Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Jonathan Chancellor

26 August 2012

Opus Hong Kong record apartment sale with Frank Gehry design

Opus Hong Kong record apartment sale with Frank Gehry design

A luxury apartment in Hong Kong has reputedly sold for a record HK$470 million ($58.2 million), the priciest condominium in the Chinese city and possibly the second most expensive in the world after London's One Hyde Park.

An unidentified buyer paid the HK$81,597 ($10,112) per-square-metre price for the 576-square-metre unit at Opus Hong Kong in the upmarket Peak residential area, the Hong Kong Economic Journal and Sing Tao Daily reported over the weekend.

It occupies the entire eighth floor of the 12-storey building designed with helical structure spirals by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry.

Its developer Swire Properties declined to confirm the deal.  Situated amid in leafy surrounds on Stubbs Road, the site has been owned by Swire since 1940s, for a long time it was home to its taipans.

“We have no information to share at this point,” Swire spokeswoman May Lam-Kobayashi told Agence France-Presse.

She added, however, that tenants recently leased another unit at the property for HK$850,000 ($105,331) a month.

Earlier this year on its April completion, Bloomberg reported the structure cost HK$27,000 per square foot $36,013 per square metre) to construct, including land premium.

A standard high-rise apartment in the city can cost as little as $HK4,000 per square foot $5,328 per square metre) to build, according to Swire Properties chief executive officer Martin Cubbon.

“Of course, it’s going to be enormously expensive by any standards,” says Cubbon. “In rental values and capital values, it’s going to command the highest numbers that Hong Kong has ever seen.”

The local media reported the sale beat the city's previous record price of HK$360 million ($44.6 million) paid last year.

While the property market in Hong Kong, famous for its super-rich tycoons, had slowed this year, its surged over the past few years has been credited to record low interest rates and wealthy buyers from mainland China.

The 83-year-old Los Angeles-based architect is known for his sculptural elements including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.