Hang Lung to cash in at Long Beach
Five years after it sold flats at Long Beach in West Kowloon for the last time, Hang Lung Properties yesterday said it would sell another 108 flats there - this time at its Tower 8.
The average price of the flats would be HK$10,580 per sq ft, the company said. Prices of second-hand flats at the same project are going for between HK$8,700 and HK$11,000 per sq ft.
The sale comes a month after Hang Lung chairman Ronnie Chan Chi-chung said the era of property tycoons making excessive profits would end under the administration of chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying.
Speaking at a seminar last month, Chan, a key supporter of Leung in March's chief executive poll, said property developers would be able to 'make money but not exorbitant profits'. Developers had been making too much profit for decades, he said.
Chan also said that he believed Leung would adopt an appropriate pace in easing land prices.
Asked why the company decided to sell flats before Leung takes over, a spokesman for Hang Lung said it was purely a commercial decision. 'We have an inventory of over 1,200 units at Long Beach. We think now is a good time to sell some of them,' he said. The price this time had been set some 50 per cent higher than in October 2007, when the company last sold flats there, he said.
The spokesman also said Hang Lung had been selling flats of The Harbourside at Kowloon station.
According to the Rating and Valuation Department, the vacancy rate for private housing is 4.3 per cent, or 47,920 flats were empty in the city at the end of last year. It was 4.7 per cent a year ago.
According to Centaline Property Agency, home prices across the city in the secondary market had recently risen, on average, 1.75 per cent week on week. The average price is now 2.8 per cent over the last peak in 1997.
Prices in some housing estates are beyond 1997 levels. The average second-hand home price at Taikoo Shing now stands at HK$10,552 per sq ft, according to Midland Realty - about 25 per cent higher than during the 1997 peak level.