A luxury low rise development comprising five town houses at 3 Plunkett’s Road on The Peak, which have been held empty by the builder Tai Cheung Properties for seven years, is being offered for collective sale at HK$2.34 billion (US$298.22 million). The five properties feature extravagant interior decorations, each fitted with custom built furniture, original oil paintings and hand crafted chandeliers. “Mainland companies and institutional funds are searching for these rare properties for self use or investment. These properties are just like art collections for the mega rich,” said Louis Ho, principal sales director for The Peak & South Mid-Levels West at StatelyHome, a luxury home sales unit under Centaline Property Agency. StatelyHome is the sole agent of the 3 Plunkett’s Road development. The 3 Plunkett’s Road development is comprised of six detached town houses. But five properties have been kept off market after the developer sold House A, the largest of the six in August 2011. The house fetched HK$399.8 million or HK$81,708 per sq ft, inclusive of two car parks, a 920 sq ft garden and a 805 sq ft roof top. “It is the first time in the past 10 years that five luxury town houses in a new development have been offered for sale in one go,” he said. Mount Nicholson had most sales of flats over HK$100 million in Hong Kong Ho rejected the suggestion that the sale was triggered by the growing political support for a vacancy tax to curb hoarding. The years-long delay was needed to complete the detailed interior design and decoration plan, he said. The interior design costs, inclusive of design fees and furniture, amounted to HK$159.84 million, according to the developer. “The developer gave the designer ample time to decorate these properties,” Ho said. These properties are just like art collections for the mega rich Louis Ho, StatelyHome The designer sourced from auctions held by Christie’s and Sotheby’s to collect close to 80 paintings, statues and other antiques for decorative purposes in the five properties. Ho said the properties also have advanced security systems, as they are the only structures on The Peak with panic rooms, or areas designed to be invulnerable to attract or intrusion. Empty flats to be unleashed for sale as Hong Kong's vacant tax kicks in “The rooms are installed with separate air conditioning systems, and telephones for emergency calls and the door is bullet proof as well,” he said. As the five properties are held by a company, the buyer is required to pay a stamp duty of 0.2 per cent, or HK$46 million, instead of a minimum of 4.5 per cent or HK$105.4 million for a first time buyer who is a Hong Kong permanent resident, he said. A corporate buyer or non-local resident would be liable for a stamp duty of 30 per cent, or HK$702.4 million. The upstart Hong Kong developer who aims to join the ‘big boys’ league The developer will accept offers to purchase the homes individually, however preference will be given to an en bloc sale. The five detached houses with floor space ranging from 4,432 sq ft to 4,850 sq ft, are being offered for HK$451.33 million to HK$503.36 million, or HK$98,904 per sq ft to HK$103,786 per sq ft, according to a price list released by the developer. The asking prices were as much as 6 per cent higher than the 7,984 sq ft House No 17 at Mount Nicholson, which sold for HK$780 million, or HK$97,695 per sq ft in March. The houses sold at Mount Nicholson were not fully furnished. Victoria Allan, founder and managing director of Habitat Property, said properties that are being held in a company structure are attractive to local buyers as well as mainland Chinese. “A company structure is attractive to Hong Kong buyers as it enables them to buy another property in their own name and flexibility if they need to on-sell the property,” she said. Hong Kong singer Joey Yung pays estimated US$25 million for Repulse Bay home Last week, Canto-pop star Joey Yung Cho-yee bought a house for an estimated HK$200 million in Repulse Bay via share transfer, saving up to HK$56 million in stamp duty. However, Koh Keng-shing, founder and chief executive of Landscope Christie’s, said a collective sale was far from ideal for end user buyers who were willing to pay high prices for their dream homes. The properties would yield less than 1 per cent for investors, he said. “It is not easy to find one [buyer] to buy five [homes] together,” said Koh.