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[UPDATE] Secretlab co-founder Ian Ang snaps up penthouse, Good Class Bungalow for $51 mil

Ian Ang, Secretlab co-founder paid $36 million for this Good Class Bungalow on Olive Road, which translates to $1,537 psf based on land area, and is a new high in the Caldecott Hill Estate (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Ian Ang, the 28-year-old CEO and co-founder of Secretlab, a fast-growing Singapore-based manufacturer of gaming chairs, is sitting pretty on a company with a $2 billion valuation. He even won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award for consumer products last year, making him the youngest winner in the awards’ 18-year history. (See also: Bungalow deals turbo-charged by new generation of business titans)

It looks like Ang has found the right home for his gaming chair riches. Indeed, he purchased not just one, but two luxury properties in just the past week. One is a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) at 27 Olive Road in the Caldecott Hill Estate, for which he paid $36 million, according to a caveat lodged on June 24. The other is a 7,007 sq ft, five-bedroom triplex penthouse at Leedon Residence, purchased for $15 million, based on a caveat lodged on June 28. This brings the tally of luxury property purchases to $51 million. Ang declined to be interviewed for the story.

Ian Ang, the 28-year-old co-founder of Secretlab, whose company's valuation has soared from $300 million two years ago to $2 billion today (Picture: Ian Ang/Facebook)


The purchases were not mere impulse buys, but were made after a two-year search and much consideration, says Stephen Ho, vice president of residential services at CBRE Singapore, who brokered both transactions on Ang’s behalf. Meanwhile, Steve Tay of List Sotheby’s International Realty represented the seller of the Olive Road GCB in the deal.

The main attraction is the view of the greenery, the tranquility and the elevated site (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

New high for Caldecott Hill Estate

Ang is said to have looked at many of the GCBs that were on the market before zooming in on the one at Olive Road. This is because the GCB sits on a freehold plot of 23,424 sq ft with a sloping terrain. Given the way the site is situated, it commands a 270-degree prospect of the Caldecott Hill Estate, the Mount Pleasant area and the Singapore Polo Club. “One can even see Marina Bay Sands and the city in the distance,” says Ho. “The main draw of the property is the land size and the unblocked view of the greenery and the skyline. He also likes the tranquility and the privacy, given the location of the site.”

The absolute price of $36 million translates to $1,537 psf for the land, which has set a new high on a psf basis for the Caldecott Hill Estate. Prior to this transaction on Olive Road, the last GCB that changed hands in the Caldecott area was at 44 Andrew Road, which was sold for $20.488 million ($744 psf) last November.

Beyond the greenery is the view of the city skyline in the distance from the rear of the Good Class Bungalow at Olive Road (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

In fact, there have been very few GCB transactions along Olive Road itself, notes Ho. The last time a GCB at Olive Road changed hands was in October 2012, when the GCB at 27 Olive Road fetched $26.1 million ($1,114 psf), based on a caveat lodged then.

Ang’s intention is to tear down and rebuild the existing property, which is a double-storey detached house built in 1940. He is in the process of selecting an architect. As the process of tearing down and redeveloping a new GCB is likely to take at least three years, especially given the recent disruptions in the construction sector due to Covid, Ang decided to purchase a penthouse to live in in the meantime.

List Sotheby's Tay, who represented the seller in the deal, estimates that "a new state-of-the-art GCB with striking architecture and basement garage" could cost up to $15million. It will also be an opportunity for the new owner to create a masterpiece that reflects his status and taste, he adds.

The 7,007 sq ft, triplex penthouse purchased for $15 million ($2,141 psf) is a new high among the penthouses at Leedon Residence (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Corner block, vantage point

The 7,007 sq ft, five-bedroom triplex at Leedon Residence was chosen because it is situated at a corner block and enjoys a view of the neighbouring GCB estates of Leedon Park-Belmont Road and Victoria Park, as well as the Bukit Timah area beyond. The views from the living room, which has a double-volume ceiling, as well as from the balcony are unparalleled, notes Ho. The roof terrace with a lap pool enjoys a view of the surrounding bungalows as well. Besides the main lift lobby, the penthouse has its own private lift access.

There are only 12 penthouses at the 381-unit Leedon Residence luxury condo, completed in 2015. Located at Leedon Heights, the freehold Leedon Residence is developed by GuocoLand and fully sold by 2018. The design architect for Leedon Residence is none other than star architect Chan Soo Khian, founding principal and design director of SCDA Architects.

The triplex penthouses at Leedon Residence range in size from 5,694 to 7,718 sq ft. The 7,007 sq ft penthouses are among the largest in the collection. What’s more, only two penthouses have this vantage point of being located at a corner with a 270-degree view of the GCB neighbourhood, notes CBRE’s Ho.

The purchase price of $15 million ($2,141 psf) has set a new high for the penthouses at Leedon Residence. It has surpassed the last record of $14.8 million ($2,112 psf), which the other penthouse of 7,007 sq ft had achieved in April 2013.

View of the Leedon Park-Belmont Road GCB estate from the balcony of the living room (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Private sanctuary

Ang intends to renovate the penthouse to suit his needs before moving in. According to CBRE’s Ho, the purchase of the Leedon Residence penthouse serves two purposes: as a residence while Ang’s GCB is being rebuilt, and as an investment property, as he can rent it out in the future, notes Ho.

“The younger generation still gravitate towards property due to the Asian belief in owning tangible assets,” observes Ho. “However, they are also more aware about good design, sustainability of a property, and being close to nature. There’s a desire to create a private sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of their hectic worklife.”

And of course, there’s the expectation of capital appreciation in the future, notes Ho. Hence, Ang has ensured that the properties are freehold and located in the prime districts.

Ho: The younger generation still gravitate towards property due to the Asian belief in owning tangible assets (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Check out the latest listings near Olive Road, Andrew Road, Caldecott Hill, Leedon Residence, Leedon Heights

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