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British billionaire James Dyson buys Singapore's priciest penthouse

GuocoLand Ltd's mixed-use Tanjong Pagar Centre (R) towers over other buildings in the central business district of Singapore. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Singapore Jul 10, 2019, 10.45 AM (IST)

British billionaire James Dyson, the inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, has bought Singapore's most expensive penthouse, official records show.

The three-story penthouse - once valued at S$100 million ($73.44 million) - sits on the 62nd-64th floor, is equipped with a private pool and located in the heart of the city-state's financial district.

Dyson, a Brexit supporter, announced in January he is moving his head office from Britain to Singapore to be closer to its fastest-growing markets. His eponymous firm - which also makes bladeless fans, air purifiers and hair dryers - plans to build its first electric car in the city-state.

Wallich Residence's penthouse sits in the tallest building in Singapore, built by developer GuocoLand Ltd.

Before its unveiling in 2017, the highest asking price for the "bungalow in the sky" reached a dizzying S$100 million, making it Singapore's most expensive.

Official title records seen by Reuters show Dyson and his wife became tenants of the 99-year leasehold property on June 20. The records did not state the price paid but Business Times reported that Dyson bought the property for S$73.8 million ($54.17 million).

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

The 72-year-old has become one of Britain's best-known entrepreneurs, creating a multibillion-dollar company from an insight that a cyclone could collect household dust better than a clogged-up bag.

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

To cool its property market, the Singapore government intensified property curbs last year after a 9.1% annual increase in home prices and as developers paid record amounts to buy land.

Foreigners now have to pay levies of over 20% to buy property in the city-state under the new rules.

($1 = 1.3623 Singapore dollars)

Story highlights

The three-story penthouse - once valued at S$100 million ($73.44 million) - sits on the 62nd-64th floor, is equipped with a private pool and located in the heart of the city-state's financial district.