Bloomberg News

Swire Sells Gehry-Designed Apartment for Hong Kong Record

November 13, 2012

Swire Properties Sells Gehry-Designed Home for HK$455 Million

Swire Properties Ltd.'s Opus Hong Kong, designed by architect Frank Gehry, stands on Stubbs Road in Hong Kong, China. Photographer: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

Swire Properties Ltd. (1972) sold a Hong Kong apartment in a building designed by Frank Gehry for a record square-foot price, the latest sign the city’s property market remains immune to government efforts to cool prices.

An unidentified buyer bought the 6,683-square-foot (621- square-meter) unit in Opus Hong Kong in the Peak district for HK$455 million ($58.7 million), the company said in an e-mailed statement. The HK$68,083 per-square-foot price is a record for the city, according to Alnwick Chan, Hong Kong-based executive director at property broker Knight Frank LLP.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Oct. 26 imposed his toughest efforts yet to curb a growing asset bubble in the property market, including a tax on non-local buyers. Home prices in Hong Kong have more than doubled in the last three years on near-record-low mortgage rates, a lack of new housing supply and an influx of mainland Chinese buyers.

“Normally these properties have a market of their own,” said Ringo Lam, director of valuation at broker AG Wilkinson. “But with the new measures, even they would be affected. I doubt we will see another transaction like this happening soon.”

Swire Properties sold the apartment on Oct. 17, before the latest measures were announced, the South China Morning Post said today, citing Land Registry records. The previous per- square-foot record of HK$63,999 was set by a duplex at 39 Conduit Road, the paper said. The project at 39 Conduit Road was developed by Henderson Land Development Co.

Swire Properties in August sold an apartment in Opus Hong Kong for HK$430 million, the company said. Earlier, it leased another apartment, which has its own pool, at a monthly rental of HK$850,000 for three years, it said.

Shares of Swire Properties fell 0.6 percent to HK$23.55 at the close of trading in Hong Kong, bringing the gain since the company’s initial public offering in January to 36 percent. The Hang Seng Index rose 7.6 percent over the same period.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kelvin Wong in Hong Kong at kwong40@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net


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