HONG KONG • Imagine paying HK$105,000 (S$18,213) per square foot (psf) for a roof over your head. That's about HK$1 million per square metre. Someone did, in Hong Kong.
A nearly 5,000 sq ft penthouse duplex unit in the affluent Mid-Levels has been sold for HK$522 million, Sing Tao Daily reported yesterday, citing an unidentified person. It is at 39 Conduit Road, a project by Henderson Land Development.
The purchase went through even as the Hong Kong government seeks to tame property prices in the world's least affordable market.
Hong Kong home prices hit all-time highs this year, shrugging off government restrictions to cool the market as well as concerns that another real estate crash could deal a heavy blow to the wealth of the city's 7.4 million people and destabilise its financial system.
Centaline Property's Centa-City Leading Index has climbed 11 per cent this year, extending the gain in the last five years to more than 60 per cent.
Private home prices in Hong Kong climbed for a 17th straight month in July, according to the latest data released by the Rating and Valuation Department. That is the longest winning streak since 1993, Hong Kong Economic Times reported.
Luxury home prices in Hong Kong regularly break Asian records. In November last year, two units in phase two of Wheelock Properties' Mount Nicholson project on Victoria Peak were sold at an average psf price of HK$104,800, a regional record that was trumped by the latest sale, Sing Tao said.
Sky-high prices are not confined to apartments. A 188 sq ft parking space in the Sai Ying Pun area on Hong Kong island was sold for HK$5.18 million or HK$27,500 psf in May.
It now takes a household 18 years of median income to buy a home in Hong Kong, more than anywhere else in the world, data from the US-based Demographia shows. That compares with just over 12 years in Sydney, 81/2 in London and under six for the wider New York metropolitan area.
In May, the Hong Kong government tightened rules on bank lending for property development after expressing worries about banks' exposure to the real-estate industry as developers bid up land prices.
The local monetary authority in the same month introduced fresh curbs on second-home mortgages as well as borrowers whose income is derived mainly from overseas sources.