Even a Mark Six winner cannot afford to live at the Peak

March 17, 2021 10:24
Photo: Reuters

Crisis? What crisis?

Right, unemployment rate surged past seven per cent to a 17-year high, but it has not dampened the mood for the super-rich to splash big money on properties they like.

Consider the case for an overseas buyer who forked out HK$551.4 million to buy a 6,266 square feet house at 77/79 Peak Road from Wheelock Properties last month.

The transaction priced the home at near HK$88,000 per square foot. But more astonishing was the 30 per cent stamp duty tax of HK$165 million.

Think of it, it was about the price of 25 studio units of Grand Victoria, Wheelock’s recent offering in Cheung Sha Wan.

Despite the pandemic, luxury home market kicked off the year with a flying start. In the last 30 days, there were reportedly over 14 transactions, each for at least a nine-digit figure, adding up to a total of HK$5 billion.

The wealth effect from stock markets, marked by the surge in new economy stocks listed on the local bourse, such as Tencent Holdings and Meituan Dianping, should not be under-estimated.

As a premier luxury home developer, Wheelock recorded its best-ever first quarter with a sales in excess of HK$12.5 billion.

Local mass home market, however, has been underperforming due not only to the unusually high unemployment rate but also the cruel fact that more people sold their homes and switched to overseas home hunt.

But Hong Kong is always a place known for income disparity. Yes, we have a rising number of street sleepers, but we also recorded some eye-popping transactions that many could only dream of.

I mean, even the lucky winners of the HK$110 million Mark Six Jackpot this Friday may not afford a home at the Peak. That’s Hong Kong!

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EJ Insight writer