Hong Kong-based entrepreneur Alex Fang, co-founder of private equity firm eGarden Ventures, has paid about HK$601 million (US$77.4 million) to be the new owner of a luxury home at The Peak developed by Wheelock Properties, according to a person familiar with the situation who declined to be identified because the information is not public.
Fang paid HK$90,000 per square foot for the 6,676 sq ft property at 77B Peak Road, arguably the most exclusive address in the city, in the latest sign that the luxury property market is proving resilient despite a wider economic downturn. The transaction is one of the highest ever achieved for Wheelock.
“The luxury market has not been affected too much by the downturn,” said Ricky Wong Kwong-yiu, managing director at Wheelock. “Over the last two months, we have already sold five houses worth HK$3 billion [in total] … The rich are still doing good business.”
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Wong refused to identify the buyers of the properties.
Meanwhile, Dong Tao, vice-chairman, Greater China at Credit Suisse is reported to have bought a two-bedroom flat at Sorrento, an upscale development in West Kowloon for about HK$26 million, according to local media reports.
Unlike the previous wave of luxury property transactions in the city, this time most buyers are “Hong Kong businessmen who are mostly in the tech industry,” said Wong.
Wharf has also leased a 10,804 sq ft luxury house at its 11 Plantation Road project on The Peak for HK$1.35 million a month, or HK$125 per square foot, it said last month. Other properties by Wharf on Peak Road were sold between HK$81,200 and HK$92,000 per square foot, Wong said.
In 2020, Hong Kong was the second-busiest luxury property market in the world after London, according to data from property consultancy Knight Frank. Hong Kong saw 169 sales of homes worth US$10 million and above last year, while the British capital recorded US$3.75 billion of sales from 201 transactions.
In 2018 and 2019, Hong Kong held the crown as the world’s largest property market by transaction value with total sales worth HK$6.6 billion and HK$4.6 billion, respectively. The closure of the border last year with mainland China, however, prevented mainland businessmen from coming to the city, making it difficult for agents and developers to sell luxury properties to them.
Some of the wealthiest mainland businessmen, such as Tencent Holdings’ Pony Ma, own luxury homes in Hong Kong. In 2009, Ma bought a 8,000 sq ft house nestled in woodland between Shek O and Big Wave Bay for HK$480 million. The property is estimated to be worth over HK$1 billion now, according to property agents.
Meanwhile, Alibaba Group Holding founder Jack Ma bought a 9,890 sq ft, three-storey house on Barker Road, The Peak, in 2015 for HK$1.5 billion. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.
“Despite the pandemic, top-of-the-line residential assets continue to receive strong interest from the ultra-high-net-worth individuals,” said Maggie Lee, senior director and head of residential agency at Knight Frank Hong Kong. “So far in 2021, we have seen a good number of transactions of super-prime residential properties at record-high prices, surprising the market amid market the downturn.”
Given the scarcity of home supply in Hong Kong’s wealthiest districts, “super-prime property assets are deemed to be safe havens for wealthy buyers”, she added.
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