Insurance giant AIA Group is buying Stanhope House in Quarry Bay from Hang Lung Properties for HK$2.4 billion. With a floor area of 299,615 square feet, the price tag translates into HK$8,003 per square foot. AIA would use the premises for its "own office usage and investment purposes", the company said in a statement. The transaction is expected to be completed by December 11. Eric Ong, a director at Midland Realty's commercial department, said the price was reasonable. "There are only a few office buildings on offer for sale in the market, although Stanhope House is relatively old," Ong said, adding that the average rent at the building was about HK$27 per square foot. "It wouldn't be a surprise if office rents at Stanhope House rise 10 per cent over the next 12 months." Hang Lung said in August it would continue to sell its non-core properties in Hong Kong as the mainland now offered better returns and lower risks than the local market. Chairman Ronnie Chan Chichung said the developer had been looking to sell its older and non-core, low-rent properties for two years now. "In the past few months … we were given some reasonable and attractive offers. We'll continue selling when prices are good," Chan said. Hang Lung sold its 28-year-old office building in Cheung Sha Wan for HK$625 million in July, after selling Star Centre in Kwai Chung in May for HK$528 million and car parks in Park Towers in Causeway Bay for HK$220 million. The latter two, booked in its interim results, generated a profit of HK$220 million. Chan said the company had no plans to sell prime properties in core areas including Causeway Bay, Central and Mong Kok. According to Midland, 252 office deals were completed in August, up 11.5 per cent month on month. The rebound in sales occurred outside core business areas such as Cheung Sha Wan and Kwun Tong. In one deal, Park Building in Cheung Sha Wan, with a gross area of 149,395 sq ft, sold for HK$625 million. Shares of Hang Lung rose 1.33 per cent to HK$26.60 yesterday, while AIA eased 0.33 per cent to HK$29.90.