Almost everyone in Hong Kong has to work hard to realize their dream home, and that dream is getting more and more expensive through the years.
Consider John Slosar, the outgoing Swire Pacific chairman, who decided to buy a house on The Peak for HK$120 million.
He had already paid a HK$12 million deposit for the house, one of the seven units at Eredine, a posh residential project developed by his own company at 38 Mount Kellett Road in that snooty enclave of the rich and powerful.
The B unit on the first floor has a saleable area of about 2,800 square feet, with private outdoor space of approximately 3,300 square feet and a car park, according to reports.
The purchase, which will net Swire Properties HK$33.5 million, is subject to the condition that other owners at Eredine have the pre-emptive right to buy the unit at the same HK$120 million price.
Whatever the case, Slosar would have to pay out most of the earnings he got from Swire since taking over as chairman in 2014 (and as Cathay Pacific chief executive from March 2011 to March 2014) for the house.
Last year the American-born executive, who has been with the Swire group since 1980, made HK$22.1 million, down from HK$35.5 million in 2016.
Slosar is not the only taipan to buy a luxury home for retirement.
Nine years ago, Swire Properties ex-CEO Keith Kerr bought a house on Island Road in Deep Water Bay during the almost rock bottom of the property market cycle, but it still cost him HK$117.5 million.
Kerr has since become a property developer himself. Earlier this year, he launched an upscale apartment project at 28 Aberdeen Street in Central.
Swire is not particularly generous when it comes to remunerating its top executives. Slosar’s seven-year pay at Swire is still less than the HK$200 million cheque CK Hutchison co-managing director Canning Fok Kin-ning regularly receives from his boss, Li Ka-shing.
Fok made over HK$3.2 billion in his over 32 years with Li’s Cheung Kong group, and that is why he can afford to buy more homes from his boss.
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