When I was a kid, if you saw “Made in Hong Kong” stamped on the underside of anything, that pretty much assured it was cheap and badly made. You certainly could not apply that to the Conduit Road 39 building in Hong Kong, where a 6,158 square foot duplex apartment has just sold for US$56.5 million. That’s a lot of square feet, but that’s also a lot of money – and the developer Henderson Land thinks it’s a record not just for the city but for anywhere in the world.
The apartment was bought by a company whose money comes from mainland China, according to the developer, but more than that they either don’t know or won’t say.
Despite those fabled “green shoots” of economic recovery having been spotted by some in Hong Kong this autumn, stumping up over $56 million on a pad in the city is speculation in the extreme, especially as it occurred just hours after the city’s chief executive announced he thought a real estate bubble may be forming.
For this particular apartment, if the bubble does burst, that would equate to $11,350 exploding out from every square foot of usable space, although that measurement does include common areas like elevators and lobbies. The issue of how developers assess floor space is a little murky, with various locales having different rules.
The apartment is located towards the top of the skyscraper with views over Victoria Harbor. It’s a two-story unit with five bedrooms and a garden. It has its own ballroom, outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, and outdoor yoga area – possibly used to calm oneself when the purchase price occasionally comes to mind. If you’re still gasping at the price, consider the fact that a businessman last month bought a 816 square feet one-bedroom apartment across the harbor in Kowloon for $24.5 million. That’s less than a seventh of the size for not much less than half the price. Poor guy. One bedroom. He can’t even have any friends over to stay.
With more than a thousand old industrial buildings left over from the “Made in Hong Kong” manufacturing days, there is a lot of scope for further development in the city, making the prospect that prices could come down a real possibility. For now, these still lie empty due to rules that restrict their purpose to manufacturing, although plans are afoot to allow their redevelopment. City officials are denying that this will be for residential use.
For the moment, one-bedroom guy can still believe he snapped up a prime plot.
Check out their website here – www.39conduitroad.com.hk