De Monsa, an Indonesian investment fund, bought a luxury house at the Severn 8 on the Peak for HK$55,491 per square foot, betting it will make a gain despite the price setting a record for a residential property in Asia. The Lands and Companies Registry said De Monsa acquired the three-storey, 4,325 square foot house for HK$240 million in the secondary market last month. The fund paid 64 per cent more than the HK$146 million or HK$33,757 per square foot the house was sold for at the end of 2006. Asia's previous record was set in June last year by a property in the same project. Sun Hung Kai Properties, the developer, sold a 5,129 sq ft house for HK$210.8 million or HK$41,099 per square foot. Lauw Siang Liong, the chairman of De Monsa, yesterday said his firm bought the house for investment. 'The supply of houses in luxury residential areas is limited. We expect prices of luxury houses to rise 20 per cent in the next 12 months,' he said. De Monsa has been an active buyer in Hong Kong's investment property market since 1993, focusing on strata-title office units in Central and Admiralty. Mr Lauw estimates De Monsa owns more than 100 units in Hong Kong. The fund bought a house at Bel-Air in Cyberport for HK$230 million last month, bringing the number of residential units it owns at the project to 35. Koh Keng-shing, the managing director of Landscope Surveyors, said demand for houses in Central and Island South remained strong despite a 30 per cent price increase last year. 'Only a few new houses will be launched this year, but there are about 100 home-seekers,' Mr Koh said, adding that house prices would probably rise 20 per cent this year. Severn 8, at No8 Severn Road, offers views of Victoria Harbour from 22 houses ranging in floor area from 3,300 to 5,147 sq ft.