x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Hong Kong flat sale raises roof at $58m

Property in building designed by Frank Gehry sets new city record with eye-watering price tag.

The ultimate pied-à-terre has sold for an eye-watering US$58.7 million (Dh215.6m).

Swire Properties sold the Hong Kong apartment in a building designed by the US architect Frank Gehry for a record square-foot price of HK$68,083 (Dh32,264), the latest sign the city's property market remains immune to government efforts to cool prices.

An unidentified buyer bought the 621 square-metre unit in Opus Hong Kong in the Peak district for HK$455m, said Swire.

Leung Chun-ying, the chief executive of Hong Kong, last month imposed his toughest efforts yet to curb a growing asset bubble in the property market, including a tax on non-local buyers.

Home prices in Hong Kong have more than doubled in the past three years on near record-low mortgage rates, a lack of new housing supply and an influx of mainland Chinese buyers.

"Normally these properties have a market of their own," said Ringo Lam, the director of valuation at the broker AG Wilkinson.

"But with the new measures, even they would be affected. I doubt we will see another transaction like this happening soon." Swire sold the apartment last month, before the latest measures were announced, the South China Morning Post said yesterday, citing Land Registry records.

The previous per square foot record of HK$63,999 was set by a duplex at 39 Conduit Road, the paper said. That project was developed by Henderson Land Development.

Swire in August sold an apartment in Opus Hong Kong for HK$430m, the company said. Earlier, it leased another apartment, which has its own pool, at a monthly rental of HK$850,000 for three years, it said.