Luxury sector defies wider downturn

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 December, 2013, 1:03am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 December, 2013, 2:13am

Hong Kong's top-end residential sector appears more resilient amid a wider market downturn, with a super-deluxe house on the Peak changing hands for HK$740 million last month in the most expensive deal this year.

"Similar to London and New York, Hong Kong's property market is becoming increasingly international on rising mainland participation. This should moderate the current cycle volatility," Patrick Wong, an analyst at BNP Paribas, wrote in a report.

Mainland lawyer Li Shufeng, the chairman of Greater China practice at US law firm Paul Hastings, bought the 6,863-square-foot House No8 at 28 Barker Road, Land Registry records showed. The price equals HK$107,824 per square foot, making it the second-most- expensive house in per square foot terms, trailing only the HK$130,000 record set by House No10 at Pollock's Path, also on the Peak, in 2011.

The transaction value for villas in the primary and secondary markets hit a three-month high last month of HK$1.81 billion, following the HK$2.43 billion recorded in August.

The hefty amount last month was largely driven by Hutchison Whampoa's sale of Houses No8 and No3 at 28 Barker Road for a total of HK$1.27 billion. Property investor and chairwoman of the Estate Agents Authority, Vivien Chan, bought House No3 for HK$538 million, records showed.

Wong said an interest rate increase would have little impact on the super-deluxe sector compared with mass housing. "The luxury segment should be much more resilient than the mid-mass segment, given very limited stock and future supply," he said.

Tapping the improving sentiment in the top-end market, Sun Hung Kai Properties sold three houses at Shouson Peak in Deep Water Bay for almost HK$724 million this month after discounts of up to 8 per cent and 50 per cent subsidies on stamp duty.