New year holiday fails to get flat buyers spending

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2012, 12:00am


Homes sales during the new year holiday remained slow against a troubled background of a poor economic outlook and government cooling measures.

Property sales in the secondary market were weak, with the major 10 housing estates monitored by Midland Realty recording only six flats sold during the holiday, 25 per cent fewer than on the Christmas holiday a week earlier.

Only Taikoo Shing in Quarry Bay, South Horizons in Ap Lei Chau and Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai recorded deals, while the other seven estates had no transactions.

In the primary market, The Coronation in West Kowloon, developed by a consortium headed by Sino Land, was the only new project that recorded strong sales during the holiday. The developers released a total of 306 flats for sale following the project's launch last Friday.

Victor Tin Sio-un, general manager of sales and leasing at Sino Land, said the project had sold 265 flats as at 8pm last night. That represented 87 per cent of the total 306 flats.

He said the project might release more flats for sale.

Property agents estimated Cheung Kong (Holdings') Festival City phase three in Tai Wai sold about 13 flats from last Saturday to Monday. The project was launched more than a month ago.

Sammy Po Siu-ming, a director at Midland Realty, said many potential buyers were waiting for a substantial fall in property prices. However, there were few sellers in the secondary market willing to cut their asking prices, leading to a poor sales performance in major housing estates.

'The asking prices of Sino Land's project are less than market expectations and about half of the flats are small. Buyers can buy a new flat at this prime location near Kowloon Station for about HK$5 million to HK$7 million,' he said.

Property agents estimated about half of the buyers were investors, while 20 to 30 per cent of buyers were mainlanders.

Rocky Wong, senior executive director at Centaline Property Agency, said home seekers were adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

Vendors, however, were reluctant to cut their asking prices as their mortgage expenses were low.

He believed homes sales in the secondary market would continue to remain fairly sluggish in the first half of this year.