You might have heard the term super penthouse being bandied about a lot in the past couple of weeks. Which is of no surprise given the extraordinary news of the most expensive condo purchase in Singapore thus far by James Dyson. In luxury real estate, there seems to be no ceiling at all with the sky being its only real limit. But even then, there is a huge difference in what we traditionally classify as a luxury property, and nowadays, with a new classification that I can only describe as truly nuts.
Which is how the term super penthouse has seemingly been coined, as the prices are indeed super. Take, for instance, Billionaire hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin’s purchase of a USD$238 million 23,000 square foot New York City penthouse. Yes, yes, I know it is New York City, but that is really an astronomical purchase price! To put things into a little perspective, at the current exchange rates, his purchase was $326 million in Singapore dollars.
That is the equivalent of him buying the Casa Meyfort (which went en bloc for $319.8 million) by himself!
So armed with this information, it makes it all the more stunning to know that of the 11 super penthouses around the world currently on the market, 6 of them are on this little island we call home. Well, as the article on the Straits Times came out in June, it is actually now down to 5.
So what makes a Super Penthouse?
Unlike GCBs (Good Class Bungalows) in Singapore, a super penthouse will normally be located in central city areas. That’s not to say that GCBs aren’t in good locations, but what makes these units so special will be their exclusive residential addresses. As an example, the Dyson super penthouse (as we shall now name it), is located in the CBD area, which is ultra-prime for Singapore. Of course, if it is just the one GCB situated on that piece of land it would probably be the most expensive house ever, but you get the idea.
Other than the address, what sets a super penthouse from the rest is really just being the highest of them all. As the Dyson super penthouse sits on the top of Wallich Residence and Guoco Tower, it is the highest residential unit you can get at 290m in Singapore. Simply put, it is the ultimate bragging rights that you receive from this purchase. There is literally no one else in Singapore that is on the same level as you, and with that, you get the best and most commanding views of the city skyline. As long as there aren’t any other future building that tops this, these are bragging rights that many billionaires would be willing to pay for.
Another thing that makes a super penthouse is the space that it affords. Which is why this status is only conferred to a penthouse which is 10,000 square feet and above. In real estate terms, space is always luxury and you can never really have enough of it. So naturally, when you have such large living spaces on the top floor of each building, it is always going to command a premium price.
Basically, what really makes a super penthouse are the intangible benefits. The privacy, exclusivity, prestige, and status that come with the purchase is what drives and pushes the deal over the line. But what about the other benefits, you may ask? What exactly comes with each unit?
Well, you can expect super penthouses to offer best-in-class luxury finishings (that’s a given), private lifts straight to the unit, entertainment rooms, personal gyms, and a private infinity pool. And we aren’t talking bathtub size here, the infinity swimming pools in some of these will rival smaller condominiums that we have here in Singapore.
As you can see, there are multiple reasons why there are so few of these around the world, and why they are so coveted. At the end of the day, perhaps it all boils down to simple human psychology too: you want what you can’t have. And the idea that you own a premium piece of real estate out of reach of 99.9% of the population is just part of that appeal.
I’m sure many of you are wondering:
What is currently the most expensive super penthouse for sale in the world right now?
Well, I’m just about to satisfy that curiosity.
With an eye-watering $387 million USD price tag, the Tour Odeon Tower Sky Penthouse in Monaco is a massive 35,500 square feet five-storey penthouse. The most impressive feature of the house? The 360-degree views over the sea with a rooftop circular infinity pool that comes with a water slide. Just wow.