Bloomberg News

Hutchison Sells House for Second-Highest Hong Kong Price (1)

November 21, 2013

Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (13), controlled by Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, sold a house in Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak area for HK$740 million ($95 million), the second-highest paid for such property in the city.

The 6,863 square-foot (638 square-meter) house at the seven-home, 28 Barker Road project was sold to an unidentified buyer, according to the project’s website. The price is the second-highest paid in the city after a house on Pollock’s Path in The Peak area sold for HK$800 million in 2011, according to broker Colliers International.

The city’s government has since 2010 imposed various extra property transaction taxes and tightened mortgage lending to curb home prices that are now the world’s highest. Prices of Hong Kong’s luxury residential properties will drop about 3 percent in the fourth quarter, extending a decline since the start of the year, as transactions decline to the lowest in almost two decades, according to broker Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

“In this market, whoever’s willing to pay such high price for a property is buying it for their own use,” said Simon Lo, Hong Kong-based executive director, research and advisory, at Colliers. “With all these extra taxes, there’s very little chance you can make money by investing in them.”

Hong Kong in February doubled stamp duty on all property deals over HK$2 million to as high as 8.5 percent. In October 2012, it slapped a 15 percent extra tax on home purchases by all non-Hong Kong residents and corporate buyers.

Pollock’s Path

The Peak is one of the city’s most-expensive residential areas where global banks and companies such as HSBC Holdings Plc house their top executives. Swire Properties Ltd. last year sold a unit in a Frank Gehry-designed building for HK$455 million, a record for Hong Kong apartments.

Hutchison Whampoa has put another house in the 28 Barker Road project up for sale, according to the website.

Hong Kong home prices are the world’s highest in a Savills Plc survey of 10 cities, including London, New York and Tokyo. The value of luxury properties will drop as much as 5 percent in the second half after a 3.2 percent decline in the first three months of the year, according to Savills.

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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