Sunday, November 18, 2012

HK luxury flat sold for $71 million


The New Paper
Friday, Nov 16, 2012

HONG KONG - A luxury Hong Kong apartment in a Frank Gehry-designed building has sold for an eye-popping price of nearly HK$455 million (S$71 million) last month, nine days before the government announced measures to curb property speculation.

There is no information on who the buyer is.

Swire Properties Ltd said the 6,683 sq ft apartment is on the ninth floor of its Opus development.

The flat offers a view of the city and Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post reported.

The 12-storey Opus Hong Kong provides 10 flats and two double-level garden units with private swimming pools.

The flats are 6,000 to 6,900 sq ft. Mr Gehry's previous designs include the Guggenheim Museum in Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Swire has already sold one other unit for HK$430million and leased out another that comes with its own pool for HK$850,000 a month.

The price beat the previous record set by a duplex flat which sold for HK$360.7 million, or HK$63,999 per sq ft in April last year.

Local property agents said the Opus development flat was the highest price paid for an apartment in Hong Kong, AP reported.

Mr Ricky Poon, executive director of Colliers International's residential sales department, believes the buyer was willing to pay a record-breaking price because there is a lack of flats bigger than 6,000 sq ft and it is the latest luxury development in the city.

Unique design

Mr Gehry designed the building with external glass-enclosed columns which twist around the building to mimic the appearance of reeds swaying in the breeze, AP reported.

Mr William Lau, a sales director at Midland Realty, said the apartment fetched a record price because it had a "unique" design and location.

But he predicted that the broader luxury property market would start to cool.

He said: "These policies will narrow down the supply of the second hand market. For the coming months, we forecast the transactions will keep in a very low level."

The sale comes amid growing concern over surging property prices in Hong Kong driven by ultra-low interest rates and an influx of wealthy mainland Chinese buyers.

Prices have doubled since the end of the global financial crisis in 2009, according to a widely watched index.

The Hong Kong government has introduced various measures in an attempt to cool the market.

The latest round, including a tax on foreign buyers, was introduced at the end of last month.


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