THE Venus Suite at The Villa Casa Casuarina in Miami Beach, Florida. It is one of 10 suites featuring frescos and other opulent artwork created by fashion designer Gianni Versace, who once used the property as a private home. AP
INTERNATIONAL - The super rich frequently want to dress themselves head-to-toe in luxury labels. They’re also increasingly snapping up multi-million dollar residences branded by the likes of Armani, Bvlgari and Four Seasons.

There are more than 400 branded projects worldwide, with buyers willing to pay premiums of up to 132% in Bangkok and 69% in Kuala Lumpur over non-branded dwellings, according to a report by property consultancy Knight Frank LLP.

In Thailand, almost 40% of all new developments are now branded, the report said.

Most of the most-coveted addresses are hotel-branded residences by JW Marriott, the Four Seasons, Versace and Aman Resorts. They offer service levels on a par with their best hotels, including private chefs, the ability to order off a room-service menu and 24-hour concierge services.

Dubai has the highest concentration of branded residences, attracting operators including The W, Jumeirah and Bvlgari.

According to Piers Schmidt, a luxury brand consultant at The Luxury Consultancy, that’s “down to the fact that developers and promoters have a need to differentiate: you can build it taller, make it revolve and shimmer, but when you get inside an apartment, having a brand gives an advantage”.

In Europe, the branded concept is still quite small, accounting for only 7% of branded residences.

In Australia, that’s also the case although Sydney shows promise. The harbour-side city attracts a significant proportion of the 10000 high-net-worth individuals flowing into the country each year.

“All the evidence we have to date from marketing One Barangaroo is that a premium of 25%to 35% ahead of comparable non-branded product is where the market will sit,” Erin van Tuil, a partner at Knight Frank, said.

Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank, said such properties could also be a handy investment, and one that can be rented out when not in use. What’s more, they tend to hold their value better in market downturns, he said.

One case in point: a penthouse at One Hyde Park, which contains Mandarin Oriental-branded residences, changed hands for £160million (nearly R3billion) this month.

BLOOMBERG