Henderson Land Development chairman Lee Shau-kee said "I’m no liar," when doubts were cast after a flat at its 39 Conduit Road project fetched the highest price in the world per square foot.
The 6,158-square-foot duplex on the 68th floor of the Mid-Levels scheme was sold for HK$71,280 psf.
Following media speculation that the buyer of the expensive home is connected with Henderson, Lee’s son, Martin Lee Ka-shing has dropped plans to buy a flat for himself at 39 Conduit Road.
Martin Lee had previously visited the 88th floor duplex of the luxury project, his father conceded.
But Henderson is aiming higher. He now hopes to sell a flat on the 88th floor of the Conduit Road project for HK$100,000 per square foot.
He said, "The deal is 100 percent genuine. I don’t lie. The buyer is not a normal buyer. Buyers like him don’t buy things which are cheap, like women who buy expensive handbags."
He said the sale of the flat may easily be traced since it has been handled by dozens of employees.
Hang Lung Properties chairman Ronnie Chan Chi-chung had cast doubt on the claimed luxury home deals. Lee said Chan told him he was not referring to the Conduit Road project.
Responding to criticism about skipping more than 40 floors in numbering the Conduit Road project, which Henderson claims to have 88 floors — an auspicious number in Chinese culture — Lee said the company officially applied for such numbering and had informed buyers accordingly.
Lee Shau-kee, seen here, said. "The numbering is listed in purchase agreements. Buyers should have noticed our arrangements. The 46th floor unit is also called 88th. Like people call me ‘Uncle Four,’ it’s not a problem."
But the company will skip fewer floors in future projects, after Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah told developers to be more transparent.
The Standard reported that Uncle Four also said the more transactions of luxury homes, the more prosperous Hong Kong will become. He also believes the booming luxury market will not affect the mass market as luxury transactions are limited.
He said there is no supply shortage in the mass market since Henderson alone will have nearly 35,000 mass-market homes for sale in the foreseeable future. He predicts prices for such flats to rise about 10% over a year.