Wheelock, which set a Hong Kong record price for an office tower sale, has been approached by more than 10 potential buyers for its latest project as high rents spur companies to consider ownership. "Some of them are looking to buy all of it, some of them just want one block," vice-chairman Stewart Leung Chi-kin said about the twin-block development called One HarbourGate. The property could be sold this year before its completion in 2016, Leung said. Citigroup's record HK$5.4 billion purchase of a Wheelock property last year is a signal of how Hong Kong office rents, which are the second-highest in the world, are prompting companies to invest instead of leasing. Hong Kong is also benefiting from a slew of Chinese buyers, who are hunting for assets globally as they expand operations. "Many mainland Chinese companies, banks and insurers, lean more toward buying than renting," said Simon Lo, head of Asia research and advisory at Colliers International. "A lot of them are end users who want to avoid volatility in rent." Office rents in Hong Kong are set to rise 5 per cent this year according to CBRE Group. One HarbourGate, located in Hung Hom in Kowloon, comprises two 14-floor blocks with a combined area of 612,000 square feet. The Wheelock property is one of the few new Hong Kong office towers that could be sold in its entirety, according to Colliers. Prices for offices in Hong Kong have been creeping up. Citigroup paid about 20 per cent more for its building than Manulife Financial, which bought a similar-sized block at the same development in 2013. Wheelock, controlled by the family of billionaire Peter Woo Kwong-ching, will start selling four other projects this year, including the Mount Nicholson luxury development on Victoria Peak. The development, which has 19 houses and 48 apartments, has received many inquiries from potential buyers in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and China, Leung said. Sales will start in June. "It's different when you're seeking buyers for a few houses versus seeking buyers for thousands of homes," Leung said. Sun Hung Kai Properties launched another project on the Peak last year, pricing one of the houses at HK$819.1 million. That would be the most expensive residential transaction in Asia if it finds a buyer. SHKP has sold two of the four houses released for sale so far.