Deep Water Bay Road. Photo: Google Maps, iStock
Deep Water Bay Road. Photo: Google Maps, iStock

How much does it cost just to live near tycoon Li Ka-shing?

Over the weekend, it was reported that Goldin Financial Holdings chairman Pan Sutong bought a house at 75 Deep Water Bay Road for HK$2.5 billion (US$320 million), or around HK$156,000 per square foot.

The 54-year-old businessman bought the property from Continental Holdings chairman Charles Chan, who paid HK$65 million for it 25 years ago.

Agents said the property – which is near to the house at 79 Deep Water Bay Water Road where Hong Kong’s richest man and his elder son, Victor Li, live – had been on the market for some years, with a price tag of around HK$1 billion. They said, however, that the seller had been waiting for the best chance to capitalize on the city’s booming property market.

Besides Li, the deal makes Pan a neighbor of other top Hong Kong tycoons, including the Kadoorie family, which owns CLP Group; Central Development chairman Hui Sai-fun; and the Pao family, which controls Wheelock and Wharf.

The property, at 13,854 square-feet, is a three-storey house with garden and private swimming pool and overlooks the Deep Water Bay golf course.

The sale makes it Hong Kong’s second most expensive house in terms of cost per square foot. Shenzhen Cheung Kei Group chairman Chen Hongtian bought a house at 15 Gough Hill Road in June 2016 for HK$2.1 billion, or a whopping $230,000 (US$29,490) per square foot.

Earlier last year, Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma bought a house on Parker Road for HK$2.1 billion from Hong Kong financier Frances Yuen.

The trend of mainland tycoons acquiring luxurious homes in Hong Kong accelerated after Beijing put restrictions on offshore fund transfers as the yuan depreciated two years ago.

Mainland property companies have also been snapping up Hong Kong land at auction. Notably, HNA Group paid HK$27.2 billion for four pieces of land totaling 398,268 square feet at the city’s former Kai Tak airport earlier this year.

Back to the latest transaction, it’s worth pointing out that Pan bought the property through company transfer, which saved him about 30%, or HK$750 million, in special stamp duty tax. Just think what that chunk of change could buy us mortals.