Hutchison Whampoa, the conglomerate controlled by Mr Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, has sold a house in Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak for HK$740 million (S$119 million).
The 6,863 sq-ft house at the seven-home, 28 Barker Road project was sold to an unidentified buyer, according to the developer’s website. The price is the second-highest paid in the city after a house on Pollock’s Path in The Peak was sold for HK$800 million in 2011, according to real estate broker Colliers International.
Hong Kong’s government has since 2010 imposed various extra property transaction taxes and tightened mortgage lending to curb home prices that are now the world’s highest.
Prices of Hong Kong’s luxury residential properties will drop about 3 per cent in the fourth quarter, extending a decline since the start of the year, as transactions decline to the lowest in almost two decades, according to real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield.
“In this market, whoever’s willing to pay such a high price for a property is buying it for their own use,” said Mr Simon Lo, Hong Kong-based Executive Director, Research and Advisory, at Colliers.
“With all these extra taxes, there’s very little chance you can make money by investing in them,” he said.
Hong Kong in February doubled stamp duty on all property deals over HK$2 million to as high as 8.5 per cent. In October last year, it slapped a 15 per cent extra tax on home purchases by all non-Hong Kong residents and corporate buyers.
The Peak is one of Hong Kong’s most expensive residential areas where global banks and companies such as HSBC Holdings house their top executives. Swire Properties last year sold a unit in a Frank Gehry-designed building for HK$455 million, a record for Hong Kong apartments.
Hutchison Whampoa has put another house in the 28 Barker Road project up for sale, according to the website.
Source : Today – 22 Nov 2013