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Crazy rich Asians snap up luxury branded residences

Hong Kong

THE super rich frequently want to dress themselves head-to-toe in luxury labels. They are also increasingly snapping up multi-million dollar residences branded by the likes of Armani, Bvlgari and Four Seasons.

There are more than 400 branded projects worldwide, with buyers willing to pay premiums of up to 132 per cent in Bangkok and 69 per cent in Kuala Lumpur over non-branded dwellings, according to a report by property consultancy Knight Frank LLP.

In Thailand, almost 40 per cent of all new developments are now branded, the report said. Many of the most-coveted addresses are hotel-branded residences by JW Marriott, the Four Seasons, Versace and Aman Resorts.

They offer service levels on a par with their best hotels, including private chefs, the ability to order off a room-service menu and 24-hour concierge services.

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Dubai has the highest concentration of branded residences, attracting operators including The W, Jumeirah and Bvlgari.

According to Piers Schmidt, a luxury brand consultant at The Luxury Consultancy, that is "down to the fact that developers and promoters have a need to differentiate. You can build it taller, make it revolve and shimmer, but when you get inside an apartment, having a brand gives an advantage."

In Europe, the branded concept is still quite small, accounting for only 7 per cent of branded residences. In Australia, that is also the case, although Sydney shows promise. BLOOMBERG

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