Who is the buyer of the US$82 million property on The Peak - Asia's most expensive flat?

By Sandy Li / SCMP | December 23, 2021 9:46 PM SGT
A flat in The Mount Nicholson residential project on The Peak reclaimed the title for the most expensive property in Asia on a per square foot basis. Photo: Handout
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The buyer of Asia's most expensive flat in the ultra-luxury Mount Nicholson project on The Peak is Lau Chauin, according to a source close to the deal.
Lau, the daughter of Lau Chi-keung, the chairman of Heungkong Group, which has interests ranging from logistics and finance to health care and property development on the mainland, bought flats 16C and 16D in phase three of the exclusive project for a combined HK$1.2 billion (US$154 million) last month.
Flat 16D, measuring 4,544 sq ft and three car parking spaces in the project developed by Wharf Holdings and Nan Fung Development, was sold for HK$639.8 million, or HK$140,800 per square foot, making it Asia's most expensive flat on a per square foot basis. It broke the record held by a flat in CK Asset Holding's 21 Borrett Road luxury residential project in Mid-Levels. That flat, which also came with three parking spaces, sold for HK$459.4 million, or HK$136,000 per square foot, in February.
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The price for the 4,186 sq ft flat 16C at Mount Nicholson was HK$560.92 million, or HK$134,000 per square foot, slightly lower than the Borrett Road flat.
"About 50% of Hong Kong's ultra-luxury homes [in the past two years] have been sold to wealthy mainland Chinese or so called new Hongkongers," said Martin Wong, director and head of research and consultancy for Greater China at Knight Frank. "Buyers from the mainland are willing to pay big bucks for homes on The Peak as spectacular views like those of Victoria Harbour are rare in China."
New Hongkongers comprise 60% of the owners of two of the most exclusive residential addresses in Hong Kong - 21 Borrett Road and Mount Nicholson, according to land title searches conducted by the South China Morning Post.
The term "new Hongkongers" is applied to residents who have recently acquired permanent residency in the city. Permanent residents do not have to pay an extra 30% stamp duty on property purchases levied on non-permanent residents.
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Lau, a first-time local buyer with permanent residency, paid only 4.25%, or HK$23.84 million, in tax for flat 16C, according to local media reports. But for flat 16D she was required to pay a 15% tax, or HK$95.97 million.
In 2018, the Lau family bought two more flats - 11C and 11D - in the same project for HK$1.16 billion, shelling out another HK$27 million for three parking spaces last year, according to media reports.
The family has spent a total HK$2.36 billion for four flats and six parking spaces at Mount Nicholson.
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The Heungkong Group, which currently employs 20,000 people, started off as a furniture seller in Shenzhen in 1990, according to the company's website. It operates two major furniture chains - Heungkong Furniture and Kinhom Furniture - across China. It also operates the furniture trading platform, Kinhom.com, which has more than 6,000 furniture brands.
Heungkong later expanded into health care, logistics, property development and finance. It owns stakes in many financial institutions such as China Guanfa Bank, GF Securities and GF Funds and is also a principal shareholder of Guangdong Nanyue Bank and Bank of Tianjin, according to its website.
Meanwhile, Xu Hang, the co-founder of Shenzhen-listed Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, has bought a 4,664 sq ft penthouse at 39 Conduit Road, Mid-Levels, for HK$308 million, according to media reports.
The fully furnished four-bedroom flat on the 45th floor, which was previously owned by the debt-laden mainland Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, had been put up for sale by creditors in August.
Savills, the sales agent, declined to comment on the Post's queries related to the transaction on Tuesday.
Joseph Tsang, chairman of JLL in Hong Kong, said that for mainlanders owning a super deluxe house in Hong Kong is a mark of elite status.
"Unlike mainland buyers who will pay record prices for such properties, Hongkongers are much more conservative and do not like to flaunt their wealth," said Tsang.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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