What niche real estate product promises property investors insulation against risk and a bona-fide sense of belonging? According to the latest industry research – it’s a branded residence. Laura Henderson reports.
For high-net-worth buyers motivated by that elusive, yet highly-prized investment attribute – peace of mind - the concept of a managed property certainly ticks all the right boxes. Buying overseas can be complicated, so a development footprint from a trusted source that has already done the due diligence leg work is understandably appealing.
The conversion ratios for branded property purchases speak for themselves too. Fast tracking as one of Europe’s strongest emerging investment trends, the number of hotels now offering labelled residences is up tenfold in the decade to 2012, with a forecast for dynamic mainstream growth in key Mediterranean destinations in the next five years. Further afield – the market in the Far East is currently valued at over $16 billion, with hot spot destination Thailand leading by example. There, branded residences are expected to account for 37% of future development projects.
Current high-style incarnations have certainly come a long way from their 1980s condo stateside roots, most notably the growing number of ‘stand-alone’ branded initiatives underway. Take Four Seasons in London, fresh from completely refurbishing Ten Trinity Square overlooking Tower Bridge with a new hotel and residences, and now about to launch its first residential property offering at 20 Grosvenor Square in the heart of Mayfair. Motivational drivers are understandably key to mouldingand shaping the offering. These not only include above-the line quantifiables - top-notch facilities and high-quality guest services, professional property management, access to an environment of like-minded people, but also the expectation of increased chances of capital appreciation, rental returns and better resale potential.
Design is a critical influencer too. Increasingly, rarefied names in the fashion and design world are being lured to lend their makeover expertise, a case in point – funky developer brand Yoo, who is partnering with names like Kelly Hoppen and Jade Jagger to market its holiday homes.
Perhaps the trickier part of the equation is successfully addressing growth driven by a desire to satisfy evolving ‘below the line’ priorities, intuitively appealing to buyers’ emotions – the experiential part of ownership. As consumers, we’re certainly more ‘home comfort’ conscious these days.
As such, a high-performing development must be driven by exceeding customers’ evolving requirements and desires. Increasingly these have been shifting towards the 3 Cs - convenience, confidence and after-care – and, from the evidence, this trend is firmly set to continue.
Not surprisingly, the turnkey ease of branded ownership translates to top drawer prices. Branded properties normally sell for 20-30% more than non-branded equivalents, a key consideration, particularly in an uncertain market, where buyers are seeking reassurance of quality, but also value for money. The established relationship and loyalty forged with a known and trusted label can certainly offer an investment edge. Buyers just need to be sure that the premium price tag pays its way.
ONES TO WATCH
ASTON MARTIN RESIDENCES, MIAMI
South Florida is undergoing an impressive overhaul, with developers crafting the region’s next generation of luxury living. Perhaps more impressive than the sheer number of developments however, are the names attached, including motoring powerhouse Aston Martin.
The luxury car brand recently broke ground on a 66-storey waterfront tower in Biscayne Bay, with residences ranging from $700,000 to $50 million for a penthouse.
“Aston Martin designs sports cars for those who appreciate automotive fine art, so it was a natural progression for us to extend our expertise in design, materials and craftsmanship into a project of this calibre,” says Aston Martin’s vice president and chief marketing officer, Simon Sproule.
Rising from one of the last parcels of available land along Miami’s waterfront, the 66-floor ultra-luxury skyscraper will tower above its neighbours. The development’s expansive one- to five-bedroom apartments will be complemented by seven penthouses – including two-storey duplexes and a three-storey triplex – all enjoying private pools and spacious terraces.
Highlight features will include doors with bespoke artisan Aston Martin handles, number plinths and kestrel tan leather door tabs. Resident perks comprise 24-hour valet service, an art gallery, fitness centre, movie theatres, and an infinity pool on the 55th floor.
Owners of top-tier apartments will receive a special limited-edition Aston Martin ‘Miami Riverwalk’ DBu and the buyer of the $50 million penthouse will be handed one of the most sought-after cars on the planet - a $2.3 million Aston Martin Vulcan; perks that perhaps confirm why the property is already 35% percent sold even though the project is three years from completion.
MILENNIUM BINGHATTI RESIDENCES, DUBAI
Renowned for its ‘more is more’ ethos, it feels entirely natural that Dubai is the chosen destination for the uber glam Millennium Binghatti Residences.
The AED400 million project on the Dubai Water Canal in Business Bay is a combined effort of Binghatti Developers and the esteemed Millennium Hotels and Resorts, a company that has built a stellar reputation for opulence and ultra-luxury accommodation.
Comprising 230 units including studios and spacious one and two-bedroom apartments, hotel-inspired facilities are all part of the owner service offering including concierge, daycare, catering, laundry, housekeeping and maintenance services.
“Residences are assets for savvy investors aware of the large rental revenues and prosperity of this thriving region,” says Muhammad Binghatti, CEO and head of Architecture at Binghatti Developers. “Apartments deliver the very best in comfort and convenience for every resident.”
Property prices start at AED625,000. 60% of units are now sold following market launch in spring 2018, with project completion slated for June 2019.
HALF MOON BAY, ANTIGUA
The Caribbean’s first new resort of calibre for decades, investors can scoop up one of the luscious 44 branded beachfront residences at Half Moon Bay on the island oasis of Antigua, decked out with the highest standard features that guests of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts have come to expect.
Buyers can also take advantage of the bespoke build option; an opportunity to select, design, and build their retreat on the half-mile beach, on the cliffs, or near the hotel – complete with access to the full panoply of Rosewood Half Moon Bay amenities, services, and immersive experiences.
Construction is directed to have minimal impact on the landscape, with single storey buildings and the retention of indigenous foliage.
“The benefit of ultra-luxury means you can put a less significant footprint on the land, in this case we have just 40 villas and ten plots of land,” explains Half Moon Bay CEO, William Anderson. “These are not big numbers, which makes Half Moon Bay compelling for people who want a truly singular experience.”
There’s no other place you can buy on top of an 80-foot cliff that overlooks a world class beach and coast to one side, and a stunning resort. This is a once in a lifetime investment opportunity.”
Plot prices range between $10 and $25 million, branded residences from $3.5 - $15 million.