Not just any old house

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A house located in Lilau Square is on the market for HK$250 million, according to a report published by Tribuna de Macau (JTM) yesterday.
Occupying 435 square metres, the three-storey house hosts two galleries – the ‘37’ and ‘49’ – which will be closed down owing to high maintenance costs that haveled the owner to put the property on sale, reported JTM.
The mansion, owned by Isabel Chiang, was valued at HK$240 million in early 2016 by Vigers International Property Consultants, a property management firm established in Hong Kong, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lafe Corporation Limited, a global conglomerate listed on the main board of Singapore Exchange Limited.
Information about the Hong Kong property management company was provided to Business Daily by Simon Lam, owner of the Iaohin Gallery, established in 2011 (Rua da Tercena), which is organising an “open-house heritage event” on 26 February in order to showcase the Lilau property for sale. According to Lam, the Vigers’ estimate was produced in April 2016.
Contacted by Business Daily, Vigers spokesperson Kris CY Leung confirmed that they have indeed appraised the Lilau property but declined to provide details about the specific criteria used to assess the proposed sale price. “We cannot disclose the grounds unless we seek the owner’s consent at this moment. We have tried to contact the owner; however, we failed.”
As for the general criteria employed to assess the value of the Lilau property Leung said they “have adopted the direct comparison method of valuation based upon actual sales transactions and/or offerings of comparable properties with similar character, location, size, and so on.”
Questioned about the comparisons they sought to produce the Lilau property market price, Leung replied that their team was not able to provide such information “as it is extremely rare to have such a similar property in the Macau market, and because we don’t compare Macau properties to Hong Kong ones.” 

Lavish home
Speaking to Business Daily, Simon Lam explained that he had concluded that the property is “the most expensive townhouse ever for sale in Macau” based upon online research and enquiries with real estate agencies.
“Of course, there were buildings or properties (like hotels or blocks of flats) sold at higher prices but there was no information of any ‘townhouse’ or ‘mansion’ that would be more expensive,” he told Business Daily.
Juliet Risdon, a local real estate agent, was surprised to learn that a house would command such a market value in Macau. Speaking with Business Daily over the phone, she said she believed it is likely indeed that the property is the most expensive on sale.
“I’ve heard of commercial properties [asking] such a market price before, and residential properties that were put on sale or sold for some MOP100 million in town; but I cannot recall a residential building of such value,” she commented.
On the website of a local real estate agency which deals with ‘premium’ residential properties the most expensive apartment listed in its sale offers is a three-bedroom unit at One Central, next to MGM Resorts on the Macau Peninsula, worth HK$22.5 million.
The Property Register Office informed Business Daily that because it does not have a search engine to locate residential property by acquisition value it cannot confirm which residential property in Macau has the highest value on record to date.
The average price for acquisition of housing units was estimated at MOP85,554 per square metre in the third quarter of 2016 – and 78,532 in the second quarter of that same year – according to the latest data provided by the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC).
Based upon that average price estimate, the price for the Lilau house currently on sale would amount to MOP37,21 million; that is, almost seven times lower than the current market price.


Cultural Affairs Bureau
IC has confirmed to Business Daily that the Bureau has no acquisition plans for the property being sold in Lilau Square.
Lilau Square is located in the First Core Zone of Macau’s World Heritage-listed Historic Centre. Because it is a protected zone any requests for new constructions or revamping works ought to be run by the Macau Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC), the opinion of which is compulsory and binding, and should be emitted within 30 days of request according to Article 31 of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Law (Law no. 11/2013).


According to previous reports from Business Daily, Isabel Chiang is also the organiser and owner of several retail shops in the ‘creative district’ located at Rua de Nossa Senhora do Amparo and Patio de Chon Sau, next to the Ruins of St. Paul’s.