Hong Kong property heir buys luxury home for $10.1m

The value of luxury home transactions in Hong Kong reached an eight-month high in January. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

HONG KONG – Property heir Douglas Woo bought an apartment in an upscale area of Hong Kong for HK$59.8 million (S$10.1 million) at a time when the city’s luxury market is just picking up as the border reopens.

The chairman of Wheelock & Co, one of Hong Kong’s biggest real estate companies, bought the luxury home in March, according to a Land Registry filing.

Mr Woo’s apartment is in a 49-year-old development in Repulse Bay at the south end of Hong Kong Island favoured by the wealthy.

The three-bedroom property has an area of 1,583 sq ft, translating to HK$37,776 per sq ft. The last transaction in the project was a lower-level home of the same size that sold for HK$60 million in 2020.

Mr Woo paid a 4.25 per cent tax on the purchase, local newspaper Ming Pao reported, citing documents. A buyer who does not already hold residential properties at the time of purchase qualifies as a first-time buyer. Otherwise, the tax rate for residents with existing home ownership is 15 per cent.

A Wheelock representative declined to comment.

Mr Woo’s father, former Wheelock chairman Peter Woo, is Hong Kong’s sixth-richest person, with a net worth of US$18 billion (S$24 billion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Wheelock holds two listed real estate companies, The Wharf (Holdings) and Wharf Real Estate Investment.

The Wharf’s signature projects include Mount Nicholson, one of Hong Kong’s most coveted luxury developments that has broken price records. The family’s portfolio also includes Harbour City and Times Square shopping malls.

The purchase by a buyer as prominent as Mr Douglas Woo will further boost sentiment in the market.

Hong Kong’s upscale home market had been under pressure amid Covid-19 restrictions and rising interest rates for the past few years. The border reopening with mainland China has improved the outlook, on expectations that wealthy Chinese buyers will return.

The value of luxury home transactions reached an eight-month high of HK$10 billion in January, according to Centaline Property Agency. BLOOMBERG

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.