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Sir James Dyson, the leading Brexiteer, billionaire and high-flying British technology entrepreneur, has bought the most expensive “super penthouse” in Singapore.
The three-storey “bungalow in the sky” occupies the 62nd to 64th floors - spanning more than 21,000 square feet - at the top of Singapore’s tallest building and was sold for £44 million, according to local media reports.
The luxurious five-bedroom Wallich residence in the downtown Tanjong Pagar Centre, is accessed by its own lift and boasts its own swimming pool, 600-bottle wine cellar, jacuzzi and private garden with stunning views that include the Marina Bay Sands hotel and Sentosa island, where US president Donald Trump met Kim Jong-un for a historic summit in 2018.
Mr Dyson, 72, who invented the bagless vacuum cleaner, announced plans in January to move his company’s head office from the UK to the Asian city-state of Singapore to be closer to its fastest-growing markets.
As one of the most high-profile Brexit advocates of the business world, Mr Dyson and his executives were forced to deny accusations that the move East was linked to uncertainties about the UK’s post-Brexit economy.
Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Dyson said “my personal views on Britain’s departure from the European Union didn’t come into our recent decision to move Dyson’s head office. I think Britain has a hugely exciting future once it leaves the European Union and Dyson will continue to invest and grow here.”
The tycoon stressed his decision was related to his ambition to invent a “meaningfully different” electric car by 2021, adding that he hoped to benefit from Singapore’s great technology expertise. His firm also makes bladeless fans, air purifiers and hair dryers.
“I accept that I may be ambitious to get there faster than some, but please don’t take it the wrong way: these are not the actions of a hypocrite but someone wanting to invest more in the UK post-Brexit, not less,” he wrote.
Title records seen by Reuters show that Mr Dyson and his wife Lady Deirdre, who makes contemporary rugs, became tenants of the 99-year leasehold property on June 20.
"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 told the news agency, without giving further details of the purchase.
The records did not reveal the price paid, but before its unveiling, the lavish residence had a dizzying asking price of 100 million Singapore dollars (£59m), making it Singapore’s most expensive. The Business Times, however, reported a lower final price of S$73.8m (£44m).
The price-tag would likely set a new record for a penthouse purchase in Singapore, one of the world’s most expensive cities to buy a home.
The island city-state, a former British colony of just 50 square miles at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, has developed into a global business hub that also attracts the super-rich from less-developed Southeast Asian nations, as well as millionaires from mainland China.
Many flock to the city for medical tourism, and to enjoy its glitzy casinos and expensive rooftop bars. In 2018, Singapore provided the setting for the Hollywood romantic comedy blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, directed by John M. Chu.
Mr Dyson’s purchase does not appear to have been hindered by intensified property restrictions which kicked in last year after a 9.1 per cent annual increase in home prices and as developers paid record amounts to buy land.
Foreigners now have to pay levies of more than 20 per cent to buy property under the new rules, but citizens and permanent residents pay far lower taxes.
The super-penthouse had been on the market for 18 months and was only shown to wealthy clients who had the potential to be serious buyers.
"From the onset, the buyer was always going to be a foreigner," said Leong Boon Hoe of List Sotheby's International Realty, one of the agencies marketing the penthouse. "It's a place to be able to showcase your wealth".