Cashed-up mainlanders snapped up almost one in five luxury flats sold in Hong Kong last year, a sign of their growing economic might in the city.

Research by Centaline Property Agency shows mainlanders comprised made up 18.1% of buyers of flats worth more than HK$12m last year, compared with 11.2% in 2008. In 2007, 9.2% of buyers in the luxury residential market were mainlanders.

A luxury flat is usually defined as one worth more than HK$10m.

It was the sharpest growth in mainland purchases in six years, said Wong Leung-shing, an associate director of research at Centaline.

South China Morning Post