Record HK$17.32b Hong Kong land sale shows market still hot

A consortium including Sino Land Co paid a record S$3.02 billion for a plot of residential land in Hong Kong.

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - A consortium including Sino Land Co paid a record HK$17.3 billion (S$3.02 billion) for a plot of residential land in Hong Kong, signalling the property market is still running hot.

Shimao Property Holdings, Wheelock Properties, K Wah International Holdings and SEA Holdings were the other members of the group, the Lands Department said in a statement late on Wednesday (Nov 15). The group beat out nine other bidders, including Sun Hung Kai Properties and New World Development Co.

Hong Kong's residential property market, the world's most expensive, continues to hit fresh highs even as cracks start to appear in the outlook for prices amid rising interest rates.

Commercial property, where Hong Kong rents are the highest in the world, is also in demand. A Chinese state firm this month led the record HK$40.2 billion acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in The Center, a 346-metre skyscraper, from Li Ka-shing's CK Asset Holdings Ltd.

The site sold yesterday at Cheung Sha Wan in Kowloon has a maximum floor area of 91,770 square metres, the lands department said. The price is a record for residential land, surpassing the HK$16.9 billion paid for a site in Ap Lei Chau in February.

At a land cost price of HK$17,500 per square foot, the implied selling price when the development is completed in three or four years would range from HK$30,000 to HK$33,000 per square foot, said Raymond Cheng, director of Hong Kong and China property research at CIMB Securities Ltd.

The market was expecting a price between HK$14,000 and HK$18,000 per square foot, he said, noting that the winning bid was on the high side because the larger consortium, with five members, could bid more aggressively.

Though the Cheung Sha Wan site is a record for a lump sum purchase of government land, the square foot cost was far lower than the HK$22,118 paid by two mainland companies, Logan Property Holdings and KWG Property Holding for the Ap Lei Chau site, he said.

The Cheung Sha Wan project has ocean views and is adjacent to the West Kowloon district where the government is building a multi-billion dollar museum complex and high-speed rail terminus connecting Hong Kong to China.

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