Buyers snap up most of new Kerry apartments

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 August, 2011, 12:00am


As much as 80 per cent of the 143 units of Kerry Properties' luxury residential project in Sheung Wan that were put on sale, were snapped up in about five hours yesterday.

Transactions of SOHO189 apartments averaged about HK$15,300 per square foot.

Chu Ip-pui, executive director of Kerry Properties, said he expected to generate revenue of about HK$2 billion if all 143 units - ranging from 770 sq ft to 1,180 sq ft - are sold.

The 149-unit project is slated for completion in the first quarter of 2013. The remaining six units - ranging from 1,700 to 2,000 sq ft - will be sold through private negotiations at between HK$24,000 and HK$26,000 per square foot.

The developer said investors made up 70 per cent of the buyers, of which a few are mainlanders. Agents said the project mainly caters to investors, as the developer invited Hong Kong Sotheby's International Realty to provide leasing and management services.

Sammy Po Siu-ming, a director at Midland Realty, said the strong sales was 'largely fuelled by excess liquidity and low interest rates'.

He said investors preferred to invest in property due to the stock market volatility.

Po said the tightening in mortgage loans for luxury homes have had little impact on cash-rich buyers who do not rely heavily on bank loans.

'With such high level of investors buying into the project, it indicates [that] they are optimistic about the market outlook,' he said.

Meanwhile, strong buying demand for serviced apartments prompted owners to cash in.

CHI Residences, a serviced apartment operator, said it would sell its project in Sheung Wan at an asking price of HK$280 million or HK$11,666 per sq ft.

The project, CHI 120, located at 120 Connaught Road West, has 19 sea-view units with a total area of 24,000 sq ft, according to Savills Hong Kong, the property's sole agent.

Tim Wong Ming-tim, director of investment at Savills, said CHI Residences is operating four residential buildings in the city, with a fifth opening in 2013.

Investors are offered flexible investment options, including purchasing with vacant possession or a sale and leaseback solution, allowing them to enjoy a more stable rental income and a broad clientele provided by the vendor.