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Property News Weekly Digest
〈Business Post, Feb 20, 2021〉MAPLETREE Investments on Friday said it has acquired an approximately 4,000 square metre (sq m) industrial site in New Territories, Hong Kong for HK$813 million (S$139 million), and plans to develop a data centre on the land.

The data centre, estimated to be completed by 2023 with a maximum gross floor area of 20,140 sq m, will mark the real estate company's foray into data centres in Hong Kong.

Mapletree said the proposed development, located in Fanling, has potential to deliver up to 50 megavolt amperes of building power, being connected to CLP Group's 132 kilovolt supply network.

The statement said the development can be leased to an end-user or data-centre operator upon completion.

"We are excited about winning this development land parcel," said Wong Mun Hoong, Mapletree's regional chief executive officer for Australia and North Asia.

〈The Standard, Feb 19, 2021〉Hang Lung Properties and the US government are a step closer to settling a delayed deal over a property at No 37 Shouson Hill Road after Beijing gave the green light to the purchase.

A memorandum of agreement for the sale and purchase was signed by US consul general Hanscom Smith and Hang Lung chief executive Weber Lo Wai-pak, a Land Registry document showed.

Hang Lung said it is delighted to see the seller fulfill its diplomatic duty and receive approval from the mainland government.

The developer added it is dealing with Washington to complete the transaction and will make an announcement at a suitable time. The US consulate said it cannot comment on details of the deal.

Hang Lung's HK$2.56 billion acquisition of the US government's six-block residential property - measuring 94,796 square feet - in the Southern district had been caught in the crossfire of the Sino-US rift, with the Land Registry failing to recognize the deal late last year.

Washington has held the property since 1948.

Tsui Ka-kin, associate professor of economics at Clemson University, said the property is "not important" to the United States and China as it is located in Hong Kong and "it is only a one-time event."

〈The Standard, Feb 18, 2021〉Wheelock Properties released 68 units in the first price list of Grande Monaco in Kai Tak, at an average price of HK$23,795 per sq ft after discounts, about 5 percent higher than the first price list of the phase 1 of Monaco development.

The units measure between 351 sq ft and 961 sq ft. The cheapest unit, measuring 351 sq ft, is offered at HK$7.66 million.

In Tuen Mun, Hong Kong Ferry (0050) and Empire Group will offer 128 units of Skypoint Royale for sale tomorrow.

The developers had received 4,227 checks as of yesterday, an over-subscription of 32 times.

Hong Kong Ferry and Empire Group released 56 units in the sixth price list of Skypoint Royale at the average price of HK$15,886 per sq ft after discounts, up 5.7 percent from the first price list.

Sino Land (0083) plans to offer five new projects for sale this year, providing nearly 4,680 units. Sino Land expects to launch One Soho in Mong Kok next month which will provide 322 homes.

Nan Fung Group, meanwhile, has raked in HK$5.6 billion after selling 515 units this year.

〈Asian Post, Feb 17, 2021〉Hong Kong tycoon Victor Li Tzar-kuoi's CK Asset Holdings won its first tender for land at the city's former Kai Tak airport yesterday.

The site, Area 4E Site 2, was also the last residential plot up for grabs on the runway.

CK Asset won the plot for HK$10.28 billion, or HK$15,861 per square foot, the Lands Department said.

The price, at the upper end of expectations, reflected developers' confidence in Kai Tak's ?housing market, surveyors said.

"The winning bid is a little higher than [what we] expected, and the price is very satisfactory. It shows major developers are ?confident in the outlook for Kai Tak's residential market," said Thomas Lam, executive director at Knight Frank.

The sale comes despite Hong Kong's worst recession on record and rising unemployment. Market activity has, however, increased recently as the corona-virus outbreak is brought under control. For instance, Whee-lock Properties sold more than 300 flats at its Monaco project in Kai Tak in half a month, underlining demand for homes in the area.

〈Asian Post, Feb 16, 2021〉Hong Kong developer CK Asset Holdings has sold a luxury residential unit in the exclusive Mid-Levels district for a record-breaking HK$460 million (US$59 million), or HK$136,000 per square foot, making it the most expensive property in Asia.

The unit on the 23rd floor of the 21 Borrett Road project was sold to an unidentified buyer on Monday in the development’s first sale, according to a government database on first-hand property transactions.

The 3,378-square-foot unit has five bedrooms, plus a 2,131-square-foot private rooftop, a swimming pool and three car parking spaces.

The price broke the previous record made by a 12th floor unit on Mount Nicholson on the Peak to become Asia’s most expensive flat. That unit was sold for HK$132,100 per square foot in 2017.

The site on 21 Borrett Road, a former civil servant quarters, was described by CK Asset chair Victor Li as "first-rate" when the conglomerate acquired it for HK$11.65 billion in 2011. The price translated into HK$26,763 per square foot, the second highest in Hong Kong’s history at the time and about one-fifth of the selling price of the latest sale.

The project, developed in two phases, will provide a total of 181 units in five blocks.

Market observers said the record-breaking price did not necessarily mean a booming property market in the coming year.