Mainland Chinese buyers have turned Hong Kong’s wealthy residential enclaves at The Peak into one of the world’s busiest playgrounds for the super rich, based on the number of transactions recorded over the past five years. There were 35 transactions involving homes with addresses on Mount Nicholson Road worth US$2.86 billion, or an average price of US$81.8 million each, according to data compiled by property consultants Knight Frank. New York’s 57th Street is the most sought-after location with 41 transactions averaging US$38.5 million each. The ranking is based on transactions worth at least US$25 million each in exclusive residential neighbourhoods worldwide in the five years through June 2019, according to the consultants. Mount Nicholson Road is home to the some of the most expensive houses and flats in Asia, jointly developed by Wheelock & Co and Nan Fung Development, two of the city’s biggest landlords. Hong Kong’s wealthy enclaves burnish safe-haven status amid protest flashpoints The hilltop enclave has largely burnished its status as a safe haven amid Hong Kong’s political crisis and the worst economic slowdown in a decade, with anti-government protests in the past six months concentrated mostly in suburban neighbourhoods and business districts. “Achieved prices on Mount Nicholson and The Peak are sustainable,” said David Ji, head of research and consultancy for Greater China at Knight Frank. “Our research has shown that luxury home prices are a lot less sensitive to economic conditions. There is a healthy appetite from super luxury buyers if their desired price level is reached.” Education centre boss, 22, buys US$117 million villa on Mount Nicholson Road For the past five years, transactions on Mount Nicholson Road have been driven by mainland Chinese buyers, government and industry records show. In late November 2017, a mainland buyer splurged HK$1.16 billion for two adjoining flats in the development. One flat, measuring 4,579 sq ft, was bought for HK$600 million, or HK$131,000 per sq ft. On the same day, the buyer spent HK$560 million for a second unit measuring 4,242 sq ft, or about HK$132,000 per sq ft, making it the most expensive in Asia for a flat dwelling. In 2018, a mainland buyer paid HK$1.39 billion for a 9,217 sq ft house bearing No. 2 Mount Nicholson Road address, which includes a 3,969 sq ft garden and a swimming pool. The price of HK$151,785 per sq ft, though, is only the third most expensive landed house in Hong Kong. Hong Kong luxury homes plunge with ‘cashed-up’ buyers in no buying mood The crown belongs to 15 Gough Hill Road on The Peak, a 9,212-square foot house sold in 2016 for HK$182,370 per sq ft. The buyer was also a Chinese businessman. Apart from Mount Nicholson Road, two other locations in Hong Kong are also ranked among the 10 busiest globally in the past five years. There were 10 transactions at Mount Kellett Road with an average price of US$64.8 million, while 10 deals were concluded at an average price of US$43.4 million on Conduit Road, according to Knight Frank. Hong Kong’s luxury homes to see price declines of up to 20 per cent in 2020: JLL At 12 Mount Kellett Road, a 4,784 sq ft house within the high-end residential development known as Twelve Peaks was sold for HK$620.5 million, or HK$129,703 per sq ft in 2018. The project was developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties, the city’s biggest by market value. “The global nature of the ultra-prime buyers and their requirements in terms of design, facilities and services has created an opportunity for developers to deliver a new benchmark in quality in the key neighbourhoods in New York, London and Hong Kong,” said Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank.