Branded residences have become a rising trend in the real estate industry, with many developers partnering luxury brands to create ultra-luxurious living spaces. Just between 2015 and 2020, Knight Frank reported a 72% increase in the number of branded residences, globally.
In 2022, Dubai saw sales worth 25.3 billion AED – solidifying the city’s position as the capital for branded residences in the world. This year, more than 2,000 units will enter the market in the United Arab Emirates city, as affluent buyers in search of luxury, exclusivity, and a sense of status continue to fuel the desire for an elevated lifestyle experience. Attesting to the popularity of branded residences, Bulgari’s lighthouse apartment in Dubai sold at a record-breaking 13,800 AED per square foot. We can expect to see more luxury brands partnering with developers to erect more such private residences, the answer to a clearly unstoppable demand.
The 27-storey Bulgari Lighthouse will house 31 penthouses and the three-storey Sky Villa with nine bedrooms and a private 13,000-square-foot terrace
Hotel brands were the catalysts for the introduction and initial growth of the branded residence. Today, hoteliers such as Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and St. Regis have formed partnerships with developers to build niche residences around the world that represent the luxury their brand offers, including here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. While there is still much to catch up on in the services and amenities offered in branded residences here, the potential and opportunity for this niche sector to thrive here in Malaysia are great, where such developments are still relatively new. Take for example the upcoming 8 Conlay development in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Centre, which aspires to lift the concept of branded residences to new heights locally. Its twin towers residence, YOO8 serviced by Kempinski, is a partnership between developer KSK Land and Kempinski Hotels – Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group.
Steve Leung’s wood concept theme design for YOO8 serviced by Kempinski, Kuala Lumpur
The residence comprises two towers with 564 units (Tower A) and 498 units (Tower B), and features four different designs by two internationally acclaimed designers – Steve Leung and Kelly Hoppen for YOO, the interior design firm co-founded by Philippe Starck and John Hitchcox that is the world’s biggest (non-hotel) branded residential design brand today. 8 Conlay will also house a five-star Kempinski hotel – the first for the hotel brand here in Malaysia – and a retail component.
An artist’s impression of 8 Conlay
Why branded Residences?
- Customisation and differentiation
Luxury brands seek out real estate developers to create branded residences, or vice versa, as a way to differentiate themselves from other luxury residential offerings through unique designs, high-quality materials, and exclusive amenities. In addition, the “X” factor this brings allow buyers to experience a lifestyle that is in line with the brand’s image and values. With their fresh, innovative perspective to interior design that has a touch of avant-garde right down to signature furnishings and a unique concept, YOO has successfully appealed to both local and international buyers in search of a living space that is in line with their lifestyle needs and wants time and again. For properties like YOO8, there is also a full-suit of services offered by Kempinski to YOO8 owners, giving them access to premium hotel services and amenities including housekeeping, laundry, private chef’s service, fitness trainer, masseuse service, etc. This allows YOO8 homeowners to enjoy the same level of luxury and hospitality as guests of Kempinski hotels around the world.
The signature ‘origami’ bathtub in YOO8’s Spring concept design by Kelly Hoppen
- Yield on investment
The exclusivity and association of brand, along with the services and amenities on offer, makes branded residences a popular investment option and an attraction to High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) in particular. Savills’ analysis states that the global premium for branded residences stands at an average of 30% over comparable non-branded properties. Of course, the percentages vary market to market, with location playing a significant factor as well. Investors tend to be prepared to pay a premium for properties in ultra-prime locations and emerging cosmopolitan cities. Nevertheless, branded residences and private residences typically command higher rental rates and better yield on investment overall compared to traditional residential properties. The strong branding of these properties also provides a sense of security and stability to investors, making them an attractive investment option and thus ensuring steady demand.
Set to be completed this year, the Aston Martin Residences in Miami will come with an Aston Martin Vulcan for its three-storey penthouse buyer, only one of 24 made. (Photo: Aston Martin)
- Branded residences and wellness
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, more people have developed an appreciation of wellness and the creation of living spaces that prioritise health and well-being. As a result, there is an unabating desire for good design, wellness amenities and space in properties, especially in urban high-rise residences. Understanding this need early on, 8 Conlay boasts a combined 2-acres in communal space, including an impressive water lounge on the 26th floor, and a green refuge and multi-tiered jogging path on the 44th floor of YOO8. These amenities provide an oasis of escape and much-needed breathing space for urban dwellers among the skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
The green refuge on the 44th floor of 8 Conlay’s YOO8 serviced by Kempinski twin residence boasts almost an acre worth of garden space
8 Conlay in Kuala Lumpur is selling its branded residence, YOO8 serviced by Kempinski. To get in touch or visit our 8 Conlay Gallery, contact us here.