Buyers flock to Tuen Mun in search of bargain flats
Homebuyers and investors are bargain-hunting for flats in Tuen Mun, where prices have lagged the rest of Hong Kong for more than a decade.
The buyers are betting that prices in the area are due to play catch-up as a result of the coming launch of a big project at Tuen Mun station and the overall improvement under way in infrastructure in the area, agents say.
Owners, however, have begun increasing their prices in response to the fresh demand, or in some cases have withdrawn their flats until they can achieve even higher prices.
The improved market sentiment follows an announcement last week from developer Sun Hung Kai Properties that it hoped to achieve selling prices of HK$10,000 per square foot at its new 1,075-flat project, Century Gateway, at Tuen Mun station. Flats range in size from 500 to 3,000 sq ft.
The flats are expected to be available for occupation in the third quarter of 2013 and will probably be launched for sale next month.
SHKP's indicative price is double the average price of about HK$5,000 per sq ft fetched recently in sales on major housing estates in the area.
Although a 925 sq ft flat at Chelsea Heights changed hands for a record HK$6,086 per sq ft, or HK$5.63 million, in Tuen Mun recently, average prices in the area were still some 10 per cent below the peak levels reached in 1997 before the collapse of the property market in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, said Gary Siu Ka-wai, senior sales manager at Many Wells Property Agency.
Now, buoyed by the expectations of increased interest in the area arising from the launch of the new project, average secondary transaction prices in Tuen Mun were edging higher after most flats that were offered at lower prices were snapped up by early-bird bargain hunters, said agents.
A 489 sq ft flat in Goodview Garden, located at Goodview station, which is the next stop on the West Rail line after Tuen Mun station, was sold for HK$1.58 million last month, and over the weekend a flat of similar size changed hands for HK$1.9 million, or 17 per cent higher than last month's transaction price, Siu said.
'Strong demand has now spilled over to the fringe areas surrounding Tuen Mun, and even lifted transaction prices in remote locations such as Tin Shui Wai,' Siu said.
At Tuen Mun Town Plaza, a major housing project close to Tuen Mun station, the northern terminus of West Rail line, prices are as low as HK$4,200 per sq ft, he said.
Perry Fong Kai-ming, senior sales manager of the Centaline Property Agency branch covering Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai, said the soon-to-be-launched Century Gateway had attracted buying interest from mainlanders in Shenzhen as well as local investors.
'They expect the improvement in infrastructure between Tuen Mun and Shenzhen will give new life to the sleepy area,' he said.
By 2017, the proposed HK$20 billion Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok link and the Tuen Mun western bypass will be completed, allowing commuters from Tuen Mun to reach the airport or the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge's border point on Lantau in 10 minutes.
The price rise obtained by the owner of a flat this month over a similar Goodview Gardens flat sold last month