CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has achieved record breaking growth this year by securing more than 10,000 apartment units in 51 properties, bringing the company’s portfolio to more than 52,000 units globally. Ascott’s latest additions are 10 new management contracts in Hanoi and Halong City in Vietnam; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Bangkok, Thailand; Metro Manila and Cebu in the Philippines. This comes hot on the heels of Ascott’s opening of Metropole Bangkok, Asia’s first unique luxury serviced residence under The Crest Collection.
Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “With these latest additions, Ascott has as at today over 52,000 units in our portfolio. We secured a record over 10,000 units in 2016, making this Ascott’s highest increase in inventory count in a single year. Of these new units, 90 percent are located in gateway cities across the Asia Pacific and the Middle East, including countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. This year, Ascott has also opened 20 properties with more than 3,700 units, our fastest pace ever. As more of the newly signed properties come into operation, we can expect a further boost to our management fee income.”
Mr Lee added: “As more property owners see the value of having Ascott manage their serviced residences, we are actively looking to expand through strategic alliances, management contracts, franchises, and also to seize acquisition opportunities. Seeking partnerships with new economy leaders will also be central to Ascott’s growth as we march towards our global target of 80,000 units by 2020. Such partnerships have given us significant first-mover advantage to establish a strong presence online to complement our offline expertise in managing properties. For example, our sales on Singles’ Day through our partnership with Fliggy (Alitrip) went up six times last Friday, our highest number of room nights booked online in a single day in China.”
As the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in Southeast Asia, the region continues to play a key role in Ascott’s expansion strategy. Of the 10,000 units secured this year, half are new contracts in Southeast Asia. Vietnam is one of its best performing countries and largest market in Southeast Asia with the most number of properties as the company seeks to achieve 7,000 units by 2020. Cambodia presents huge untapped potential for Ascott and Thailand is a popular destination for travellers. Demand for serviced residences is set to rise in the Philippines as recent investments in infrastructure and services underpin its economic growth. With growing urbanisation and industrialisation, Ascott will continue to increase its penetration in tier-two and regional cities in Southeast Asia.
The 10 new properties secured are slated to open between 2018 and 2023. A first in Halong City, Citadines Marina Halong, will open in 2020 while Pentstudio in Hanoi will receive guests from 2018. Somerset Meridian Square Phnom Penh and The Park at EM District in Bangkok are both scheduled to open in 2019. In the Philippines, Citadines Manila Bay will open in 2018 while Somerset Valero Makati is set to be operational in 2020. Three properties – Somerset Place Salcedo, Somerset Gorordo Cebu and Citadines Greenhills Manila – are expected to open in 2021 and Citadines Benavidez Makati will welcome its first guests in 2023.
In addition to Metropole in Bangkok, Ascott’s three other serviced residences under The Crest Collection are located in Paris, France. La Clef Louvre and La Clef Tour Eiffel are operational while La Clef Champs-Élysées is slated to open in 2018.