Hong Kong saw the record for per square foot prices of luxury homes being set a couple of times in 2021. Most of these transactions were concentrated in two areas: Mount Nicholson on The Peak and 21 Borrett Road in Mid-Levels. Nan Fung Development and The Wharf (Holdings) paid HK$10.4 billion (US$1.33 billion) for the Mount Nicholson site in an auction in July 2010. At HK$32,014 per square foot, it was the third-highest land price in the city’s history at the time. Analysts had expected it to sell for between HK$8.7 billion and HK$11.4 billion. The 2.33-hectare site was the location of government staff quarters that had sat empty for years. The site at 21 Borrett Road was sold to the then Cheung Kong (Holdings) in June 2011 for HK$11.65 billion in an auction. Analysts had expected the site to fetch between HK$12 billion and HK$15 billion. The price paid was the second highest at that time, just behind the HK$11.82 billion paid in 1997 for the Island Resort site in Siu Sai Wan. At HK$26,763 per square foot, it was also the third-highest at that time. “New Hongkongers”, or those who have recently acquired permanent residency in the city and do not have to pay the extra 30 per cent stamp duty levied on non-permanent residents for property purchases, comprised 60 per cent of the owners at these two developments, according to land title searches conducted by the South China Morning Post in June. Who bought the most expensive homes per square foot in Hong Kong this year? Buyer Property Price (US$ per square foot) Total amount (US$) Lau Chauin, daughter of Heungkong Group chairman Lau Chi-keung Two flats with parking spaces, Mount Nicholson, The Peak 17,223, 18,097 72 million, 82.2 million Yin Xi Flat on 23rd floor, 21 Borrett Road, Mid-Levels 16,979 59 million Qiu Mingjing, sixth largest shareholder of Shanghai-listed Beijing Wantai Flat on 23rd floor, 21 Borrett Road 16195 48.55 million Investor surnamed Shan Flat on 23rd floor, 21 Borrett Road 16,915 44.23 million Ni He Tong Flat in Mount Nicholson 14,769 62.98 million Source: Land Registry, SCMP Such buyers preferred the large flats of these two projects to houses as they tended to divide time between Hong Kong and mainland China, and these flats required less maintenance, said Raymond Li, principal sales director at Centaline Property Agency. Many bought two neighbouring flats for larger spaces as well. More record-breaking deals are expected in 2022, as developers tend to sell new luxury homes slowly to generate the highest price possible, Li said. Moreover, with the border with mainland China expected to open in the new year, mainland buyers are expected to return to the Hong Kong housing market and drive up sales. Here are this year’s top five buyers of the most expensive new flats in Hong Kong on a per square foot basis. Lau Chauin Lau, the daughter of Lau Chi-keung, the chairman of Heungkong Group, which has interests ranging from logistics and finance to health care and property development on the mainland, bought flats 16C and 16D in phase three of Mount Nicholson for a combined HK$1.2 billion last month. The 4,544 sq ft Flat 16D, which comes with three parking spaces, sold for HK$639.8 million, or HK$140,800 per square foot, making it Asia’s most expensive flat on a per square foot basis. It broke the record held by a flat in CK Asset Holding’s 21 Borrett Road project. That flat, which also comes with three parking spaces, sold for HK$459.4 million, or HK$136,000 per square foot, in February. The 4,186 sq ft Flat 16C sold for HK$560.92 million, or HK$134,000 per square foot. Yin Xi Yin, about whom little is known and whose name is identical to the director of five closely held companies, according to the Companies Registry, bought Flat 1 on the 23rd floor of 21 Borrett Road in February, according to Land Registry documents. The five-bedroom flat in the project’s phase one sold for HK$459.4 million through tender and held the record before Lau’s purchase of flats 16C and 16D in Mount Nicholson. The 3,378 sq ft flat in Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels , at HK$136,000 per square foot, broke a record held by flats 12C and 12D at Mount Nicholson . These flats sold for HK$1.17 billion, or about HK$132,100 per square foot, in November 2017. The buyer is a Hong Kong permanent resident, as documents showed that they only paid a basic stamp duty of 4.25 per cent for the Borrett Road property, or about HK$19.52 million. Yan Hongyan Yan reportedly bought Flat 6 on the 23rd floor of 21 Borrett Road for HK$377.37 million in March, and then transferred the title to Qiu Mingjing in June. At 2,995 sq ft, the flat’s price translates to HK$126,000 per square foot. Qiu is a big investor in Hong Kong property. She was the sixth-largest shareholder of Shanghai-listed Beijing Wantai with 4.8 million shares, or a 1.1 per cent stake, according to the firm’s 2020 annual report Shan An investor with the surname Shan, whose first name is not known, reportedly bought Flat 3 on the 23rd floor of 21 Borrett Road for HK$344.1 million in April. At 2,731 sq ft, the price translates to HK$126,000 per square foot. Shan is said to have paid an extra 15 per cent in stamp duty, or HK$51.6 million, as it was not their first property. Ni He Tong Ni bought flat 8C in phase three of Mount Nicholson for HK$490 million in January, according to media reports citing Land Registry records. At 4,266 sq ft, the price translates to HK$114,906 per square foot. Ni was said to be a first-time buyer, having paid only 4.25 per cent in stamp duty, or HK$20.83 million.