Marina Cove back in demand as market rebounds

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 May, 2009, 12:00am

After a quiet year, there is increasing demand for luxury low-rise houses at Marina Cove in Sai Kung.

'There were no transactions during some months last year,' said Mathew Chung kwong-yiu, sales manager at Sunshine Property Consultant.

'But we have had more than 10 transactions on average every month in the past three months.'

A repossessed property, held by HSBC, at Marina Cove was sold within two weeks this month for HK$14.68 million, Mr Chung said.

He added it was rare for a property at Marina Cove, favoured by expatriates and local celebrities, to sell for slightly more than HK$7,000 per sqft.

The 1,907 sqft property, with a garden and a pontoon, was bought by a person who lived in the area, Mr Chung said. Usually, such a development would have cost at least HK$8,000 per sqft. For example, a 2,391 sqft waterfront property, with a garden at Marina Cove, was sold for HK$19.5 million earlier this month.

Mr Chung said prices had been stable last year but there was little demand.

Another 1,907 sqft lake-view house at Marina Cove is available for sale, but it is priced between HK$8,000 and HK$8,500 per sqft.

Overall, the drop in property prices in Sai Kung last year ranged from 10 to 20 per cent, although they remained closer to the low side on average.

'The limited supply and low density of properties in Sai Kung have largely insulated prices here from some of the big falls we've seen in other parts of Hong Kong, like Central,' said Samuel Yeung kin-shing, a real estate agent with Canaan Property Agency.

In addition, properties that had suffered from a fall in prices have also started to make a rapid recovery, according to Mr Yeung, who noted that interest from buyers picked up again earlier this year.

He said increased buyer-interest in the market had been helped by banks, that had reinstated normal mortgage financing.

At the height of the financial crisis late last year, banks were only willing to finance 40 per cent of the cost of a village house in Sai Kung, meaning buyers would have to finance the remainder themselves.

The situation, according to Mr Yeung, has now returned to pre-financial crisis levels, with banks willing to finance 70 per cent of the cost. Village houses make up the bulk of Sai Kung's property inventory, and cost about HK$12 million on average.