中國政府罕有介入香港物業買賣，原本由恒隆地產 (00101) 以25.6億購入的美國領事館宿舍屋地，突然因涉及外交問題，未能如期完成收購。中國外交部解釋，駐港美領館任何買賣均要獲中方同意。
美國駐港澳總領事館在今年5月招標出售，位於壽臣山壽山村道37號的宿舍屋地，並在9月公布由恒隆地產以25.6億元奪得，樓面地價每呎5.4萬元，發展商已經支付10%的訂金，原定在昨日 (12月30日) 完成交易。
由佳寧娜 (00126) 等收購的深水埗海壇街223至225A號舊樓，昨日進行強拍，成功以底價2.931億元投得項目，以可建樓面約4.26萬平方呎，每呎樓面地價約6,887元。
山頂文輝道2、4、6、8號地皮早前由九倉 (0004) 以120億元、每方呎樓面地價46,272元投得後，地政總署剛公布，推出文輝道9及11號地皮，緊接於2021年1月8日 (下周五) 起招標，並於2月5日截標。項目可建144969方呎，料可提供135個單位。綜合業界人士意見，項目估值約67.8至75.4億元，每方呎樓面地價約4.68萬至5.2萬元。
Government rents five floors of One Hennessy in Wan Chai
The Hong Kong government had rented five floors with a total floor area of about 60,000 square feet in Chinachem Group's Grade A commercial building One Hennessy, the Sing Tao Daily, The Standard's sister newspaper, reported.
Donald Choi Wun-hing, executive director and chief executive at Chinachem Group, confirmed the lease but would not disclose the rental price. He said it was at market rates.
This comes two years after the Chinese co-working space operator Kr Space forfeited its deposit for leasing seven floors in May 2018.
The complex is across from the police headquarters.
The police would not comment on whether the space is for its use.
The developer said that one floor remains for rent after the leasing deal.
For more information of Office for Lease in One Hennessy please visit: Office for Lease in One Hennessy
For more information of Grade A Office for Lease in Wan Chai please visit: Grade A Office for Lease in Wan Chai
Luxury homes set for Kwu Tung
Crystal Properties Development has applied to build more than 500 units on a site in Kwu Tung, where the government will put up another site for sale in the coming three months.
The site covers a total area of 165,861 square feet.
The southern part of the plot, which has a gross floor area of approximately 218,195 sq ft, will accommodate 478 units.
The northern part, which has a gross floor area of 102,442 sq ft, can provide 49 houses.
The government will also offer for tender a commercial site in Causeway Bay with a gross floor area of 1.07 million square feet, as well as three residential plots, to accommodate 2,240 units in total during the first quarter of next year.
The three residential sites are Kai Tak area 4E site 2, one in Fan Ling's Kwu Tung in New Territories and one comprising 9 and 11 Mansfield Road on The Peak.
A surveyor values the Kwu Tung North site, which covers a total area of 200,210 sq ft with a gross floor area of 1.2 million sq ft, at HK$6 billion, or HK$5,000 per buildable sq ft.
Kai Tak area 4E site 2, which sits on the runway of the former airport, measures approximately 117,900 square feet.
With a plot ratio of 5.5, the site has a total floor area of approximately 648,450 sq ft.
The site, which borders Metro Park and Kai Tak cruise terminal, has been valued by a surveyor at HK$9.73 billion, or HK$15,000 per buildable sq ft.
The site at 9 and 11 Mansfield Road on The Peak measures 54,541 sq ft, with a gross floor area of 145,652 sq ft.
The Surveyor has valued the site at HK$6.7 billion, or HK$46,000 per buildable sq ft.
Wharf won the tender for the plot occupying 2, 4, 6 and 8 Mansfield Road for HK$12 billion, or HK$46,272 per buildable square foot, last week, with the per square foot price hitting a new high for a residential site in Hong Kong and beating market expectations.
Meanwhile, Choice Investment and Carrianna Group (0126) acquired two old buildings at 223, 223A, 225 & 225A Hai Tan Street for HK$293.1 million via auction in Sham Shui Po.
In the secondary market, a seller will suffer a capital loss of about HK$1.29 million after selling a unit at Conduit 18 in the Mid-Levels for HK$44 million.
Hang Lung’s HK$2.6 billion purchase of US government’s 37 Shouson Hill Road villas runs into diplomatic snag in US-China spat
Any US consulate plan to rent, purchase, sell its property in Hong Kong requires written consent from the Chinese government, according to a stock exchange filing by the buyer Hang Lung Properties
The Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesman confirmed that US embassies in China must apply to the Chinese government to buy or sell real estate
One of Hong Kong’s biggest real estate transactions of 2020 has been caught in the crossfire of souring US-China diplomatic relations, as the United States consulate failed to get its sale of luxury villas on The Peak recognised by the city’s Land Registry.
The HK$2.6 billion (US$330 million) sale on September 10 of six multi-storey villas at 37 Shouson Hill Road could not be registered by Hong Kong’s Land Registry because of “diplomatic obligations” imposed by the Chinese government on the US consulate, buyer Hang Lung Properties said in an exchange filing on Wednesday. Hang Lung bought it for a 20 per cent discount to the valuation.
The developer said it was informed by the Land Registry on December 21 that the US consulate is not a commercial entity, and the Shouson Hill villas are not an ordinary real estate property. The transaction involved foreign affairs between China and the US and should not be regarded as an ordinary commercial activity, it added.
The US government must submit a written application to the Chinese government via the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the city with at least 60 days’ notice, Hang Lung said, citing an advisory from the Chinese government to the local authority.
“There is a possibility that the transaction will be dropped,” surveyor said. “The letter made it rather clear that the deal is not just a property transaction, but carries a political meaning. Whether it can move forward only depends on the relationship between US and China. If the Chinese government gives its approval, it would represent a gesture of goodwill.”
The snag was “exceptional” and was not made known to, or anticipated by, by either Hang Lung or the tenderer of the property at the time of the sale, Hang Lung said. Still, Hang Lung said that it is “willing and able to proceed” with the deal after “careful consideration,” if the US can comply with the diplomatic obligations.
The Chinese government weighed in on Wednesday afternoon. “US embassies must apply to buy, sell real estate,” said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin during a regular press briefing in Beijing.
Hang Lung’s investors appear to have been lukewarm about the developer’s purchase. Shares of the company have fallen 2.4 per cent since Hang Lung won the tender on September 9, underperforming the 10.3 per cent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. The stock rose by 2.1 per cent to HK$20.15 after today’s statement, the highest in more than a month, and reversing its earlier decline.
Such a setback is “unprecedented, and much should have been done prior to the sale,” a lawyer said. The buyer should consider seriously whether to buy, or request to revise the tender terms to extend the completion date, with the right to termination if written consent is not obtained, the lawyer said.
The US consulate said it complied with the relevant obligations and requirements, while arguing that “diplomatic obligations applicable to the sale of the property are matters between sovereignties and would not affect title of the property,” Hang Lung said, citing a letter yesterday by the US representative office.
The developer and the tenderer are “evaluating and taking legal advice” on appropriate actions, “including exploring the feasibility of extending the time” for completing the deal, Hang Lung said.
“Additional time is needed for the buyer and seller to complete the administrative processes required for closing on the property,” said a spokesperson at the US consulate’s office in Hong Kong, declining to say whether a written application had been sent to the Chinese government for the sale.
Hang Lung’s chairman, the billionaire Ronnie Chan Chi-chung, is a frequent interlocutor on China-related affairs, and does not shy from having verbal jousts with journalists on political issues including Hong Kong’s year-long anti-government protests and the national security law enacted by the Chinese legislature for Hong Kong.
Born in 1949, Chan is also chairman of the board of trustees of the Asia Society in Hong Kong, a non-profit organisation founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III, with the mission of educating the world about Asia.
Hang Lung has been investing in China since the 1990s, starting with its landmark Plaza 66 and Grand Gateway 66 projects in Shanghai. It has been expanding its presence in secondary cities such as Shenyang, Jinan, Wuxi, Tianjin, Dalian, Kunming, Wuhan and Hangzhou with projects under the “66” brand. The company achieved HK$4.54 billion revenue from property leasing in China, accounting for 53 per cent of the company’s 2019 total revenue.
The US government bought the land at 37 Shouson Hill Road in June 1948 for an unknown price when Hong Kong was still a British colony, according to public records at the Land Registry. Construction on the site was completed in 1983.
Hang Lung, which mainly develops shopping centres and offices, said it will redevelop the Shouson Hill Road site into multiple luxury detached houses by 2024, with plans to invest HK$4 billion in the project.
Details of the tender came to light on May 30 hours after US President Donald Trump announced that he would revoke Hong Kong’s special customs status, in response to the Chinese legislature’s announcement introducing the national security law for the city.
“It’s more about the Chinese government trying to impose hurdles for the US in selling the property,” a scholar said, adding that the latest snag is a watered down version of freezing US assets in Hong Kong. “Perhaps [the Chinese government] sees it as a test of the new [Biden] administration,” using it as a bargaining chip, the scholar said.
The asset sale has to “wait until Biden becomes president and [the US and China]] start their negotiation,” the scholar said, and the saga will last until “their relationship becomes better. The US can still use the asset, but they are not allowed to sell it,” the scholar added.
(South China Morning Post)