Buyers offer to sell rights to flats

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 November, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 November, 1998, 12:00am

Speculation has reappeared in the property sector with more than 400 registered buyers at Island Harbourview offering their purchase rights for sale yesterday.

Agents said the speculators were asking for between $50,000 and $300,000 each.

The development, above the airport railway's Olympic Station in Tai Kok Tsui, attracted 6,600 prospective buyers in four days last week.

It was the second-biggest response to a project release this year, after Cheung Kong's Tierra Verde attracted 6,686 applicants at the end of May.

Lead developer Sino Land will release 1,268 units at Island Harbourview for pre-sale today.

Agents said trading of the pre-sale rights was not active. As of 7.30 pm last night, two had changed hands at prices of $180,000 and $310,000.

The holder of the first had sought up to $600,000 but later reduced the asking price by half, agents said.

Most buyers were willing to pay up to $50,000, agents said.

They said speculation at the development should be limited as it had been released at lower-than-expected prices to drum up interest.

The developer said 92 per cent of the 6,600 applications were made in personal names and 8 per cent in company names.

The developer has released the flats in batches, steadily raising prices for successive releases.

The first batch was launched at an average price of $4,288 per square foot, rising to $4,872 per square foot for the latest batch.

Henry Ho Hon-fai, West Kowloon district assistant sales manager for Midland Realty, said buyers were interested in buying rights held by companies.

This was because Sino Land said it would not allow changes in owners' names before assignment of flats.

More purchase-rights transactions were likely as long as the rights enabled purchasers to buy a flat in the cheaper first batch, Mr Ho said.

'But there will be a limited number of transactions as the market remains fragile,' he said.