A house in southern Hong Kong island was sold recently for a record-high price of HK$180,000 ($22,985) per square foot, topping the list of Hong Kong’s most expensive homes ever purchased, according to a report in the city’s Apple Daily.
Unit B at 37 Island Road, a semi-detached home in Hong Kong’s southern district, was sold by Wang Yao, chair of Hong Kong-listed GICL, for HK$800 million, or HK$180,000 per square foot, to an unidentified buyer.
The sale by the head of the local mortgage lender surpassed an eight-month-old record to become the most expensive house ever sold in Hong Kong, and came despite a significant slowdown in Hong Kong’s housing market, which has not spared the luxury sector. Just last month a land sale on the south side of the city’s Victoria Peak — around eight kilometres from the Island Road location — was cancelled due to lack of interest from developers during the city’s current housing downturn.
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The 4,264 square foot (396 square metre) house on Island Road faces Deep Water Bay and is the smallest of four units at Island Road 37, although it still has room for a private swimming pool, garden, and garage.
The four-unit property was built by Hong Kong developer Chuang’s Consortium International Limited, with the B unit being purchased by Wang Yao for a record-breaking price of HK$440 million in early 2011.
With this latest transaction, Wang Yao reaped a HK$390 million profit from her investment in the luxury property, which has increased in value by 82 percent over the past seven years.
Of the four homes in the 37 Island Road project, three of them have already been sold, with only the largest of the set, Unit A, remaining in the Chuang’s Consortium portfolio. Last December the developer scored one of the highest priced residential leases in Asia when it agreed to rent out that 5,000 square foot for HK$750,000 per month, or HK$142 per square foot per month.
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The HK$180,000 per square foot deal on Island Road broke the price record set during March by the sale of a house at the luxury Mount Nicholson development at Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak.
The buyer of No 2 Mount Nicholson, Junson Capital boss and Longfor Properties co-founder Cai Kui, paid HK$1.399 billion to acquire the 9,217 square foot home in the project jointly developed by Nan Fung Group, Wheelock and Company and the Wharf Holdings. That purchase worked out to around HK$151,985 per square foot, which at the time made it the priciest house ever sold in Hong Kong and in all of Asia.
Over the summer, a 92,087 square foot site at 39 Shouson Hill Road, around three kilometres from 37 Island Road, was sold to a company controlled by directors of Shenzhen-based developer China Resources Land for HK$5.9 billion ($755 million), breaking the record for a private residential site in Hong Kong.
Much has changed in Hong Kong’s residential market, however. since the Mount Nicholson sale in March and Shouson Hill Road sale in July, with rising interest rates, new taxes on unoccupied homes and uncertainty over a trade war helping to bring down Hong Kong housing prices during August and September of this year, after 29 straight months of rising prices.
Some analysts greeted the record-breaking transaction, along with news last week that a residential site on the former Kai Tak airport runway sold for a price within the predicted price range, after an adjacent site had sold the week before for below analyst estimates, may be helping to calm investor concerns over a steeper than expected slide in the city’s property market.