Hong kong apartments for sale
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images The Opus building is seen in Hong Kong on August 27, 2012.
More In Hong Kong
A buyer has reportedly paid $61 million for an apartment perched in one of Hong Kong’s loftiest neighborhoods, setting another stunning record in a city already known for its sky-high prices.
The apartment sold is situated on the city’s Peak and is part of architect Frank Gehry’s first creation in Asia, the Opus. The building, which was completed in March, has an undulating glass facade that curves and offers each floor a distinct vista of the surrounding leafy environs. Last year, project developer Swire Properties’ chief executive declared the company had “every expectation it will break records.” Analysts said Monday that the price paid is the highest ever fetched in Hong Kong. Local media reports also said that for a unit sized at 6,200 square feet, it was the highest price per square foot ever paid in Asia and the second-highest in the world, after London’s One Hyde Park.
Centaline Property Agency Head of Research Wong Leung-sing said the price didn’t surprise him, given the fame of its architect. “They’re selling it not as an apartment, they’re selling it as a masterpiece,” said Mr. Wong. “It’s just like buying artwork.”
Swire had earlier announced that it intended to lease the dozen apartments that make up the site, which a spokeswoman on Monday declared was still the company’s overall plan. “We do get
inquiries from time to time,” she said. “If it’s an exceptional offer, we’ll consider it.” The company declined to confirm the Opus purchase or reveal any details about the property’s leasing progress to date, though the spokeswoman noted that one unit was recently leased for HK$850,000 (US$110,000) per month.
Hong Konghas seen its share of vertigo-inducing records before, including the 2009 sale of an apartment for $56.6 million. The city’s financial secretary, John Tsang, has warned repeatedly about the risk of a bubble emerging. Since 2011, the cost of renting luxury housing has jumped 15% in Hong Kong, where it now costs over $11,800 to rent an unfurnished, three-bedroom apartment in a desirable neighborhood, according to human-resources consulting firm ECA International.
Hong Kong property prices exceeded 1997 peak levels last year, despite the recent adoption of various government cooling measures, including taxes to try and curb speculation. Such high prices in Hong Kong have increasingly served as a flashpoint for local anger, particularly given the influx of mainland buyers in the past few years, which has helped bid up prices in a city already parched for affordable housing.
However, Mr. Wong said he believes that the impact of the Opus’ head-turning sale on the market will be limited. If other developers are determined to set similar records, he said, “they’ll need to find a great artist to work with them first.”
– Te-Ping Chen. Follow her on Twitter @tepingchen
Sign up for CRT’s daily newsletter to get the latest headlines by email.