Opulent home on Hong Kong's Peak sold for nearly $149
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[November 01, 2017]
HONG KONG (Reuters) - A palatial
four-bedroom house in Hong Kong's exclusive Peak district has been sold
for HK$1.16 billion ($148.7 million), which the main developer said is
the most paid for a home in one of its projects this year.
The price per square foot was HK$126,813, a spokeswoman for Wheelock
Properties said on Wednesday. She declined to identify the buyer.
The sale of the more than 9,000 square foot detached house, which
includes a swimming pool, lavish garden and basement carpark,
underscores the gaping contrasts in the Chinese-controlled city where
the average living space is just 150 square feet (14 square meters) per
Wheelock and Company <0020.HK>, one of Hong Kong's biggest developers,
owns the Mount Nicholson project via its subsidiaries Wheelock
Properties and Wharf Holdings <0004.HK>, together with Nan Fung
A recent UBS report said Hong Kong was the world's most expensive city
for apartments, with a skilled service worker needing to work 20 years -
the longest period of time in a list of 20 cities in the world - before
being able to afford a 650 square feet (60 square meters) flat near the
Hong Kong authorities have tried to implement a raft of measures to cool
the city's property prices but Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said the
government has no "magic wands".
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A general view of Mount Nicholson project developed by Wheelock and
Company, with one of the four-bedroom houses sold for HK$1.16
billion ($148.7 million), in Hong Kong, China November 1, 2017.
The former British colony is one of the world's wealthiest cities with
fiscal reserves of more than HK$936 billion but less than one-tenth of
its land area is zoned for housing.
Inequalities have been exacerbated with many middle class families
unable to afford property.
Even more dire is the plight of the very poor who have been forced to
live in "coffin homes" and families residing in subdivided flats smaller
than 75 square feet.
Home prices in Hong Kong have jumped close to 400 percent since 2003,
while the median monthly household income has risen just 61 percent,
pushing home ownership out of reach for many.
Lam, who took office in July, has made cooling sky high property prices
one of her top priorities and has announced a new "Starter Homes" scheme
to help middle class families.
(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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