A residential development site in Hong Kong’s exclusive Repulse Bay area will go up for sale in a public tender opening on 31 December, the government announced late last week.
The land parcel on South Bay Road, known as Rural Building Lot No.1203, has a site area of 21,173 square feet (1,967 square metres) and can yield up to 19,055 square feet of housing, with the tender set to close on 11 February, the Lands Department said in a release.
The sale in Repulse Bay, which is home to the Yung (Rong) family that founded Citic and Canto-pop crooner Jacky Cheung, comes after transactions of homes worth HK$100 million ($12.8 million) or more in Hong Kong reached a near-record total of HK$46.4 billion during the first 11 months of 2021, according to Colliers International.
With the demand for posh homes on the rise, Vincent Cheung, managing director at property consultancy Vincorn Group, estimates that the site could fetch as much as HK$1.52 billion ($190 million), which would translate to a price per square foot of HK$80,000 and make the prime plot the city’s most expensive ever per unit area.
That record price would set up the site’s buyer to build homes for only a few of Hong Kong’s elite, with Cheung telling Mingtiandi that the plot opposite the Hong Kong Life Guard Club along South Bay Road, given its limited size and restricted plot ratio, could yield as few as four or possibly five fully detached homes, which would sell for prices in the neighbourhood of HK$120,000 to HK$130,000 per square foot.
Martin Wong, head of research and consultancy for Greater China at Knight Frank, was more conservative in his view of the site’s appeal, estimating that the plot could bring in HK$1 billion to HK$1.2 billion, or an accommodation value of HK$55,000 to HK$63,000 per square foot. Even at those rates, the sale would still set a price record.
Sales of homes in this class have been sparse recently in Repulse Bay, whose other famous residents have included screen star Maggie Cheung and the late casino tycoon Stanley Ho. But Wong cited a notable deal in May of this year at 90 Repulse Bay Road in which one of the project’s 11 three-storey houses sold for HK$467.3 million, or HK$83,000 per square foot.
Completed by Li Ka-shing’s CK Asset in 2018, 90 Repulse Bay Road sold the first three units that same year for HK$508.67 million, HK$495.95 million and HK$467.15 million, the South China Morning Post reported.
“For Repulse Bay as a whole, luxury home prices went up by 4.8 percent this year,” Wong said.
Alkan Au, senior director of the valuation department at JLL Hong Kong, in comments to the Standard when the Repulse Bay site was first added to the government land sale calendar in September, said homes in the area were already selling for more than HK$100,000 per square foot. The most recent residential site to change hands in the area was 92 Repulse Bay Road, which sold last year for around HK$73,000 per square foot of floor area.
High-End Housing Boom
The tender for the South Bay Road site comes after JLL noted a jump in Hong Kong luxury sales this year, with the property consultancy tracking a 131 percent year-on-year surge in the number of residential units sold for prices in excess of HK$100 million during the first nine months of 2021, with 199 such transactions having been recorded during the period.
Earlier this month, Henderson Land Development acquired a building in the Mid-Levels area of Central for HK$522.1 million via compulsory sale for redevelopment into a luxury residential project. The group is paying about HK$16,000 per square foot for the remaining space in 94-96 Robinson Road so that it can add the ageing building to an adjacent site it already owns at 98-100 Robinson Road, with the development expected to yield a total gross floor area of 60,800 square feet.
Robinson Road has been a recent hotspot for residential sites, with cash-strapped mainland developer China Aoyuan recording a HK$900 million disposal of its 86.4 percent interest in the Yin Yee Mansion on 63-67 Robinson Road in November.
In October, the family owned Peterson Group bought the Valley Villa residential project in a toney section of Hong Kong Island’s Happy Valley for HK$1.24 billion with an eye towards redevelopment into low-density luxury flats for long-term investment.