A luxury Chinese-style garden villa project in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, has been launched in Hong Kong, with the biggest unit going for a whopping 500 million yuan (HK$608 million).
The Suzhou developer, Zan Wei Realty, kicked off the sales push yesterday for the Chuo Cheng Villas project, a cluster of 28 villas. The biggest one covers 43,040 square feet and comes with a 6,000 sq ft private garden. Its 500 million yuan price tag translates into 11,617 yuan per sq ft.
The other villas range from 7,104 sq ft to about 14,000 sq ft, each comprising a private garden of at least 3,000 sq ft. These villas start from 50 million yuan.
As the villa complex is built on a site that once used to be part of the Humble Administrator's Garden in the city centre, the project has adopted the architectural style of the Ming dynasty. The developer will accordingly build pavilions, bridges and a maze of fish ponds in each garden.
The villas provide separate living rooms for male and female occupants, private swimming pools, and indoor parking spaces for three to nine cars.
Zan Wei marketing director Tu Haijing rejected suggestions that Hong Kong was picked as the first city to launch the project because mainland home purchase restrictions had kept local buyers away.
'We will launch our project in Shanghai in August and then in other mainland cities. Shanghai is one of the major markets we are targeting,' she said. The firm has appointed Savills to handle overseas sales.
Alan Chiang Sheung-lai, head of residential property at DTZ on the mainland, said there had been a spurt of similar projects in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, where the historical backdrop lent itself to period design. Such projects attracted local private companies, which bought the units to receive clients or house top executives, Chiang said.
'But corporate demand has dried up of late with credit tightening.'
As the mainland government has stopped approving villa developments, Chiang said he expected their value to appreciate.