Henderson Land considers building HK$1m flats
Chairman says cheap New Territories flats are a possibility if government waives land charges
Henderson Land Development chairman Lee Shau-kee said his company will consider building low-priced homes in the New Territories costing HK$1 million each, as long as the government provides them with incentives.
"[If the government] waives land premium charges on farmland modifications, [we] hopefully can build flats of 300 square feet at a price of HK$1 million," Lee said.
Lee, who spoke on the sidelines of a public event at the Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre at the University of Hong Kong, said the land premium wavier could apply to abandoned farmland.
His remarks came as Henderson Land sells the first batch of 30 flats of its 76-unit single-block High Place development in Kowloon City for between HK$4.07 million and HK$6.28 million, or more than HK$22,000 per square foot of saleable area.
The size of the flats on a gross floor area calculation range from 286 sq ft to 433 sq ft, but flats under the saleable area calculation range from just 182 sq ft to 282 sq ft.
Agents said about 25 flats were sold over the weekend.
Albert Ching Sheung-kit, sales director of Ricacorp Properties in the West Kowloon district, said buyers, including investors, were attracted by the project's urban location and the lump sum of around HK$4 million.
"Many properties are being sold above this range," he said.
Meanwhile, agents said Henderson Land over the weekend had sold about 20 flats at The Reach in Yuen Long, a joint venture between Henderson Land and New World Development.
Last Friday, Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP ) priced the first 50 flats at its residential development in Tseung Kwan O, The Wings II, at HK$10,688 per square foot, about a third lower than it originally intended. This was also cheaper than the inaugural 50 flats sold at the project's first phase in 2011.
SHKP had previously said its target price tag for Wings II flats was HK$15,000 per square foot on a gross floor area basis. The flats are expected to be sold early this week.
The Wings II is the second large residential project to announce a price list after the government imposed tightening measures such as the special stamp duty of 15 per cent on non-local and corporate buyers in October.
Lee said the new measures are aimed at slowing the growth pace of home prices but it would not deal a serious blow to the sector.
"A healthy growth is between 5 and 10 per cent in prices," he said.
In the secondary market, 36 flats at 15 selected housing estates monitored by Midland Realty were sold over the weekend, up 50 per cent from the sales of the previous weekend from December 29 to December 30.