Hong Kong housing

Mystery buyer of Asia’s priciest flats on The Peak in Hong Kong is revealed

Who is Lin Zhongmin, who paid HK$1.16 billion for Asia’s most expensive flats at Mount Nicholson?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 December, 2017, 10:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 December, 2017, 3:10pm

The name of the buyer who spent an astonishing HK$1.16 billion on two adjoining flats at No 8 Mount Nicholson on The Peak has finally been revealed, but the mystery over who exactly the person is has only deepened.

The Land Registry on Saturday identified the buyer as Lin Zhongmin, sparking frenzied media speculation about where the person comes from.

The two flats on the 12th floor of the exclusive residential development, with a combined area of 8,821 sq ft, were sold last month.

One flat, measuring 4,242 sq ft, fetched HK$560.2 million, or HK$132,060 per square foot, making it Asia’s most expensive residence by floor area. The adjoining flat, measuring 4,579 sq ft, sold for HK$604.2 million, or HK$132,059 per square foot.

Some local media speculated that Lin is a Hong Kong permanent resident, meaning the buyer would have to pay a basic stamp duty of 4.25 per cent for one flat plus a double stamp duty of 15 per cent on the other. The total would come to about HK$110 million.

“It would be logical to assume that anyone who can afford to spend more than HK$1 billion on two flats would have a personal wealth of at least HK$10 billion,” Vincent Cheung, deputy managing director for Asia valuation and advisory services at Colliers International, said.

“They may not even have bought the flats to live in as they most probably have other homes.”

Mount Nicholson has Asia’s three most expensive homes. In addition to the two bought by Lin, another flat – measuring 4,266 sq ft – was sold in November for HK$500 million.

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The buyer of that flat was mainland businessman Zhu Xingliang, the founder of Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration, which is engaged in the interior design, construction and landscaping sectors.

With a net worth of US$2.6 billion, Zhu ranked 112th on the 2017 Forbes China Rich List.

No 8 Mount Nicholson, comprising 48 flats and 19 houses over three phases, is a joint project by Wheelock & Co and Nan Fung ­Development.

“There is a private road is leading to the development and absolute privacy is guaranteed,” said Thomas Lam, senior director at Knight Frank. “It is a rare product in the area. The super rich see these ultra luxury homes in such a prestigious location as collectable items. They do not mind paying a premium for them.”