2006 review - property
The year started with homeseekers staying on the sidelines for fear of rising interest rates, forcing developers to hold back project launches until the second half. Midland Realty expects sales of new flats this year to decline to a four-year low of 13,500 units - as most units were only put on sale when interest rates showed signs of reaching a peak in August. Together with sales in the second-hand market, the number of transactions was about 96,700 as of December 20, down 20 per cent from last year. The year also witnessed a polarisation of the property market with mass residential prices rising just 5 per cent while luxury home prices jumped 19 per cent. Following are the highlights of the year ending with last week's sale of a residential site on the Peak for HK$1.8 billion or HK$42,196 per square foot in what experts believe is the world's most expensive land sale.
18Cheung Kong (Holdings) wins the contract for the second phase of a residential-retail development, Dream City, in Tseung Kwan O, expected to cost up to HK$15 billion.
20Citic Pacific sells its entire 50 per cent stake in the Festival Walk shopping and office complex in Kowloon Tong to partner Swire Pacific for HK$6.18 billion.
24Sun Hung Kai Properties, Kerry Properties and Paliburg Holdings pay a HK$3.9 billion land premium for their proposed luxury residential project in Ap Lei Chau.
31Office rents in Two International Financial Centre (Two IFC) are raised to more than HK$100 per square foot - a fivefold rise on the HK$20 per square foot at which the development first came to the market when it opened for business in the first half of 2003.
15HSBC cuts its prime rate 0.5 percentage point to 2.75 per cent below prime or 5 per cent in real terms, keeping that rate until the end of next month.
2The Lands Department sets a levy of about HK$7 billion for the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp's Tai Wai maintenance centre residential project.
27A joint-venture investment fund managed by US investment bank Morgan Stanley sells Vicwood Plaza in Sheung Wan for about HK$2.6 billion - more than three times the fund's investment of HK$842.8 million three years earlier. Australia-based Macquarie Global Property Advisors (MGPA) is the buyer.
11Cheung Kong wins the development contract for the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp's residential project in Tai Wai, which is expected to cost HK$21.5 billion. May
2A consortium formed by Pioneer Global Group, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund and Pamfleet (HK) pays HK$2.25 billion for the Hang Seng Bank Building in Central.
23Macquarie Global Property Advisors acquire a 29-storey office block in Sheung Wan's Grand Millennium Plaza for HK$2.37 billion.
9Cheung Kong sells a 15 per cent stake in its mega residential-retail project, Dream City Phase Two in Tseung Kwan O, to privately controlled Nan Fung Development for HK$678 million.
27The Lands Department slashes the land premium for Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp's development near Tuen Mun station by 28 per cent to nearly HK$3.9 billion. The reduction comes after developers reject the tender for the property last year.
18Tack Hsin Holdings chairman Chan Shu-kit pays HK$30.5 million for a residential site at Cheung Fu Street in Cheung Sha, Lantau Island.August
3Sun Hung Kai Properties wins the development rights for a residential project at the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp West Rail's Tuen
Mun station that surveyors estimate could be worth HK$8 billion.
12Sun Hung Kai Properties pays a higher than expected HK$53 million for a tiny residential site in Tsing Lung Tau, Tsuen Wan.
20K Wah International triggers the auction of a residential site at 1 Broadcast Drive, Kowloon Tong, by placing a minimum guaranteed bid of HK$1.1 billion.
24K Wah triggers the auction of a residential site in Ma On Shan by offering a minimum guaranteed bid of HK$2.4 billion.
1Hongkong Land and Shun Tak Holdings -chaired by Stanley Ho - sell a Macau residential block for a record HK$4,400 per square foot or HK$782 million to Iceland's largest insurer, Sjova-Almennar Tryggingar.
13Hongkong Land and Shun Tak Holdings sell a residential block in a jointly developed Macau project to Macau Property Opportunities Fund for HK$673.4 million.
28Sino Land pays HK$1.94 billion for a residential site at 1 Broadcast Drive, Kowloon Tong. The project will cost a total investment of HK$3 billion.
Cheung Kong wins a residential site in Ma On Shan for HK$3.24 billion. The total investment cost is HK$5 billion.
A company offers HK$135 per square foot a month - a new record in Hong Kong's office leasing history -to lease Two International Financial Centre at Hong Kong Station.
29Swire Properties joins HKR International in building a HK$10 billion complex in the heart of Shanghai after purchasing a 50 per cent stake in HKR's site at Nanjing Road, Shanghai.
19Sino Land plans to invest HK$1.6 billion to develop a boutique hotel-retail waterfront complex at Singapore's Marina Bay.
20Sun Hung Kai Properties pays HK$1.8 billion or HK$42,196 per square foot for a residential site at Mount Kellett Road on the Peak, the most expensive piece of land in the world.