There it is in black and white: “The Exclusive Place for Really Rich People.” It’s a glossy flyer for Centaline property agency and the title adorns a picture of the night time Harbour view from the Peak. The property is 4500 square feet, price HK$350 million.
Below is an even more intriguing title: “Sparkling Victoria Harbour – The rich neighbourhood: huge garden, private pool, large garage,“ This one is 4,200 square feet, but also HK$350 million. Where are these Centaline havens reserved for really loaded people? “Oh it’s the Peak, Repulse Bay, that sort of area,” explained Centaline agent Carmen Shun airily. So which houses in particular was she referring to?
There were so many she could not remember and had to nip off to check and come back to me. She found one of them. “Number 8 Severn Road,” she said, triumphantly. Was this the former residence of Tony Chan, ChinaChem Nina Wang’s fung shui friend? Once upon a time he lived up there. Or was it a Swire prince’s pad? No, no she said. “No one famous. It’s the Sun Hung Kei house.” They own it now? Was one of the Kwok brothers having to sell up to pay his legal fees? “No, someone purchased it before,” she explained. “It’s on the second hand market. That’s why the (HK$350m) price isn’t too bad,” she added. So what was selling well just now I inquired, in these rarified areas. “Parkview,” she said. Parkview? Wasn’t that old hat these days? Oh no, she said, there have been lots of transactions. A 1,300 square feet flat up there in the mist was a snip at HK$20m. Well it’s a lot less than Hk$350m, that’s definitely just for really really rich people.
And on the subject of really rich people and their toys, the latest Ferrari has hit town, being unveiled at The Repulse Bay. If you need to ask how much it is, you can’t afford one, but suffice to say Hong Kongs’ allocation will have been snapped up as soon as they were announced.
There are those half dozen super rich collectors who automatically buy every new Ferrari, no matter what. You know who you are. Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, Italian Motors wheeled out this most powerful Ferrari yet - the F12 Berlinetta. The 12 cylinder 730-horsepower grand tourer is the most powerful road legal model ever produced by the Italian makers, who also makes Formula One cars.
Let’s be honest, this is the ultimate pointless show-off boy toy in Hong Kong. Not only can you not drive and park it here, because its undercarriage is lower than the city’s kerbs – meaning you’re imprisoned - you can’t park and open the door without whacking the kerb - but you can’t legally get out of second gear on our twisty roads either. Not if you’re driving it properly and using the right revs, which would have you streaking away at 90mph in third gear. Try that down Magazine Gap road...
"Ferrari unveils fastest model F1 Berlinetta in Hong Kong", video by Mark Sharp