviced by nine elevators. To ensure that the Antilia operates at tip-top condition, Ambani employs a total of 600 staff to maintain the residence around the clock.
Type: Home/27-Storey Skyscraper
Where: Mumbai, India
Price per sq ft: MYR10,349 (Rs.179,781) to MYR20,698 (Rs.359,562)
Total Cost: Between MYR4 billion (Rs.6000 crore) and MYR8 billion (Rs.12,000 crore)

While Malaysia may not rank as high as its Asian neighbours when it comes to exorbitant property prices, you still need to have pretty deep pockets to get your hands on some prime real estate in the country. In Kuala Lumpur, nothing but a cool MYR12.6 million will get you the deed to one of the city’s highest priced property, located in the affluent residential neighbourhood of Kenny Hills or Bukit Tunku. The median price per sq ft for the bungalow lots here average at RM422.
The most expensive property however, is located up north in Penang. A bungalow along the prime area of Jalan Utama, Pulau Tikus will set you back as much as MYR14.5 million at MYR570 per sq ft. That’s certainly a lot of money, but that’s the price you have to pay to run with Asia’s wealthiest crowd, which is why you don’t have to be just rich but crazy rich to afford one of these properties.

DISCLAIMER: Currency exchange/ conversion indicated in this story is based on approximate at the time of publishing and sourced through research. Readers are encouraged to seek independent advice prior to making any investments.


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