HONG KONG - A luxury apartment in Hong Kong's exclusive The Peak district has gone for HK$560 million (S$97.2 million) or HK$132,000 (S$22,908) per square foot, a new record in square footage terms for the world's already most expensive residential market.
The apartment, which measures 4,242 sq ft (394 square metres), is part of the Mount Nicholson project and was sold to an unidentified buyer, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday (Nov 20).
Wheelock and Company, one of Hong Kong's biggest developers, owns the Mount Nicholson project via its subsidiaries Wheelock Properties and Wharf Holdings, together with Nan Fung Development. The development comprises 19 detached houses and 48 flats built over three phases.
Wheelock said it also sold another 4,579 sq ft Mount Nicholson property for HK$131,000 per sq ft, said SCMP. Bpth transactions there broke the previous record for Hong Kong's most expensive residence when a buyer paid HK$105,000 psf for a HK$522 million duplex penthouse at Henderson Land Development's 39 Conduit Road project at the Mid-Levels.
A recent UBS report said Hong Kong is the world's most expensive city for apartments, with a skilled service worker needing to work 20 years - the longest period of time in a list of 20 cities in the world - before being able to afford a 650 sq ft flat near the city centre.
Home prices have jumped close to 400 per cent since 2003, while the median monthly household income has risen just 61 per cent, pushing home ownership out of reach for many, Reuters reported. The very poor are forced to live in "coffin homes", while families residing in subdivided flats smaller than 75 sq ft.
Hong Kong authorities have tried to cool housing prices with a series of measures to little avail.
Its new chief executive Carrie Lam, who took office in July, has made cooling sky high property prices one of her top priorities and announced a new "Starter Homes" scheme to help middle class families, according to a Reuters report.