A rare plot of residential land coming up for auction in Repulse Bay is likely to attract the interest of developers as the luxury housing market improves amid an easing of the coronavirus pandemic, according to market observers.
It is one of two parcels designated for low-density residential development to be sold in the Hong Kong government’s land sales programme in the three months to December, the other being in Tai Po.
“The residential plot in Repulse Bay would be the most sought after [of the two] by developers,” said Alkan Au, senior director of the valuation department at JLL. “It is rare to see a residential site in Repulse Bay up for government tender.”
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The site is small and likely to yield just a handful of large, luxury houses, surveyors said.
The last government land auction in Repulse Bay was in 2012 when Tai Cheung Holdings won a site near 110 Repulse Bay Road for HK$1.67 billion (US$210 million).
The Tai Po parcel, which is likely to yield about 200 flats, is valued at HK$1.4 to HK$1.8 billion, while the Repulse Bay site is worth around HK$900 million, according to Knight Frank. The homes built on the Tai Po plot may fetch HK$16,000 to HK$19,000 per square foot while those in Repulse Bay may go for HK$45,000 to HK$55,000 per sq ft.
The Tai Po parcel may attract five to eight tenders while the Repulse Bay one could see more than 10 developers bidding, Knight Frank said.
“After the pandemic has stabilised [locally] this year, the luxury housing market has gradually become active. The price of this land is not large in the luxury housing market,” said Cyrus Fong, senior director of valuation and advisory at Knight Frank. “The price is likely to have an indicative effect on the luxury housing market in the Southern district.”
The plot covers an area of 21,097 square feet, with a gross floor area of about 18,987 square feet.
James Cheung, executive director at Centaline Surveyors, said the site in Repulse Bay is “the most eye-catching [of the two]”.
The scale is small and can accommodate three to four houses, he said.
“As the project is located in a rare, traditional luxury residential section of Hong Kong Island, it has the potential to be built into super luxury houses,” said Alvin Lam, director at Midland Surveyors.
The land, on South Bay Road, is surrounded by well-known developments such as Chinachem Group’s The Lily.
The exclusive Repulse Bay has counted many celebrities and tycoons among its residents through the years. They include actress Carol “Dodo” Cheng Yu-ling, singer Jacky Cheung, the late gaming magnate Stanley Ho and Cheng Yu-tung of New World Development.
One recent land transaction there was the private sale of 92 Repulse Bay Road in 2020. It went for HK$550 million to CSI Properties and Asia Standard International Group.
There were seven transactions involving lived-in homes in Repulse Bay in August, a relatively high number, compared to four a year earlier and zero in September of 2020 as the pandemic riled the market.
A house measuring 3,871 sq ft, with garden, sold for HK$438 million at Overbays of 71 Repulse Bay Road in July.
The Tai Po site is much larger, at 150,696 square feet, with an estimated gross land area of about 226,044 square feet.
Cheung said the neighbouring areas are mainly quiet, low-density residential developments such as Constellation Cove and Savanna Garden.
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