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St Regis penthouse bought for $28m in 2007 sold at record $15.8m loss

Mr Tada is by no means the only high-end owner to want to cut his losses as luxury home values have dived 20 per cent from their peak in 2013. A 2,626 sq ft unit at luxury condo The Coast at Sentosa Cove went for just $1,190 psf in January, booking a loss of $1.215 million for its seller.

Mr Tada, the 17th richest man in Japan with a fortune of US$1.7 billion (S$2.4 billion) according to Forbes, is the president of Daisho Group. The firm acquired The Westin Singapore hotel from BlackRock for $468 million in December 2013, setting a record at $1.5 million per hotel room key.

Mr Chua made headlines last year when he paid US$2.2 million to score a private lunch with US investment guru Warren Buffett.

Mr Eyo believes more bargains of the St Regis kind will emerge as interest rates rise. Cash-rich investors, too, are shopping around for a good deal.

"The ultra-rich would rather cash out of assets they have no use for, to invest in other assets that could rake in a profit larger than the loss," said Mr Eyo. "To them, it's just part and parcel of investing."