London launch targets HK football fans

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 June, 2005, 12:00am

Avid football fans in Hong Kong with money to burn will be given the chance to get closer to the action when a luxury residential development next to Arsenal Football Club's new stadium in London is launched there this weekend.

Twenty-nine units of Ashburton Gate at Drayton Park - jointly developed by Galliard Homes and Frogmore Property - will go on sale at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, from Friday to Sunday. Two-bedroom units of 800 sqft are priced at #335,000 ($4.75 million) and three-bedroom units of 1,000 sq ft are priced at #400,000 plus.

Wong Mei-han, the Hong Kong head of property consultants King Sturge, said 15 units had been pre-sold in Hong Kong.

'I think there is still a UK market at this time,' she said.

Her view conflicts with the findings of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' latest survey, which says the downturn is continuing.

Independent commentators are unenthusiastic about the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2008.

'If it wasn't for the football angle, I don't think anyone would be that interested,' said Robert Hadfield, managing director at investment property management firm Pineflat. 'It's not the bricks and mortar that I'm bothered about - it's the price.'

He said the apartments were 25 per cent to 30 per cent overpriced, with buyers asked to pay an inflated price to cover the guaranteed rental return promised by the devlopers.

The developers have withdrawn generous deals offered to Hong Kong investors. A press statement promised the flats would be offered at British pre-launch prices, but a spokesman said last Friday they would now be at British launch levels.