Bargain hunters line up for flats
By PAUL LAMOND and BARRY PORTER
IT was like a trip down memory lane, as a long queue of eager investors formed overnight for the chance to snap up one of 30 luxury Mid-Levels apartments.
The flats, offered yesterday by Henderson Land, were seen by punters as a not-to-be-missed introductory special offer.
The Winsome Park flats were offered at an average $6,870 per square foot, or five to eight per cent lower than typical prices in the area.
Henderson had also offered special 12-month interest-free financing for the 30 per cent downpayment - and a half-price car parking space for just an additional $500,000 thrown in.
Car parking slots in nearby buildings have recently fetched as much as $1 million to $1.3 million.
The first person arrived as early as 10 am the previous day and by the time the doors of Henderson's sales office in Conduit Road opened at 11 am yesterday, the queue had stretched to more than 100.
One woman who had joined the line at 9 pm on Wednesday was so eager not to lose out that she turned down an offer of $20,000 from an estate agent for her place in the queue.
'I didn't realise there would be this many people lining up early, so when I drove past to see what it was like I ended up staying,' the woman said, who would only give her name as Judy.
Security guards were hired to curb queue-jumping, and police were also put on standby.
Another woman said the discounted car park offer was the main reason she had spent the night sleeping on the footpath.
All 30 flats offered in the first batch of sales were quickly sold on Henderson opening its doors.
A second batch of 30 units was then released during the afternoon at the same average price of $6,870 per sq ft, but this time the cost of car parking spaces was put up to $800,000. And by yesterday evening, another seven units in the 44-storey tower had been sold.
The exceptional response to the early sales seems to have taken everyone by surprise.
Valerie Cheng, manager of estate agents L&D Associates' Robinson Road branch, explained that the market for luxury apartments in the Mid-Levels had been depressed of late because of rising interest rates.
The sales bonanza looks likely to go on, with Henderson announcing a substantial cut in prices for the forthcoming sale of its next batch of apartments in its Sunshine City development in Ma On Shan.
Henderson said it would offer 68 units in Block G of Tower 4 of Sunshine City at an average of about $4,100 per sq ft.
Registration for Sunshine City is open from tomorrow until next Friday while sales begin on December 18.