Singapore premier’s estranged brother to sell luxury mansion

Lee Hsien Yang was in the media spotlight following a siblings’ quarrel over their father’s will.

Lee Hsien Yang had joined an opposition party and campaigned against the governing party currently helmed by his brother [File photo]

The estranged younger brother of Singapore’s premier is selling his resort-style home amid a surge in demand for luxury properties in the city-state.

The two-story bungalow, a local term for the equivalent of a mansion, is on sale for S$16.8 million ($12.4 million), according to a listing on the real estate portal PropertyGuru. Public records show Lee Hsien Yang, brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and his wife as joint owners. The couple currently live in an apartment in the prestigious Nassim Road neighborhood.

Sitting on a land size of 9,888 square feet (920 square meters), the home has six bedrooms, two living rooms, a walk-in wine cellar, a helper’s room, an infinity pool and a koi pond. Four cars can be parked inside the freehold compound. The listing described it as a “resort-style modern bungalow.” It’s located on Caldecott Hill, an upscale area near the famous Orchard Road shopping belt. Lee Hsien Yang declined to comment when asked why he’s selling the home.

Lee Hsien Yang was in the media spotlight following a siblings’ quarrel over their father’s will and famous Oxley Road house. He and his older sister in 2017 had accused their brother, the prime minister, of maneuvering to undermine their father’s instructions, citing the existence of a ministerial committee exploring options for the property. Lee Hsien Loong rejected the allegations. Their father was Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding prime minister.

Prior to last year’s general election, Lee Hsien Yang also generated headlines when he joined an opposition party, campaigning against the ruling party once led by his father and currently helmed by Lee Hsien Loong. A Cambridge and Stanford graduate who’s held top posts at Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., Lee Hsien Yang was also the ex-chairman of food and beverage company Fraser & Neave Ltd. who oversaw a bidding war for the firm, which was eventually acquired by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi for S$13.8 billion in 2013.

His move to sell the home comes as Singapore experiences a property frenzy that led to S$32.9 billion in sales in the first half alone, double what was recorded in Manhattan over the same six months, driven by demand from the ultra-rich flocking to the business hub.

Reflecting the appetite for high-end homes, sales of good class bungalows — considered the finest residences in Singapore — jumped more than sixfold to S$1.6 billion in the first half from a year earlier, according to data compiled by ERA Realty Network Pte.

Sales of luxury units in prestigious neighborhoods reached a 10-year high in the second quarter, based on a report by Singapore-based property firm OrangeTee. Prices of new luxury apartments rose 5.2% in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to the report.

“With Singapore’s economy expected to rebound strongly this year, consumers’ confidence is likely to pick up further,” the report said. “This will spur more buying of luxury homes and prices are likely to trend higher in the coming months.”

Source: Bloomberg