Discount YoHo flats to deepen price war

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 July, 2003, 12:00am

Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) is releasing the first batch of units at its YoHo Town project in Yuen Long at a low $1,560 per square foot, as the price war among developers intensifies.

Estate agents said the price for the public sale of 16 low-floor units was about 20 per cent below comparable properties in the secondary market and they expected keen buying interest. The cheapest unit is selling at $737,000.

SHKP subsidiary Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency general manager Eric Chow Kwok-yin said there was room to raise prices for further releases. More than 2,500 prospective buyers have already registered for the sale.

He said SHKP had already sold six larger top-floor units through negotiation at nearly $4,000 per square foot. 'The closer economic partnership arrangement signed between Hong Kong and the mainland should boost Hong Kong's economy and help the property market, so we think a buying surge is on the way.'

Mr Chow said the date for the public sale had not yet been finalised and was subject to response to the internal sale, to be held soon.

The first phase of YoHo Town includes 1,404 units in five blocks and a sell-out could generate proceeds of more than $1.6 billion.

YoHo Town is a township-scale project being developed by SHKP in phases at a cost of more than $10 billion, and includes a shopping centre of about one million sqft.

Colliers International research manager Simon Lo Wing-fai said developers had to discount prices because of abundant supply. The pricing of YoHo Town might force other developers to reduce prices to entice buyers, he said.

Ricacorp Properties sales director David Chan Tai-wai said the attractive pricing for the first batch of units was a tactic to grab market attention and he expected subsequent releases at $1,700 or $1,800 per square foot.