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〈Asian Post, June 24, 2017〉A 301 sq ft retail shop in Kwun Tong was sold for HK$100,000 per square foot, nearly double the price of retail spaces in Hong Kong's busiest shopping district. A wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Telecom Digital Holdings, which sells mobile phones, paid HK$30 million for the shop at Kwun Tong Plaza, according to a release yesterday.

The price is 130 per cent higher than what the owner paid in early 2011 and well above the recent transaction values of shopping arcades in Causeway Bay, according to Celeste Liu Ching-ping, manager at Sheraton Valuers, the agent for the deal.

Prime retail locations in Causeway Bay are the most expensive in Asia in terms of rental costs and among the costliest by sales prices.

Arcade shops in Causeway Bay tend to vary in prices although a number of recent transactions were completed at HK$50,000 per square foot, said Eunice Tang, director of capital markets at property consultants JLL.

The Kwun Tong Plaza shop is subdivided to support two retailers, which are currently a specialty desserts and drinks vendor and a currency exchange shop. The two subdivided shops generate a combined monthly rental income of more than HK$90,000.

"The shop is located at the corner and next to the escalator. It draws a lot of passenger traffic," Tang said, adding that the shopping arcade was often packed with customers, especially during weekends.

Built in 1986, the Kwun Tong Plaza is a 15-floor commercial building where locals go to satisfy their cravings for technologies. It has five levels with mixed tenant use comprising computer-, gaming- and mobile-phone-related shops, along with fashion boutiques and restaurants.

〈Asian Post, June 23, 2017〉China City Construction (International) has been forced to sell the waterfront residential site in Ma On Shan that it won in a 2014 government tender after facing financial difficulties to start construction amid tightened capital controls in the mainland.

The sale, considered a rare case of reselling government land, was confirmed yesterday by Wang On Properties, which in a statement said it had agreed to take over the site.

When asked if it needed to pay a premium for the government plot, Wang On Properties chief executive Gary Wong said: "Home prices have been breaking one record after another, and land [prices] as well. It is hard to get the deal done by offering the same price [in 2014]."

In December 2014, the Lands Department awarded the residential site at Yiu Sha Road, Whitehead, to Loyal Pioneer for HK$2.138 billion.

The company is 90 per cent-owned by mainland-based China City Construction (International) and 10 per cent held by construction firm Chun Wo Development, now renamed as Asia Allied Infrastructure Holdings. The pair had beaten 20 competitors to secure the site, which can yield a total gross floor area of 387,500 square feet. Its per square foot price of HK$5,517 at that time a record high for a residential site in Ma On Shan.

〈Global Times, June 22, 2017〉Emperor International Holdings (0163) will launch in the third quarter this year a residential project in Tuen Mun which will provide 14 detached and semi- detached houses.

It will also undertake an urban redevelopment project in Sham Shui Po which will provide over 130 flats.

It said construction of a 29-story hotel on Queens Road East in Wan Chai was completed in April this year and it will offer 300 rooms when it opens for business in the first quarter next year.

Meanwhile, construction of a serviced apartment project on Yik Yam Street in Happy Valley will be completed next year. The 21-story project will provide 68 service apartments. Emperor International currently runs two hotels and a serviced apartment in Hong Kong, as well as two hotels in Macau.

The group also said that it has continued to acquire investment properties with high appreciation potential so as to broaden its property portfolio.

Among its acquisitions were Ampersand Building on Oxford Street in London, retail shops at Fairview Height in Mid-Levels and commercial and car park premises at Sui Wo Court in Sha Tin.

Emperor International executive director Donald Cheung Ping-keung said construction of the group's flagship project in Beijing, Emperor Group Centre, has been completed. "Backed by the rapid expansion of domestic financial services and professional services sectors, leasing demand for Grade-A office spaces in the central business district remains strong," he said. The group expects its Beijing project to be received well by potential tenants who want to set up a presence in a prominent location in China's capital city.

Emperor International said yesterday that net profit for the first quarter this year amounted to HK$3.48 billion although revenue dropped by 27 percent to HK$4.07 billion. The board has recommended a final dividend of 58 HK cents per share.

Separately, V Group launched its Castle One service apartment project in Mid-Levels. The second batch of units that was launched comprised 591-square-foot two-bedroom apartments with terraces and a 1,050-sq-ft penthouse three-bedroom duplex.

〈The Standard, June 21, 2017〉Despite political and economic fluctuations worldwide, high-end residential properties continue to be viewed as attractive and lucrative investments, a report published by Christie's International Real Estate has found.

Based on prices per square foot, Hong Kong is the world's most expensive city for luxury homes, followed by London and New York.

The average price on a square foot basis in those three leading cities were US$4,895 (HK$38,204), US$2,710 and US$1,942 respectively.

Christie's report shows the Hong Kong record US$270 million paid by a mainland tycoon for a 9,212-square- foot property at 15 Gough Hill Road on The Peak last year also set the all-time highest per sq ft price for Asia at US$29,385.

Christie's International Real Estate executive director Zackary Wright said the SAR overtook London as the world's top luxury market in 2016, as evidenced by recent record sales and price hikes - in spite of continued market cooling measures.

"Premium real estate in the city continues to attract significant capital flow from the mainland Chinese buyers,'' Wright said, with the report noting that mainlanders are seeking to hedge against yuan depreciation in the top echelons. Wright said Hong Kong remains an attractive place for investment from both mainland and foreign buyers, as the increasing global lifestyle encourages the wealthy to own multiple homes around the world.

Hong Kong posted four residential transactions topping US$100 million last year.

Apart from the record US$270 million property, the others were two residences in the new Mount Nicholson project on The Peak, and one home at a new development in the Stanley area.

Meanwhile, despite London falling to second place in the international luxury property market, the British capital remains a premier city for prime real estate, according to Christie's International Real Estate managing director David Branch.

〈Business Post, June 21, 2017〉Hong Kong-listed Shenzhen Investment, in partnership with its sister company Road King Infrastructure, has won a residential site in Tuen Mun for a higher than expected HK$3.17 billion bid.

The Lands Department awarded the residential site at Area 56 Kwun Chui Road, close to Harrow International School, to Shum King yesterday.

Derek Zen, co-chairman of Road King Infrastructure said the site would be jointly developed with Shenzhen Investment, which holds a 27.38 per cent stake in Road King - a home builder and toll road operator focused on the mainland.

"This is Shenzhen Investment's first investment in the Hong Kong property market," he said. Shenzhen Investment, which is the largest listed real estate company under the Shenzhen State Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, owns a land reserve that encompasses eight million square metres of planned gross floor area in the mainland.

The price equates to HK$6,700 per square foot, which is 12 per cent to 49 per cent higher than the market expectation of HK$4,500 per square foot and HK$6,000 per square foot or HK$2.18 billion to HK$2.8 billion. The site is also 67 per cent above another plot nearby sold to Henderson Land Development for HK$3.63 billion, or HK$4,621 per square foot in 2015. The site, designated for residential, will yield a total gross floor area of 472,949 sq ft.