Christie's property franchise lands in HK
A property arm of fine art auction house Christie's is expanding its franchise network to Hong Kong, appointing Landscope Realty to help it expand in the top end of the city's residential sector.
Christie's International Real Estate said the deal lifted its network to 41 countries.
Neil Palmer, the chief executive of Christie's International, said lining up with Landscope to expand in the high-performing Hong Kong market was an important move.
The deal coincides with signs that Hong Kong's property market is set to rise again.
According to Centaline Property Agency, the prices of secondary flats on Hong Kong Island have hit a record, bolstered by improved sentiment and limited supply.
The Centa-City Leading Index, a weekly measure of home prices from Centaline, said the prices had edged up 1.37 per cent to 112.3 points during the week to March 26.
The index, which uses July 1997 as the base period, is calculated using different areas of the city and different flat sizes.
Christie's was also looking at adding franchises in Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur over the next 12 months, said Mitch Lewis, the Asia-Pacific managing director at Christie's real estate division, in a Bloomberg report.
Koh Keng-shing, the managing director of Landscope, said the company could expand into the first-hand luxury residential market as a result of the tie-up with Christie's.
'We are popular in the second-hand property market. We are well known in the local property community. However, some multinational companies may not know us. That means we're missing opportunities in bidding for brokerage business for new properties,' Koh said.
'Many of our clients, including those from mainland China, want to buy properties overseas, especially in Britain,' he said, and Christie's network would help his company deal internationally.
Koh declined to disclose how the companies would split the revenues.
In the past six months, Christie's International - a wholly owned unit of Christie's - has appointed 12 affiliates in the United States, Europe, Africa, Canada and the Caribbean.
The price fetched in 1997, when Landscope helped close on the record-breaking sale of Black's Link on the Peak