Henderson sees strong sales response to Double Cove project

Buyers grab Wu Kai Sha flats to beat tighter government measures on new mortgages

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 September, 2012, 4:03am

Henderson Land Development and its partners sold about 80 per cent of the 330 newly launched flats at their Double Cove project in the first few hours yesterday, only a day before the government's new mortgage tightening measures came into effect after the United States announced a new stimulus plan.

Henderson Land said about 260 units at the Wu Kai Sha project, had been sold by 9.30pm. The sales began at about 5pm.

The sales included flats worth up to HK$11,000 per square foot, the company said. It expected 90 per cent of the flats would be sold on the first day.

"The sales were good because many people have been seeking homes. And the new round of quantitative easing [from the US] prompted more people to buy flats immediately as they anticipate prices will increase further," said Sammy Po Siu-ming, a director at property agency Midland Realty. The US has announced a loosening of monetary policy to boost its economy, which is expected to further stimulate the property market in Hong Kong.

In response, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced yesterday it was tightening lending requirements for home mortgages, including lowering the loan-value ratio on purchases of second homes and shortening the repayment period to up to 30 years.

The new rules apply to provisional sale and purchase agreements signed from today, meaning buyers who bought flats yesterday were not affected.

"A small number of people rushed to buy flats yesterday because of this reason," Po said.

Double Cove is a joint-venture project between Henderson, New World Development and the Peterson Group, a private developer.

Located within walking distance of Wu Kai Sha station, the waterfront development overlooks Starfish Bay. The first 330 units are priced from HK$8,800 per square foot on average.

The first phase of the development consists of 928 flats, sized from 637 to 1,295 sq ft.

Prices start from about HK$4.92 million, or HK$7,700 per square foot, for a 639 sq ft unit, rising to nearly HK$12.39 million, or HK$10,375 per square foot, for a 1,194 sq ft flat.

The project is due for completion in the fourth quarter of next year.

Double Cove is the second residential project launched this week.

Sun Hung Kai Properties put its Century Gateway in Tuen Mun on the market on Monday, with the first 107 units priced at an average HK$11,000 per square foot. At least half of them have been sold.