Despite concerns about long-term issues facing the property market, prices of deluxe houses are strong across Hong Kong, as wealthy buyers scramble for rare properties in their search for dream homes to live in or for investment.
Exclusive houses on The Peak and in Island South are not the only ones in demand. The search for luxurious living in town houses or detached houses extends to the New Territories, with projects such as Valais and St Andrews Place in Fanling, Legende Royale in Tai Po and Peak House in Sha Tin setting new benchmarks for high-end properties.
At the end of last year, a 3,363 sq ft house at Severn 8 on The Peak changed hands for HK$198 million, or HK$58,876 per square foot. A 4,307 sq ft old house at Yue Hei Yuen in Peel Rise was sold for HK$220 million, or HK$51,070 per square foot, in January.
In April, a 4,396 sq ft house at Le Palais in Tai Tam was sold for HK$117 million. A 3,279 sq ft house at 56 Repulse Bay Road exchanged hands for HK$160 million. In Kowloon, a 7,283 sq ft house at 1 Oxford Road, newly built by China Overseas Land, netted HK$171 million.
Among the properties on the market is 5 Henderson Road in Jardine's Lookout. The two-storey house has a saleable floor area of 8,579 sq ft spanning a site area of 15,691 sq ft.
Wally Lau, senior manager of Savills Realty, says it is very rare to have such a large house, with six bedrooms, but it has received several serious inquiries.
'The market sentiment is very positive. The supply of deluxe and spacious houses is really scarce and we see strong demand from mainlanders - upgraders and cash-rich buyers,' Lau says.
Jardine's Lookout is home to many rich families who love privacy, exclusivity and easy access to city life. Hutchison Whampoa Property is also putting its town houses at 2 and 2A Henderson Road on the market.
A 8,351 sq ft house at 16 Perkins Road was sold for HK$500 million, or HK$59,870 per square foot, in June last year. A luxury house at 5 Goldsmith Road was sold for HK$460.88 million in April last year.
In the New Territories, prices at Valais were up to HK$18,000 per square foot, while those at Peak House in Sha Tin achieved an average of HK$15,200 to HK$17,200. House prices in traditional luxury locations on Hong Kong Island can command as much as HK$70,000 per square foot.
William Lau, sales director of Midland Realty, says sales of deluxe houses have become increasingly brisk over the past few years in the primary and secondary markets, with great demand from local wealthy families and mainland tycoons.
'Hong Kong has a very limited supply of houses or landed properties, but we have seen an increasing demand, particularly from rich mainlanders. Mainland buyers do not care much about the average selling price. They will make the move if they like the property. The mainlanders are very cash-rich. Quite often, they do not need a mortgage or to borrow money from the bank,' Lau says.
In the primary market, the 31 deluxe houses at Shouson Peak in Island South are proving popular. A 4,100 sq ft house was recently sold there for HK$192.8 million, or HK$47,024 per square foot.
Sun Hung Kai Properties' new luxury project at Stanley Village Road in Stanley will offer 12 houses of about 4,600 sq ft to 7,000 sq ft. It may go on sale as early as the third quarter.