The luxury real estate market in Hong Kong is exhibiting signs of recovery following weeks of stagnation as a result of another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the first quarter of 2022, Hong Kong was fighting its fifth wave of the pandemic. As restrictions ease, real estate agents are optimistic that the high-end market is poised to take off, particularly now that buyers can view properties in person.
Letizia Casalino, the director of real estate at Hong Kong-based OKAY.com, is heartened by the market’s recent turnaround. “The luxury segment has proven to be resilient despite the fifth wave of COVID that hit Hong Kong at the beginning of Q1 2022.”
Sales statistics for the first quarter support her stance. Notable transactions within the luxury segment for the quarter included a large 4,230-square-foot apartment in a multi-story tower with two “car parks” for upwards of HKD 580 million or more than US $74 million. A 2,864-square-foot house in the coveted New Territories area sold for about HKD 187 million or US $23.8 million.
“Although we’ve seen a sharp correction in the local stock market, people are willing to wait for the right opportunity, and sellers at this level remain patient,” Casalino says. “Since the rules were relaxed, we’ve been even busier, which is great news.”
Looking ahead, much depends on how the pandemic shifts. “We believe that it should remain quiet but with good interest, which should raise the number of transactions in Q2,” Casalino says.
Hong Kong remains a pricey international market. Current listing and sales prices, compared to six months ago, are showing few adjustments in the asking prices. Generally, the high-end/luxury market has remained stable, Casalino adds. “There haven’t been many distressed assets for sale, especially in that higher segment.”
A look at several current listings indicates that prices in Hong Kong’s most desirable areas — including Clearwater Bay, Mid-Levels West and Pokfulam — are carrying seven- and eight-digit price tags.
A four-bedroom villa in a private development in Clearwater Bay has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and 2,127 square feet with an asking price of HKD 79.3 million or about US $10.12 million. The villa has both green space and ocean views. The two-story living and dining areas have walls of glass.
A 1,966-square-foot townhouse in Pokfulam is set in a valley between The Peak and Mount Kellett near Telegraph Bay. The low-rise community of eight townhouses has a swimming pool and easy access to Central, the business and retail district. The asking price is HKD 56 million or about US $7.15 million.
In the affluent Mid-Levels West area, a spacious three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment with convenient access to Central is on the market for HKD 49 million or slightly more than US $6.25 million.
Today’s buyers largely remain Hong Kong residents, while sellers range from locals to Mainland Chinese. Since COVID put travel and much else on hold, Casalino says, it is not surprising owners from Mainland China are selling at premium prices.
“For the local market, they do have time to search for the right opportunity to either relocate from [one] area to another or grow their residential asset,” Casalino says.
The forecast for Hong Kong’s real estate market for the rest of 2022 is optimistic. Still, much rides on if and when the borders open or remain closed.
OKAY.com is an exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.