HONG KONG • At a time when the housing market is softening, Hong Kong has just seen the sale of what could be Asia's most expensive flat at more than HK$100,000 per sq ft.
Located in the affluent Mid-levels area, the luxury duplex was sold for HK$590 million (S$107 million) or HK$102,900 per sq ft, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) quoted an industry source as saying. It had a listed price of HK$646.48 million.
The report on Wednesday said the 5,732 sq ft, four-bedroom flat comes with a 1,754 sq ft rooftop terrace and is on the 46th floor of 39 Conduit Road, a high-end property of Henderson Land Development.
According to the SCMP, if this deal is completed, it will overtake another flat sold in June at the Opus Hong Kong as the costliest flat in Asia. The June sale set a new record for price per sq ft when a buyer bought the flat for HK$487 million or HK$95,971 per sq ft.
The sale comes as the Hong Kong housing market has begun to soften after jumping 23 per cent from January to early this month, compared with the same period last year.
The market hit a peak in September, reported the Wall Street Journal last week, quoting a Barclays bank analysis. The report said housing prices have softened 6 per cent in the three months since.
Housing prices, already affected by slowing economic growth in Hong Kong and mainland China, are expected to be hit by interest rate hikes in the United States. The US Federal Reserve raised rates by 25 basis points last week. With these factors and new housing units coming onstream, luxury and mass housing prices are expected to slump by 5 per cent to 10 per cent in the new year, said analysts.
Spooked home owners in the secondary market have cut prices by more than HK$1 million, while developers have had lukewarm responses to project launches, the SCMP said.
It said the number of transactions for luxury homes at 35 housing estates monitored by Ricacorp Properties dropped 25 per cent to 39 deals last month, from 52 in October.
"It has fallen to below 100 deals for four consecutive months and it is also a drop to an 11-year low," the paper quoted Ricacorp director Eric Cheung as saying.