Price is 2nd-highest after a HK$800m home deal in 2011
[HONG KONG] Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, controlled by Li Ka-shing, Asia's richest man, sold a house in Hong Kong's Victoria Peak area for HK$740 million (S$120 million), the second-highest paid for such property in the city.
The 6,863-square-foot house at the seven-home, 28 Barker Road project was sold to an unidentified buyer, according to the project's website.
The price is the second-highest paid in the city after a house on Pollock's Path in The Peak area sold for HK$800 million in 2011, according to broker Colliers International.
The city's government has since 2010 imposed various extra property transaction taxes and tightened mortgage lending to curb home prices that are now the world's highest.
The 6,863-square-foot unit, costing HK$107,825 per sellable square foot, is the first house to be sold by Hutchison Whampoa Property - a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa (0013) - at its luxury 28 Barker Road project with a 1,577-square-foot roof and a 1,992-square-foot garden.
Such good memories at Knightsbrigdge Court
Living the high life
SCMP article by Anna Healy Fenton dated 2000 April 30
The Peak remains the smartest address in Hong Kong, and one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in the world. Renowned for its lofty harbour views and steep green hillsides, the area is nowadays a place of leafy roads, forests of bamboo and vines and 2,286 homes occupied by the SAR's elite. They include senior government officials, overseas diplomats, chief executive officers of publicly listed companies, and many of Hong Kong's wealthiest families.
Unlike the rest of Hong Kong, the density of population on the Peak has remained low for several reasons. Its delights were discovered by the British 150 years ago, a few of whom were energetic enough to scramble to the top. Finding the temperatures five degrees cooler than the rest of the colony, it soon became a favourite venue for elaborate society picnics. Building houses was impossible until the first footpath to the summit was built in 1859, by order of the governor. He also greened up the bare slopes by planting eucalyptus trees and shrubs imported from Australia. In 1867, Governor Sir Richard McDonnell established his summer residence, Mountain Lodge, at the Peak and one by one the great hongs erected plush summer palaces for their senior people. The colony's rich and upwardly mobile soon followed suit. But money could not buy access, and the Peak's remoteness thwarted many aspirants until the Peak Tram was built in 1888.
Then Stubbs Road provided the first real road access in 1924. No longer just a summer retreat, more elegant bungalows and villas sprang up, built in tiers on narrow ledges quarried out of the hillside. Yet none of this affected the Peak's exclusivity, because until World War II the governor's permission was needed for both the design of homes and permission to live in them. Sadly, Hong Kong's affection for its architectural history did not extend to preserving many of the elegant colonial dwellings and most have bitten the dust. These have been replaced by today's more modern, but equally opulent low-rise apartments, townhouses and detached houses. They must comply with the existing seven-storey height limit. Driven by the sudden influx of investment bankers, financial people and the recent craze for Internet start-ups and initial public offerings, Peak property prices have shot up 20 per cent since last Christmas (rentals and sale markets), according to head of FPDSavills Research. But Peak properties do not change hands very often, with only 62 transactions in the past five years. Even so, the value of the units has meant that seven of the 10 top property sales in the past three years were on the Peak. The 2,286 Peak dwellings, make up just about 1 per cent of residential units on Hong Kong Island, and 6 per cent of luxury units - those with more than 160 square metres of saleable area. The Peak's lofty location has its downside, even if being high above the smog and the traffic din in leafy seclusion makes it all worthwhile. For three months of the year, Peakdom is damp and shrouded in mist. But to long-term residents that is a minor detail. As are the two major inconveniences which have moved in.
The first has been recent construction and all its inconveniences. The other has been christened "slope-aphobia" by locals and refers to the rising number of apparently treacherous hillsides being clad in concrete. Little numbered green signs like leprechauns identify the gradients, and several Peak roads are at a standstill as a result of temporary traffic lights operating during slope repairs. Knowing of no sudden deterioration in slope quality, residents are baffled as to why all this activity is needed. However, when it all gets too much they can go for a stroll around the Peak's 60 kilometres of peaceful walks.