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Hong Kong land record smashed by Sun Hung Kai's HK25.2b buy

Hong Kong's roaring property market has blown past another record.

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong's roaring property market has blown past another record.

Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd paid HK$25.2 billion (S$4.31 billion) for a plot of residential land by the highly sought-after locale near Hong Kong's former airport, beating out bidders including units from CK Asset Holdings Ltd and Henderson Land Development Co.

That amount is almost one-and-a-half times the previous record set for a land sale in November.

There seems no end in sight for Hong Kong's residential property market, which has continued to reach fresh highs even as developers brace for the first increase in the city's prime rate in more than a decade. Higher land prices paid by developers signal even higher home prices down the road in what's already the world's least affordable real estate market.

The Kai Tak area in Kowloon has become one of Hong Kong's hottest property markets and has attracted a flock of investors in recent years. Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co snapped up four land sites there in quick succession since November 2016, before coming under pressure to unload assets to repay debt. HNA has sold three of those four parcels this year for more money than it paid.

For Sun Hung Kai, which until now had owned no land in that area, the purchase fills a hole in its portfolio. Sun Hung Kai expects total investment in the development project to be HK$40 billion, according to a report from RTHK, citing a director at the developer. The developer's shares fell 1.9 per cent in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

The land acquired by Sun Hung Kai has a maximum gross floor area of 131,495 square metres, the Lands Department said in a statement. The previous record sale in Hong Kong took place last November when a consortium including Sino Land Co paid HK$17.3 billion for a plot of residential land with a maximum floor area of 91,770 sq m.



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