SINGAPORE – Reports have emerged last month that Chinese billionaire Sun Tongyu, co-founder of e-commerce site Alibaba, has snapped up the most expensive penthouse in Singapore, joining other mainland buyers in a renewed interest for luxury apartments in Singapore.

Sun, a Singapore permanent resident, paid a record S$51 million for the sole penthouse unit at Le Nouvel Ardmore.

Located in a prime location at Ardmore Road, the posh freehold condo has only 43 large units.

Sun’s purchase works out to S$3,675 per sq ft for the 13,875 sq ft luxury penthouse.

However, given the unit comes with a 5,000 sq ft roof terrace, the apartment cost more than S$5,000 per sq ft in terms of useable area.

The transaction offers a gleamer of hope for the private condominium market in Singapore’s core central region (CCR), which underwent eight straight quarters of price declines following a series of property cooling measures.

The high-end property segment in Singapore is once again on the radar for the rich Chinese, thanks to the attractive prices of prime district condominiums.

Singapore’s properties are viewed as cheaper than Hong Kong’s, and more appealing in terms of design and floor space.

In terms of the economy, Singapore is also regarded as being stronger than Hong Kong in recent years after the financial crisis.