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The oldest listed company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (BID) will be taken private after 31 years.

On 16 June 2019, Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID) announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by BidFair USA, an entity wholly owned by French media and telecom entrepreneur as well as art collector, Patrick Drahi for US$3.7 billion. The price tag marks a hefty 61 per cent premium to Sotheby’s close price the session prior, and shares of Sotheby’s spiked nearly 60 per cent after the announcement. Patrick Drahi owns 60 per cent of the stock of Altice NV, based in the Netherlands, and is listed on the 2019 Forbes list of Billionaires. Through Altice, Drahi also owns 75 per cent of Numericable, France’s largest cable operator.

One of the world’s largest auction houses and brokers of art, collectibles and jewelry, Sotheby’s has been in operation since 1744. Founded in England and headquartered in New York, it started as a dealer of rare and valuable books.

Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York in 1955. It was first listed in United Kingdom in 1977 before going private in the early 1980s. It went public again in 1988 in the United States as Sotheby’s Holdings, Inc and was renamed “Sotheby’s” in 2006. The auction house has achieved a number of firsts – Sotheby’s was the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong in 1973, India in 1992 and France in 2001. It opened in China in 2012, making Sotheby’s the first international fine art auction house in China. In all, Sotheby’s presents auctions in ten different salesrooms and has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries.

Along with the paintings and sculptures that Sotheby’s sells, the brand has built a massive name for itself by offering a number of related services, including Sotheby’s Financial Services, Sotheby’s Global Fine Art Division, Sotheby’s Diamonds, Sotheby’s Home and Sotheby’s Wine.

Tad Smith, Sotheby’s CEO, said: “This acquisition will provide Sotheby’s with the opportunity to accelerate the successful program of growth initiatives of the past several years in a more flexible private environment. It positions us very well for our future and I strongly believe that the company will be in excellent hands for decades to come with Patrick as our owner.”

Domenico De Sole, Chairman of Sotheby’s Board of Directors, agrees and added: “After more than 30 years as a public company, the time is right for Sotheby’s to return to private ownership to continue on a path of growth and success.”

The change of ownership at Sotheby’s signal great and exiting things to come. The transaction is expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of 2019 following shareholder approval.

Sotheby’s Holdings, the owner of the auction house, sold its real estate brokerage firm and the brand’s licensing rights to what is now Realogy in 2004. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC remains a wholly owned subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp.

On the acquisition, Philip White, President & Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s International Realty, said in a statement: “Sotheby’s International Realty enjoys an extraordinary partnership with the auction house – including client referrals, worldwide event sponsorships, a realty desk in Sotheby’s global headquarters and advertising opportunities in Sotheby’s print and electronic communications. We do not expect any changes to these programmes, and look forward to collaborating with Sotheby’s management moving forward under their new ownership.”

Article originally appeared in the INSIGHTS,  List Sotheby’s International Realty, Singapore

Next Read: To learn more about what makes a perfect summer luxury home.

Read What To Look For In The Perfect Summer Luxury Home In The Philippines.

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Sotheby’s International Realty hosted the annual Global Networking Event in Vancouver, Canada, May 13-15, welcoming nearly 2,000 members of the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand from 35 countries. Johnson Goh, List Sotheby’s International Realty’s Chief Marketing Officer (Asia Region), attended the networking event.

Only Sotheby’s International Realty

New brand marketing campaign Only

The Next Level event introduced Onlya new brand marketing campaign that highlights the spirit and crystallisation of the exceptional core values of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand, providing custom marketing materials for all affiliates.

Industry Leaders

Sotheby’s International Realty President and CEO Philip White

Sotheby’s International Realty President and CEO Philip White kickstarted the event’s mainstage presentations, setting the tone for the Next Level theme by taking those in attendance on a journey into the brand’s future.

Sotheby’s International Realty COO Julie Leonhardt LaTorre and CEO of Realogy Franchise Group John Peyton

Julie Leonhardt LaTorre, the brand’s COO, continued the thread when she hosted a panel with John Peyton, CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group, and Noah Wunsch, Sotheby’s SVP and Global Head of E-Commerce.

Focus on APAC

List Sotheby’s International Realty Chief Marketing Officer (Asia Region) Johnson Goh

There was also a special meeting for affiliates from Asia Pacific, where cross-border collaboration between affiliates was discussed, as well as conversations on possible opportunities and common challenges faced. During a session on new developments in the real estate industry, Johnson Goh briefed the audience on the trend of branded residences, following Singapore’s recent release of a research study on the topic.

A Special Guest

Gwyneth Paltrow, Academy Award winning actress and CEO and Founder of Goop, a modern lifestyle brand, joined brand CMO Kevin Thompson on stage as keynote speaker, sharing her thoughts on the importance of creating a timeless brand and connecting with today’s consumer in an intimate fireside chat.

Call of the Wild

The nighttime events were truly Next Level, featuring acrobatics, bountiful food and quite literally turning the conference centre into a Canadian rainforest.

The Future of Tech

Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider

Realogy CEO, Ryan Schneider excited the audience unveiling new and upcoming technology innovations and guests also enjoyed hearing empowering stories from their peers about bringing their business to the Next Level.

The event highlighted personalisation as the new luxury, allowing guests to hand pick their own gift from “The Living Room,” a curated store featuring goods from more than ten Canadian purveyors. In the brand’s new Events app, the digital hub for all things GNE, attendees posted more than 1,000 times and liked content nearly 7,500 times during the event. Some of these live moments can be found on the brand Instagram profile’s #SIRGNE highlight.

The event lived up to its theme and was truly Next Level.

Further reporting by List SIR SG. Article originally appeared in the Extraordinary Living Blog, Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo credit: Andy Foster Photograph

Next Read: To learn more about what makes a perfect summer luxury home. Read What To Look For In The Perfect Summer Luxury Home In The Philippines.

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Technology has disrupted lives in so many ways, impacting industries at an accelerating speed and pushing companies to rethink every aspect of their businesses.

The key goals of the industry transformation map for many industries is to automate processes in order to scale the business. For the real estate industry, it is to fully digitalise property transactions. We take a look at how technology has changed the way real estate business is done.

For the buyers

The internet has made things a lot more transparent and information more easily accessible. Consumers can easily search for the latest transaction prices, read up on the potential development of a particular estate, or calculate the expected rental yield of a development through a search engine.

As an investor, one can subscribe to notifications on the latest trend affecting the property market and receive updates through a preferred messaging platform, like electronic mail or messages.

For those who are looking to venture overseas for a holiday home or tap on an opportunity that opened up, it has become easier to obtain information. People can buy into overseas properties in the comfort of their homes after doing their research online instead of making a trip to survey the market. Information such as the country’s regulations on foreign investment to applicable taxes and financing requirements, will come in handy before one makes the move.

For the sellers

With a digital device on hand, it has become so simple to do-it-yourself. One can simply take photos of his/ her home and list them on property portals and get the property exposed to thousands of eyeballs. However, please note that you will need to be certified by the Council for Estate Agencies to broker a real estate deal in Singapore.

Home staging before putting a property on the market is now also possible through augmented reality. Home staging is an important aspect of selling your property, as it enables the potential buyer to imagine living his or her desired life. Instead of  the traditional way of staging a home with props before putting it on the market, it is now possible for sellers to let buyers visualise how an empty room will look like fully furnished with Curate, a mobile app by Sotheby’s International Realty. In essence, Curate allows potential buyers to have a preview of how their ideal home can look like, thereby curating the entire homebuying and selling experience.

For the companies

Real estate companies have also found new ways to connect with the consumers in a highly personalised manner, through social channels that have learnt buyer’s behaviours, reaching out to them based on their preferences. On a more advanced level, PropTech is the latest buzz word in the industry. PropTech startups offer tools for every stage of the consumer journey, from listing to selling and offering projection based on proprietary algorithm driven by big data. It is to be lauded that the industry has transformed to provide transparent information in a fast and efficient manner, benefiting various stakeholders, including the end consumers.

As the real estate industry continues to streamline the transaction process between buyers, sellers and agents, it will be worthwhile to note that the real estate business will still require a human touch to it. Ultimately, relationship-building is at the core of the real estate business. Only through knowing our customers and their needs, will we be able to provide high value and impeccable services to clients

Source: List Sotheby’s International Singapore

Next Read: To learn more about what makes a perfect summer luxury home. Read What To Look For In The Perfect Summer Luxury Home In The Philippines.

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Although branded residences have been around for nearly a century, it was only in the 1980s that the market has grown significantly. With North America as the largest market for branded residences with a 32% market share, Asia Pacific comes a close second with 30% while Europe is third with 13%.

In Southeast Asia, the dawn of the first branded residences, the Aman brand, happened in Phuket, Thailand. This is when the successful sale of some 30 villas of Amanpuri in 1988 led to the subsequent evolution of the brand. It was in 1995, during the launch of Four Seasons Chiang Mai that Thailand’s first branded residences was introduced, in collaboration with an international hotel chain. Since then, branded hotel chains continued to develop and has remained the most dominant form of branded residences in the region.

In light of new entrants in the market, the meaning behind branded residences has taken on an expanded definition in recent years. It has further evolved by marrying residential real estate with brands from other sectors such as fashion, jewelry, interior design, and even automotive brands. Luxury brands such as Armani, Bvlgari, and Porsche are some examples of these other sectors.

One of the newest branded residences in the market is currently in construction in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Centre or KLCC, its two residential towers are set to become the world’s tallest twisted twin towers upon completion.

This is made possible by YOO8 serviced by Kempinski, who features not one but two power brands – international design studio YOO founded by John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck and Europe’s oldest and most established hotel group, Kempinski, which was founded in 1897. YOO8 serviced by Kempinski is part of 8 Conlay by Malaysian developer KSK Land, and features interior concepts by Steve Leung and Kelly Hoppen of YOO studio and in-house services by Kempinski.

A brand is a stamp of quality recognized and cherished by buyers, and is one that comes with a premium. With a growing market and higher expectations from consumers, branded residences will have to continually stand out to attract investors and maintain their premium over luxury residences. It was reported that buyers were willing to pay premiums of up to 132 percent in Bangkok and 69 percent in Kuala Lumpur over non-branded dwellings, what more if they see the quality and elegance of a branded one?

For those who dream of having the best in luxury living from iconic buildings by starchitects, interior works by top international designers, to five-star services and amenities, a branded residence is the perfect answer. It is more than just luxury. It is history in the making.

Are you interested to own a branded residence soon? Know more about it by downloading the “LIVE BRANDED – Rise of the Branded Residences” report and you will be well on your way to becoming the owner of a property that is all class and elegance!

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