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Hong Kong mansion sells for HK$830m, less than expected

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Wheelock Properties Ltd sold a luxury home in Hong Kong's exclusive Peak neighborhood to an unidentified buyer for HK$830 million (S$150 million) on Saturday.

[HONG KONG] Wheelock Properties Ltd sold a luxury home in Hong Kong's exclusive Peak neighborhood to an unidentified buyer for HK$830 million (S$150 million) on Saturday.

While it took Wheelock just three hours to sell the home, the transaction works out to HK$87,784 per square foot, and the price was more than 25 per cent less than some analysts were expecting.

The sale shows that the downturn in the broader housing market is also causing a chill in the ultra-luxury segment. Prices in Hong Kong have declined 11 per cent since September and are expected to fall another 25 per cent this year.

"Even secondary market prices don't sell at this price," said Danny Leung, principal senior account manager in the stately homes division at Centaline Property Agency who expected it to fetch as much as HK$120,000 per square foot. 

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"I am very surprised."

The five-bedroom, 9,455 square foot (878 square meter) house, which boasts a swimming pool, garden and elevator, has unobstructed views of Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour, Wheelock said in a statement Sunday. Its facade and interiors were designed by New York-based architect Robert Stern.

The villa is the first of 17 units offered for sale at the Mount Nicholson project jointly developed by Wheelock and Nan Fung Development Ltd, and was offered by tender between 10 am and 1 pm "to test the waters" and gauge the market demand, the company said in an e-mail. The sale price was the highest of five offers made for the property.

The most expensive sale of a Hong Kong property was HK$1.5 billion for a house on 22 Barker Road, on the Peak, sold to Alibaba founder Jack Ma in August, the South China Morning Post reported at the time. Bloomberg has not been able to independently confirm that Mr Ma was the purchaser.

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