Sun Hung Kai Properties

New projects fuel surge in home sales

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 June, 2006, 12:00am

Deals rise 14.1pc by volume and 15.5pc by value despite uncertainty over interest rates

Hong Kong's home sales rose 14.1 per cent by volume last month as new project launches helped reverse a decline in April, official figures revealed yesterday.

Sale and purchase agreements for residential units signed last month totalled 7,812, up from 6,849 in April when unit sales fell 8.14 per cent from March, according to the Land Registry.

Compared with May last year when the market was in a boom, sales dropped 37.3 per cent last month.

New project sales totalled 1,007 units, a six-month high and a 52.6 per cent jump over April, according to Midland Realty's research.

Sales by value rose 15.5 per cent last month over April to $23.4 billion but shrank 49 per cent from a year ago, Land Registry's figures showed.

The Land Registry's home sales figure mainly reflects property sales that took place in the previous month due to the registration process.

'Although interest rate uncertainty was still an overhang to the local property market, a warm reception from new project sales mainly in Tsuen Wan has led a rebound in Hong Kong's home sales last month,' said Buggle Lau Ka-fai, the chief analyst at Midland Realty.

Mr Lau expects the June figure to stay positive as more sales transactions closed in the primary market in May and will be lodged to the Land Registry this month.

Sentiment in the city's primary market received a boost from the launch of Sino Land's 1,466-unit Vision City in Tsuen Wan in late April, of which more than 600 units have been sold.

Sino Land's strong sales also prompted blue chip Sun Hung Kai Properties to slash the price of its Chelsea Court project in Tsuen Wan by as much as 30 per cent, a move that helped it unload all the 300 inventory units in one go in early May.

Cheung Kong (Holdings) also aims to take advantage of reviving buyer interest in new projects and plans to roll out 50 of the total 400 unsold units at The Apex residential project in Kwai Chung by next Friday at about $4,700 per square foot, an increase of around 2 per cent compared with the previous batch.

Including commercial property transactions, the total number of sale and purchase agreements last month rose 8.5 per cent to 9,332 over April, according to the government's figures. But it represents a decrease of 37.2 per cent from May last year.

The total consideration of these agreements in May was $33.2 billion, down 31.5 per cent from April's $48.5 billion and 38.7 per cent lower than the $54.14 billion recorded for May last year.

Stripping out the $22.67 billion Citibank Plaza purchase by Champion Real Estate Investment Trust in April from its parent Great Eagle Holdings in preparation for its listing, the total value of the property transactions closed last month should have jumped 28.63 per cent.