Sun Hung Kai Properties
Sun Hung Kai Properties is one of Hong Kong’s largest property groups, with revenue of HK$68.4 billion in the 2011-2012 financial year, and profit attributable to shareholders of HK$43.08 billion. The company has been shaken in recent years by disputes between family members, with chairman and chief executive Walter Kwok being forced to step down in a dispute with his brothers Thomas and Raymond. In March, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) arrested senior officials as part of a corruption probe that also included former chief secretary Rafael Hui.
WAIT and see
Many people look to the second-hand market for homes in Mid-Levels, where there are many well-known buildings and probably the largest cluster of high-end residential properties on Hong Kong Island.
From prime properties beneath The Peak, such as Dynasty Court and Clovelly Court, real estate extends eastwards and westwards. To the east there is Pacific Palisades by Sino Land, and to the west, one of the largest projects is The Belcher's by Shun Tak and Sun Hung Kai Properties.
Estate agents say the government's cooling measures are hurting people looking for a place to invest in or occupy in Mid-Levels.
'Obviously, the aim was to stop speculation, but it also had a direct impact on families who genuinely need to upgrade as their family is expanding. This has certainly been a continuation of the theme over the past year,' says Chris Liem, principal at the Hong Kong office of Engel & V?lkers.
The secondary market in Mid-Levels has been affected, Liem says, adding clients remain cautiously optimistic. 'They have been waiting a long time for the right opportunity to upgrade or enter the market,' he says.
Liem expects a short-lived market correction, saying the outlook is still positive.
There is something for everyone, he says, from being in the heart of the action around CentreStage to the quietness of Po Shan Road or Tregunter Path, to walk-ups on Po Hing Fong, to the high-rises on Kennedy Road.
'Even if your concern is healthy living, there are pockets in Mid-Levels that provide easy access to walking and hiking trails and green space,' Liem says. 'So, ultimately, people who are motivated by convenience, comfort and security of not just returns but also the infrastructure in place will always consider Mid-Levels.'
Property agents report transactions in Fairview Heights, The Belcher's, Robinson Heights, Scholastic Garden and Robinson Place, but only after sellers trimmed their asking prices.
'The district is a highly popular residential neighbourhood for expatriates and local families. Its excellent school network is another advantage,' says Lawrence Wong, general manager of Professional Properties.
'Transaction activity has remained sluggish in recent weeks. Investors and end-users are cautious about making the move unless property sellers reduce their asking prices,' he says.