The Peak



Residents on Middle Gap Road:

  • Duty-Free Shoppers co-founder Bob Miller

  • Jebsen & Co chairman Michael Jebsen

  •  Nan Fung Development chairman Chen Din-hwa 


A Middle Gap property catches the eye of those focused on a limited niche

Chuang Consortium International chairman Alan Chuang may develop two detached houses at the 24 Middle Gap Road, The Peak, property he bought from PCCW for HK$145 million.

The sale price was equivalent to about HK$18,000 per square foot, lower than market expectations of HK$160 million or almost HK$20,000 psf.

Sources said Chuang will either retain the 13-year-old house on the lot for his own use or demolish it to make way for two detached houses.

Construction costs are estimated at more than HK$30 million or more than HK$3,500 psf for a redevelopment plan with a plot ratio of 0.5 times, sources said.

PCCW received offers from six bidders for the 8,165 sq ft two-storey house through a tender that closed last week.   - 2004 February 28 The Standard   

The Peak mansion once occupied by former PCCW deputy chairman Linus Cheung Wing-lam attracted seven bids at the close of its public tender yesterday, including one from overseas.

"The overseas bid actually came a bit late, but we will accept it," PCCW Infrastructure chairman Robert Lee Chi-hong said.

Mr Lee said the prices submitted for the two-storey house were competitive and reflected an improved property market in Hong Kong.

However, a source close to the deal said a second round of bidding was expected to be held as the submitted prices were so close to each other. "The seller is very satisfied with the submitted price. [It] could meet the seller's expectation," he said.

The 8,165 square foot house, at 24 Middle Gap Road, is expected to serve as a price indicator of the area's rare supply of detached houses. Owned by PCCW, it has a site area of 16,330 sq ft with a plot ratio of 0.5.

The last transaction in the area was four years ago. The property at 26 Middle Gap Road was being used as a reference point for the seller's expectations, sole agent FPD Savills said earlier this year.

That property sold for $148.8 million. It had a site area of 16,535 sq ft and an accommodation value of more than $18,000 per square foot.

Colliers International residential sales director said the average price of PCCW's house could exceed 1999 levels and reach about $20,000 per square foot in light of the upbeat luxury property market. "Apart from an increased market price, some buyers are willing to pay a premium price for a single-lot house," he said.

Owners of the 13 houses on Middle Gap Road include Duty-Free Shoppers co-founder Bob Miller and Jebsen & Co chairman Michael Jebsen.

Meanwhile, the public tender of 53 Conduit Road, a house which formerly belonged to the family who owned the now defunct Furama Hotel, concluded yesterday after receiving nine bids.

A source said the 25,090 sq ft site was sold for more than $250 million to a locally listed developer.

According to DTZ Debenham Tie Leung director, the site could be redeveloped into a 10-storey residential building with a selling price of about $10,000 per square foot.   - 2004 February 18   South China Morning Post   

PCCW set to sell Peak property for $196m

The sky's the limit, it appears, when it comes to the prices of luxury houses in Hong Kong.

Luxury home prices have been leading the property rebound, rising 20 per cent last year, well ahead of the primary flat prices which gained only 15 per cent in the same period. For those with luxury houses, the time to sell is now.

Market watchers say a luxury detached house on The Peak is expected to sell for a whopping HK$24,000 per square foot or HK$196 million. Bidding for the property closes on February 20.

Sources say the vendor - telecom giant PCCW - has already received offers of HK$160 million, or nearly HK$20,000 psf. But because of the strong response, they believe PCCW will likely sell the two-storey detached house at 24 Middle Gap Road - measuring 8,165 sqft in gross floor area - at around HK$24,000 psf.

Regardless of the final transaction price, the offer will definitely exceed the existing benchmark of HK$18,000 psf set recently at the Grosvenor luxury project in Island South. The property is being sold by tender co-ordinated by sales agent FPDSavills.

Chuang's Consortium International, which earlier expressed interest in the house, is among the potential purchasers.

In a further sign of the upswing in the luxury market, Wharf Holdings has decided to raise the target price of its development on The Peak by 30 per cent, to HK$20,000 psf. Wharf set the previous target in the third quarter of 2003.

The development at 3 Gough Hill will provide five detached houses ranging in size from 5,000 to 7,000 sqft.

In Kowloon, property investor Manhattan Garments (International) is expected to reap as much as HK$500 million from the sale of all 72 luxury flats at 2-4 Caldecott Road, Pipers Hill, Lai Chi Kok.  The project, co-developed with Sino Land and New World Development, is expected to receive presale consent this month.

Manhattan Garments said the joint venture has yet to determine pricing, but expects the flats will sell for about HK$6,000 psf.

The eight rooftop units are expected to sell for up to HK$10,000 psf.

International property consultant Chesterton Pretty says the high-end property market has been doing well so far this year.

``Avian flu, if spread to and prevailing in Hong Kong, will affect mass residential sales, both primary and secondary,'' the firm said in its latest market update released yesterday.

``Luxury sales, however, may benefit thanks to their lower site densities and higher standards of environmental hygiene, mirroring the situation caused by the Sars outbreak last year.''    -  2004 February 12       Hong Kong Standard

A luxurious 8,165-square-foot house on The Peak, to be sold by public tender, is expected to serve as an indicator of the area's rare supply of detached houses.

Realtors said the two-storey house, once occupied by outgoing PCCW deputy chairman Linus Cheung Wing-lam, is expected to sell for about $150 million (or an average price of $18,000 per square foot). The house, at 24 Middle Gap Road, has a site area of 16,330 square feet and a plot ratio of 0.5. It is owned by PCCW.

"Middle Gap Road is one of the most expensive areas on The Peak," said Antonio Wu, an executive director of investment at Colliers International. "It may be less expensive than Baker Road, which has a better view. However, it is still being sought in the market because of the scarce supply of detached houses and because it is a sound neighbourhood."

Among the owners of the 13 houses on Middle Gap Road are Duty-Free Shoppers co-founder Bob Miller and Jebsen & Co chairman Michael Jebsen.

FPDSavills, sole agent for the property, said the deadline for public tender was February 20.

"The price will serve as the district's latest indicator, since the last transaction was conducted four years ago," said FPDSavills director Jimmy Fong. According to FPDSavills, the last transaction at Middle Gap Road was for the property next door, at 26 Middle Gap Road, in December 1999.

The property, which sold for $148.88 million, had a site area of 16,535 square feet and an accommodation value of more than $18,000 per square foot.

"The site is similar in size to the PCCW property, but with a much older building that had to be torn down. I am confident that the house at 24 Middle Gap Road can be sold for a similar price, with a 13-year-old building that fully utilises the plot ratio."

He said the house, which faces the South China Sea, was built by developer Sun Hung Kai Properties to a design by architects' firm Palmer & Turner in 1991.

Mr Fong said most potential buyers had not indicated they planned to redevelop the site, which comes with an oval swimming pool and spacious garden.

Ricky Poon, a director with Collier International, estimated the price for the top-end luxury residential property at 20 per cent less than the price in 1999.

"A site with a well-built house can sell at a price up to 25 per cent more than a site with an old house that has to be redeveloped," Mr Poon said.

He estimated building costs for the house at about $1,500 to $ 1,800 per square foot.

The most recent point of reference, Mr Poon said, would be Swire Properties' four-house development at 3 Coombe Road, which included four detached houses in a single lot.

"The four detached houses share the same lot number. The view and the location are very similar to that at 24 Middle Gap Road," he said

The residential development, with houses ranging in size from 4,374 sq ft to 4,436 sq ft, sold at an average price of $15,000 to $16,000 per square foot in the middle of last year, Mr Poon said.

"The supply of detached houses is decreasing. Many sites on The Peak were bought by developers who created smaller town houses," he said.

The government's cautious application list of land sales had cleared market doubts about the supply of luxury sites, he added.

The application list had had only a minimal effect on luxury residential homes because the supply was limited, Mr Poon said. He added that it would only speed up the decision-making process for wealthy buyers.

Anthony Lau, an executive director with Knight Frank's valuation department, said a single transaction was not likely to have a marked effect on the fragmented luxury detached house market. - 2004 January 14  South China Morning Post  


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