CapitaLand’s wholly-owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited, has added over 14,200 units across 71 properties around the world in 2020.

The figure exceeds the number of units added in 2019, making 2020 the fourth consecutive year of growth for Ascott.

In China, the lodging business unit achieved an 80% y-o-y growth with the addition of over 9,400 units secured in the country.

The new properties will boost Ascott’s annual fee income by over $27 million as they progressively open and stabilise, says CapitaLand in a statement on Jan 12.

Ascott says it will make its first foray into China’s Yangzhou while expanding into cities such as Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai.

Get the latest Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Among the newly secured properties are two rental housing properties in Shanghai and Hangzhou, marking Ascott’s increased presence in China’s high growth rental housing sector.

According to the China Rental Housing Association, an estimated 252 million tenants will make up a RMB3 trillion ($615.92 billion) rental market by 2025.

SEE:Ascott Limited giving away $13 mil worth of goodies on Shopee's 12.12 sale till end of 2020

Ascott has also sealed contracts for over 1,000 new units in Doha, Qatar; Manila, Philippines; Singapore, Sydney, Australia; as well as Binh Duong and Danang in Vietnam, where it will introduce its first lyf co-living property and first Citadines Connect business hotel.

“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,” says Kevin Goh, CapitaLand’s CEO for lodging and Ascott’s CEO.

“While we were not spared the short-term operational impact of Covid-19, we believe that the fundamental demand for lodging remains intact and will bounce back quickly once the global pandemic is brought under control. In the meantime, we continue to seek new opportunities amid the crisis,” Goh adds.

“Ascott’s business in China continues to lead our 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%,” says Tan Tze Shang, Ascott’s managing director for China and head of business development for China.

“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 3Q 2021. These new lodging options will enable Ascott to expand our customer reach and product offerings to business partners in China,” Tan adds.

Shares in CapitaLand closed flat at $3.43 on Jan 12.