An apartment on Hong Kong’s posh Victoria Peak sold last week for HK$583.2 million ($74.8 million), as bullish sentiment continues to sustain luxury home prices in the world’s most expensive housing market despite the COVID-19 pandemic entering its third year.
According to public records, on Thursday an undisclosed buyer picked up the 4,230 square foot (393 square metre) Unit 15C at phase three of the Mount Nicholson uber-luxury project developed by Wheelock Properties and Nan Fung Development, paying the equivalent of HK$137,872 ($17,676) per square foot.
The transaction is the second most expensive ever by price per unit of area for an apartment in Asia, eclipsed only by the November purchase of Mount Nicholson’s Unit 16D, which sold for HK$140,800 per square foot to a buyer later revealed to be Heungkong Group heiress Lau Chauin.
Last week’s deal still aced the earlier high of HK$136,000 per square foot for an apartment set at CK Asset’s 21 Borrett Road project in Mid-Levels in February, as well as the HK$134,000 per square foot that Lau paid for Mount Nicholson’s Unit 16C on the same day as her record-breaking purchase of 16D.
After Mount Nicholson’s third phase recorded only one sale priced at HK$533.1 million in 2020, the project chalked up three sales totalling HK$1.69 billion last year.
The turn of events followed a market slide in 2019, which saw a homebuyer forfeit HK$36 million to back out of a HK$721.88 million luxury home deal at Mount Nicholson.
But the exclusive project began sweeping up record-breaking transactions in early 2021, including the sale of the world’s priciest parking spots to the executive director of Hong Kong’s Texwinca Holdings at HK$11.9 million each in May, the South China Morning Post reported.
Among the wealthy buyers at Mount Nicholson are Alice Ho and Sabrina Ho, daughters of the late Hong Kong casino magnate Stanley Ho, who in 2016 were reported to have purchased Units A and B on both the 9th and 10th floors of the project’s second phase for a combined HK$1.29 billion.
Another unit in the third phase of Mount Nicholson was made available in a tender ending on 8 January with the results of that sale expected to be released this week.
Economic Boost Seen
With Hong Kong’s home prices estimated to have risen by 6.5 percent in 2021, Cushman & Wakefield expects the residential market to continue to prosper in the new year.
The combination of a high base number of 2021 and a shrinking stock of small-value units will diminish 2022 transaction volume by about 10 percent, but an improved economic environment will likely drive a further rise in home prices, the property services firm said in a report released last month.
“We anticipate home prices to climb by around 5 to 10 percent next year,” Cushman said in December. “Luxury homes in urban areas will likely benefit more.”
JPMorgan Chase analyst Cusson Leung echoed that assessment last week, forecasting residential property values in Hong Kong to rise by as much as 10 percent in 2022 despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the city fuelled by the Omicron variant, Bloomberg reported.
“It probably won’t affect much on the residential price forecast,” Leung said of the latest health crisis. “COVID was there in 2020 and 2021.”