Hongkongers are famous for living humbly. Despite the city having the most millionaires per capita, residents with HK$1 million in savings can afford only a parking space.
It is common for multimillionaires to live in public housing and billionaires to do without a swimming pool.
What about Li Ka-shing, one of the 20 richest people on the planet?
Well, you can get a taste of his lifestyle if you can afford HK$600,000 a month in rent.
The house at 22A Shouson Hill Road, where he lived for six years, is available for lease, and we presume many mainland “tuhao”, or nouveau riche, are queuing up to see what it is all about.
Li and his son Victor and his family lived in three houses at 22A-C Shouson Hill Road (which they renamed 1-3 Shouson Hill Road) when their long-time residence at 79 Deep Water Bay Road was being rebuilt from 2007 to 2013.
Those six years were an important period for Li. His sprawling conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa achieved a turnaround in its biggest investment in a 3G mobile-phone network and has been cashing out of its pricey container and retail businesses.
Earlier this year, Canning Fok Kin-ning, Li’s lieutenant, said Hutchison was about to enjoy seven fat years.
Each of the three houses has a gross floor area of between 6,000 square feet and 7,000 square feet. An estimated monthly rent of HK$600,000 would be equivalent to about HK$100 per square feet.
That seems to be a bargain at first glance, given that some subdivided flats rent for HK$50 per square foot.
But the estimated rent for the Shouson Hill house, based on the market price for the neighborhood, does not include the substantial management fee and government rates — not to mention the most important factor: the Li Ka-shing premium.
Property agents told Ming Pao Daily due diligence would be done on a prospective tenant, with particular attention to the person’s net worth, and he or she would at least have to be an executive of a listed company to be eligible.
Cheung Kong (Holdings) opened the house to the public over the weekend.
Li’s flagship firm acquired the Shouson Hill property, which then had one house on it, from well-known Hong Kong surgeon and former Exco member Dr. Leong Che-hung and his family for HK$83 million in 2002.
The property is now estimated to be worth about HK$1.8 billion, assuming the market price per square foot of about HK$100,000.
Stay tuned for who’ll be the lucky tenant — he could be the next Jack Ma or Victor Li.
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