HONG KONG • There is expensive, and then there is Hong Kong property expensive.
A four-bedroom house in the city's exclusive Peak neighbourhood has hit the market for an eye-watering HK$3.5 billion (S$610 million), which would make it the most expensive home sold in Hong Kong, if not the world.
Villa Les Cedres, a 188-year-old, 14-bedroom mansion in the south of France, was last year listed for €350 million (S$560 million).
The Hong Kong property is no palatial estate though. The relatively modest-sized house at 24 Middle Gap Road sits on 16,330 sq ft of land, and comes with a swimming pool, parking for two cars as well as some dated 1990s decor.
What it does offer is an exclusive address and a rare opportunity to buy land in one of Hong Kong's most sought-after enclaves. "It's more about the land it's on than the house itself," said Mr Lawrence Brown, a senior consultant at Executive Homes Hong Kong. "The house is quite old. If they are going to pay that much, they would probably knock it down or put another nicer house" on the site, he said.
Residential sites with a prestigious address are highly sought after by investors.
A 12-apartment complex in the Deep Water Bay area, which counts billionaire Li Ka Shing as a resident, was sold for HK$5.9 billion in July.
Hong Kong's previous record sale was set in 2016, when a house also on the Peak fetched HK$2.1 billion, according to Colliers International.
The Middle Gap Road house, which is now leased out, is owned by Chuang's Consortium International, which purchased it in 2004 for just HK$142 million, documents lodged with the Land Registry show.
The stratospheric price suggests that while Hong Kong's red-hot housing market may finally be cooling, there appears to be no limits at the very top end of the market. "There's a feeling that the luxury sector won't be affected even if there's a downturn," said Executive Homes' Mr Brown.