Caution expected to slow sale of luxury homes in Tai Tam

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 October, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 October, 1997, 12:00am

The sale of four semi-detached townhouses at 8 Tai Tam Road, Tai Tam, could be slow because the luxury market is dominated by cautious end-users and the flats will not be completed until the third-quarter of next year, according to property agents.

'End-users dominate the luxury market and when they buy a property worth more than $100 million, they want to see the finished product,' said Frank Marriott, managing director of FPD Realty.

To offset the long wait, developer Metrowell Holdings requires only a 5 per cent downpayment prior to completion of the flats, according to leasing agents CY Leung & Co.

Amy Ho, associate residential director with CY Leung & Co, said she expected a good deal of interest in the four luxury townhouses because of the chronic shortage of luxury accommodation in the market.

The four semi-detached townhouses are on three levels with each level measuring about 1,400 square feet. The units jut out from the landscape overlooking the sea.

The ground floor is dominated by the living room while each unit has a patio measuring either 993 sq ft or 435 sq ft depending on the unit purchased.

On the first floor, there is a spacious kitchen and dining area as well as one bedroom and maid's quarters.

The second floor is totally taken up by three large en suite bedrooms. One of the rooms offers an extra large master bedroom.

The roof, which can be used for entertaining, measures 1,126 sq ft.

The four units have a gross floor area of either 4,482 sq ft or 4,275 sq ft.

The units, which have an efficiency of about 85 per cent, also include two car parking spaces with each property having its own lift, according to the leasing agent.

Ms Ho said that while the project had generated plenty of interest among prospective buyers, the market had changed substantially since last May, when the luxury end of the property market was booming.

'People don't react as quickly now,' she said, 'Activity in the luxury market has consolidated and buyers are taking their time.' Some agents said there might have been as much as an 8 per cent correction in prices in the luxury market.

Ms Ho said prices in May were too high and the correction was positive for the market.

'The correction that has taken place is healthy for the market,' she said.

Some agents wonder whether the overall drop in prices in the luxury sector will help lure buyers.

Some agents believe that prices are still high.

They said that the $30,802 per square foot price tag based on the gross floor area was expensive considering the recent slump in the market.

However, other agents countered that market prices for townhouses had not fallen since the market slumped in May.

The units would take time to sell simply because the market was now dominated by end-users, they said.

Ms Ho said buyers had to put down only 25 per cent of the purchase price on completion of the units.

Since the units are not covered by the Government consent scheme, the buyer can sell the townhouse any time before completion, according to Ms Ho.

FACT FILE Development: 8 Tai Tam Road, Tai Tam Developer: Metrowell Holdings Units on sale: Four three-level townhouses Size: Four bedrooms; 4,275 sq ft or 4,482 sq ft, excludes roof, terrace and garden Average price: $30,802 per square foot Completion: third quarter 1998 Amenities: all bedrooms are ensuite, private elevator, ocean view, 2 car parking spaces included Sole agent: C Y Leung & Co