Weekend sales top 700 units
Property agents yesterday said more than 700 flats were sold in Hong Kong at the weekend.
The busiest project was Grand Waterfront in To Kwa Wan, where Henderson Land Development said it expected to reap more than HK$1.2 billion from the sale of about 500 units.
Also busy were Le Point, a project of Cheung Kong (Holdings) in Tseung Kwan O, and Sun Hung Kai Properties' Ocean Crest in Ma Wan.
Tony Tse Wai-chuen, Henderson Land's general manager of sales, said 310 units at the 1,782-unit Grand Waterfront were snapped up on Saturday, leading the company to release more units yesterday. He said the first 310 sales had generated HK$900 million.
Grand Waterfront is the first new project to be launched by the city's third-largest developer this year.
Standard units were sold for HK$4,500 to HK$5,100 per square foot, and high-floor flats with a full sea view fetched nearly HK$10,000 a square foot, Mr Tse said.
Freddy Wu, chief executive of Hong Kong Property Services (Agency), said the strong weekend sales performance was mainly due to developers having abandoned the high-price strategy they adopted last year amid a surge in speculative buying.
'Unlike last year, sales this year will slow down if developers mark up their prices in a market that now is dominated by price-sensitive end-users,' he said.
After holding back from new releases during the interest-rate-induced slowdown in the first half of this year, most developers needed to begin offloading their inventory even at less aggressive prices, Mr Wu said.
Weekend sales in new projects are running about three times stronger than in the first half. Mr Wu said most developers were releasing flats in their new projects at prices similar to those in the secondary market.
Mainland Realty said for the month to August 24, the number of registered property transactions in the residential, commercial and industrial markets totalled 6,681, up 33.7 per cent from last month's 4,996 deals.
Midland's chief analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai believed transactions would reach 10,000 next month due to the buoyant primary market.
Henderson's Grand Waterfront pre-sale on Saturday was the first since the government and developers agreed last week on a new set of guidelines to protect consumers during pre-sale periods.
Mr Tse said that in keeping with the new rules, the company not only distributed price lists to potential buyers 24 hours ahead of the official sale but also displayed the details on television screens at the sales office.
Most consumer complaints about pre-sale abuses have been over the lack of price lists.