Twenty-seven years ago, when local businessman Stephen Yow Mok-shing first set eyes on the Chinese-style mansion at 45 Stubbs Road in Mid-Levels that overlooks Happy Valley racecourse and Victoria Harbour, he was determined to make it his own. But things have changed and now, while the luxury property market is booming, he is selling the home. With a gross floor area of 25,000 square feet, including outbuildings, it is for sale by public tender, which closes on June 8. Built in 1936, the property is expected to fetch more than $400 million. As to the fate of the high-ceiling three-storey mansion, Mr Yow said it would be out of his control. 'When I bought it, I thought of knocking it down and building a new house on the site. But I was attracted by the structure of the property,' said Mr Yow, who paid $24 million for the property with garden, swimming pool and tennis court in August 1977, according to records listed with the Land Office, now the Land Registry. In an interview with the South China Morning Post in October 1977, Mr Yow's wife told reporter Dennis Philips that the property, on a 50,650 sqft site on the bushy slopes of Mid-Levels, would be their family home. The purchase was almost held up by a dispute over ownership between former owner C.Y. Shum and Shum Li Po-lun. Mr Shum had taken out a writ of summons against Mrs Shum, both of whom listed the house as their address. Mr Shum declared himself as sole beneficiary of the property and solely entitled to the proceeds of its sale. But the two parties made an out-of-court settlement, which allowed the sale to proceed. Mr Yow, who runs a successful Chinese-style preserved snacks business, mostly exporting to Southeast Asia, bought the property as his family's home, replacing the one in Chiu Chow, Guangdong. The house nameplate with Chinese characters - Jing Xian Li - was brought from his family house in Chiu Chow and is attached to the imposing front gate, but will be removed when the property is sold. Mr Yow said he had no idea what the nameplate meant, but had named his home Ultamia, which means peacefulness. Because the property has a prime view over Hong Kong, it has always been of interest to investors and developers. 'Over the years, I have been approached by many property agents trying to persuade me to sell. I turned them down. But now I think the market sentiment is quite good,' Mr Yow said. Prices in the luxury home market have surged more than 80 per cent since last year, driven by investors snapping up top-end assets as they bet on a rosy outlook. Sole selling agent Henry Lam Wai-hon, executive director of CB Richard Ellis, knows he has a gem. 'This is a rare opportunity to own such a beautiful property on Hong Kong Island,' Mr Lam said. Estate agents said it was a sensible guess the new buyer would demolish the property and redevelop it into several town houses because of the strong demand and limited supply. In the past few months, several luxury property transactions with high redevelopment potential have taken place. The latest example is the recent purchase of a detached house at 50 Island Road in the Southside of Hong Kong Island by the Kwok brothers, controlling shareholders of Sun Hung Kai Properties. They will turn the property next door to the house owned by the family of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa into town houses, either for sale or for long-term investment. Total investment is $800 million. Other transactions include the acquisition of The Modreenagh at 3-5 Plunkett's Road on The Peak by Tai Cheung (Holdings).