Over the past year, one of the more confounding developments has been the relentless surge higher in the Chinese currency, whose unpegged version has soared to multi-decade highs against the USD, even as the economy has been mired in a downward secular shift with various indicators showing an ongoing decline. The reason for this "hot money" phenomenon is the easy money policy adopted by all the world's central banks (except for the PBOC of course, which is forced to stick with reverse repo-based ultra short-term money injections), coupled with the anti-foreign capital stance adopted by Switzerland, making China, Hong Kong and Singapore as the go to targets for "excess global cash." And as long as the hot money continues to flow and keep the inflation threat "on the sidelines", all attempts to cool its notwithstanding, the PBOC will be unable to ease, and allow US tech companies' stock prices to finally rise, as their profitability is and has always been a reflection of Chinese end-market demand. By the looks of things, the PBOC will be stuck in a holding pattern for a long time, as just confirmed by the sale of a luxury Hong-Kong 6,683 sq. foot apartment in the Gehry-designed Opus Hong Kong in Mid-Levels East, at a price of HK$455 million, which translates to HK$68,000 per square foot, or just under $8,800: a new all time record for Asia. So much for cooling the hot money.
From South China Morning Post:
A buyer has paid HK$68,083 per square foot for a luxury flat at Opus Hong Kong, the new Frank Gehry-designed residential building in Mid-Levels East, a record for an apartment in Hong Kong and Asia in terms of price per square foot.
Data from the Lands Registry show the flat, on the 9th floor of the building at 53 Stubbs Road, was sold for HK$455 million on October 17, nine days before the government announced measures to curb property speculation. There is no information on the buyer.
The 6,683 sq ft flat offers a view of the city and Victoria Harbour.
The price beat the previous record, set by a duplex flat at 39 Conduit Road in Mid-Levels West, which sold for HK$360.7 million, or HK$63,999 per sq ft in April last year.
Ricky Poon, executive director of Colliers International's residential sales department, believes the buyer was willing to pay a record-breaking price because there is a lack of flats bigger than 6,000 sq ft and it is the latest luxury development in the city.
The price is almost 6 per cent higher than that paid for a flat on the 8th floor at Opus Hong Kong, which sold for HK$430 million or HK$63,657 per sq ft in August.
The 12-storey Opus Hong Kong, developed by Swire Properties, provides 10 flats and two double-level garden apartments with private swimming pools. The flats are 6,000 to 6,900 sq ft. Gehry's previous designs include the Guggenheim Museum in Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Despite the luxury residential market taking a hit from the government's new measures since the record-breaking deal was signed, Poon said he did not expect the buyer to cancel. "I don't think Swire would cut their asking prices for the remaining flats. They would rather keep the flats for leasing. And luxury residential prices have dropped a few per cent only and the buyer did not need to pay the new buyer's stamp duty and new rate of special stamp duty," he said.
This is what an insane amount of money buys any self-respecting Russian oligarch. From the Opus website: