By Shawna Kwan
There’s expensive, and then there’s Hong Kong property expensive.
A four-bedroom house in the exclusive Peak neighborhood has hit the market for an eye-watering HK$3.5 billion ($446 million), which would make it the most expensive home sold in the city, 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 euros ($409 million).
Don’t expect a palatial estate though. The modestly-sized house at 24 Middle Gap Road sits on 16,330 square-feet of land, or just over a third of an acre, and comes with a swimming pool, parking for two cars and 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 Lawrence Brown, a senior consultant at Executive Homes Hong Kong Ltd. “The house is quite old. If they are going to pay that much, they would probably knock it down or put another nicer house” there.
Residential sites with a prestigious address are highly sought after by investors. A 12-unit 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 at 15 Gough Hill Road on the Peak fetched HK$2.1 billion, according to Colliers International Inc.
The Middle Gap Road house is currently leased to a tenant, according to Landscope Christie’s International Real Estate, which is listing the property. It is owned by Chuang’s Consortium International Ltd, who 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’ Brown.
© 2018 Bloomberg L.P