Click on the image to enlarge Think of Hong Kong as a city of skyscrapers, more densely populated than United Airlines’ economy class? Not on the southern shore of Hong Kong Island, where three streets in the Deep Water Bay neighbourhood are home to 19 of the city’s richest residents, with an aggregate net worth of $122.6 billion. Such a concentration of wealth can lead to some drama: In 1996 and 1997, Cheung Tzekeung, a gangster known as “Big Spender”, abducted first Victor Li, the eldest son of business magnate Li Ka-shing, and then real estate developer Walter Kwok, collecting HK$600 million in ransom. (Captured in 1998, Cheung was executed that December; he had earlier phoned Li Ka-shing to ask for investment tips for the ransom money. By the end, he apparently gambled most of it away.) “When you’re talking about the number of homes available in Deep Water Bay, they are very, very limited figures,” says Patrick Chau, deputy senior director of residential development and investment at Savills, a global real estate firm that does considerable business in Hong Kong. “All the properties are owned by billionaires, and they have no urgent need of cash.” Jim Thompson (net worth: $1.7 billion), founder of relocation logistics company Crown Worldwide Group, has owned his 3,800-square-foot home, House 42C, No. 48 Deep Water Bay Road, for 28 years and says its value has jumped roughly 25-fold in that time, to about $15 million. “It’s more liveable,” he says of the neighbourhood. “There are no high-rise apartments here, which makes it a nicer environment with better air quality”— an attribute this photo makes, like that air itself, quite clear.
(This story appears in the 07 August, 2015 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)