Jan 12, 2021
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Despite the short-term operation impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has added more than 14,200 units across 71 properties worldwide in 2020.

The Ascott, the fully-owned lodging business unit of CapitaLand, has added more than 14,200 units across 71 properties worldwide in 2020.

The figure surpasses the number of units secured in 2019, making 2020 Ascott’s fourth consecutive year of growth.

In China, Ascott posted an 80% year-on-year growth, with the addition of more than 3,800 units in the country.

Ascott expects the new properties secured to boost its “annual fee income by over $27 million as they progressively open and stabilise”.

Ascott will make its first foray into Yangzhou, while expanding in other cities like Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Hangzhou.

The newly secured properties include two rental housing properties in Hangzhou and Shanghai, marking Ascott’s growing presence in the high growth rental housing sector of China.

By 2025, about 252 million tenants will make up a RMB3 trillion (S$617 billion) rental market, according to China Rental Housing Association.

Ascott has also sealed contracts for more than 1,000 new units in Doha, Qatar; Singapore; Manila, Philippines; Sydney, Australia; as well as Danang and Binh Duong in Vietnam, where Ascott plans to introduce its first Citadines Connect business hotel and first lyf coliving property in the country.

“Through these new contracts, we continue to build our future recurring fee income stream. In 2021, over 80 properties with about 17,000 units are slated to open across the world. This includes over 70 properties with more than 15,000 units in Asia Pacific which is expected to lead the global economic recovery. We will continue to look for opportunities to expand our presence through management contracts, franchises, strategic alliances, and stand ready to seize good investment opportunities,” said Kevin Goh, CapitaLand’s CEO for Lodging and Ascott’s CEO.

He noted that while the company was not spared from the short-term operation impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, he expects the fundamental demand for lodging to remain intact and to bounce back quickly once the pandemic is brought under control.

“In the meantime, we continue to seek new opportunities amid the crisis,” he said.

Tan Tze Shang, Ascott’s Managing Director for China and Head of Business Development for China, revealed that Ascott’s business in China continues to lead its global expansion.

“We have achieved record growth in new units and about half of the properties opened globally are in China. In key cities, our properties such as Ascott Heng Shan Shanghai, Ascott Aden Shenzhen, Ascott IFC Guangzhou, and Raffles City Residence Beijing, have strong average occupancy rate of over 90%,” he said.

“In 2021, we are slated to open three lyf coliving properties in Hangzhou, Shanghai and Xi’an to cater to the fast-expanding demographic of millennial and millennial-minded customers. The first of our three rental housing properties in China is also slated to open in Hangzhou in Q3 2021. These new lodging options will enable Ascott to expand our customer reach and product offerings to business partners in China.”

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