Hutchison Whampoa sells Victoria Peak house for HKD 740 million

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Nov 21, 2013 03:58 AM EST

Hutchison Whampoa said it sold a residence located in Victoria Peak in Hong Kong for HKD 740 million or USD 95 million. The price paid by the unnamed buyer for the 6,863- square foot house was the second highest paid for a house in the city, according data gathered by broker Colliers International.

The property was part of the seven-home 28 Barker Road project of Hutchison Whampoa Property, a subsidiary of the company controlled by Asia's wealthiest man Li Ka-shing.

Home prices in Hong Kong are among the highest in the world. Starting in 2010, the city government has taken steps to curb prices by imposing extra property transaction taxes. It also tightened mortgage lending. Citing Cushman & Wakefield Inc, a property broker, the prices of the luxury residential properties in Hong Kong are estimated to fall 3% in the fourth quarter as the number of transactions also continue to drop.

Colliers Hong Kong-based Executive Director Simon Lo told Bloomberg, "In this market, whoever's willing to pay such high price for a property is buying it for their own use. With all these extra taxes, there's very little chance you can make money by investing in them."

In February Hong Kong also increased the stamp duty to up to 8.5% on all property transactions that are more than HKD 2 million. Corporate buyers as well as non-Hong Kong residents also had to pay an extra 15% tax when they buy homes starting in October 2012.

Victoria Peak is one of the most expensive residential places in Hong Kong. Top executives of companies like HSBC Holdings and other international banks are housed in residences here. Last year, Swire Properties also sold an apartment for HKD 455 million in the area. This was considered a record deal for apartments in the former British colony.

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