The US government has placed a cluster of residential properties in Hong Kong, worth an estimated $645 million, up for sale to the public. The sale of the properties comes as the Chinese city becomes embroiled in the ongoing rivalry between China and the US.
The US initially purchased the parcel of land back in 1948 from the UK for an undisclosed amount, when the city was still a British colony. The land was eventually developed, with most of the construction completed in 1983. Now, the parcel of land contains six multi-story mansions, built along the city's high-end 37 Shounen Hill Road, just a stone's throw away from the iconic Ocean Park resort.
According to a tender document, the six mansions have as many as 10 bedrooms each with a total area of 4,400 square meters. The posh houses all feature amazing views of the Deep Water Bay and are situated in a gated community accessible through a private driveway. Two of the largest houses share a swimming pool.
Based on the purchase price of an adjacent parcel of land with more or less the same land area, the entire property is estimated to be worth between HK$3.1 billion and HK$5 billion. Property firm Vicorn Consulting and Appraisals noted that it will be challenging to sell the properties given the current state of the sector in Hong Kong. It is likely that the US government will receive bids at the lower end of the market price range.
Savills Valuation and Professional Services Limited currently value the properties at around HK$3.2 billion. The property firm stated that the current political and economic turmoil has reduced the value of the properties by around 10 to 20 percent. It also noted that most of the buyers of luxury properties in Hong Kong are from mainland China. Given the strained relations between China and the US, some buyers may not want to purchase a property owned by the US government during this time.
A statement released by the US Consulate General in Hong Kong mentioned that the sale of the properties is part of the ongoing reinvestment program of the State Department's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. The proceeds from the property sale will apparently be used to invest in the US government's other assets in Hong Kong, including improvements to the US Consulate General's office building.
The US government has reported assigned Los-Angeles based realtor CBRE Group as its official sales agent for the property. The entire project is being sold on an "as-is" basis. Buyers are allowed to tear down the mansions if they want to build their own buildings on the property.