New World Development

New World and Wheelock to raise prices for 70 new Austin units

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 October, 2013, 3:12am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 October, 2013, 3:15am

New World Development and Wheelock Properties said it would put an additional 70 units on the market at their joint residential development at the Austin MTR station and raise the asking price by 5.6 per cent.

The headline average price for the second batch of units at The Austin will be HK$24,149 per square foot, against the average price of HK$22,871 for the first batch of 116 units at the project. New World and Wheelock Properties, a wholly owned subsidiary of listed Wheelock & Co, have not announced the launch date but show flats will be opened for viewing today.

If [developers] want to grab corporate buyers and mainland buyers, they need sweeteners

Sizes of units range from 418 to 1,002 sqft of saleable area. The cheapest is the 418 sqft unit on the first floor, costing HK$8.84 million.

Developers will offer buyers the same sweeteners as those of the first batch. They include a 2 per cent discount for buyers who sign a deal by November 30, 3 per cent off the price list for New World Club or Wheelock Club members and up to 8.5 per cent off as subsidy for stamp duties.

The maximum discount amounts to about 20 per cent.

The first batch of units was described by analysts as very competitive as the price was 21 per cent less than the headline average of the first batch of units offered by the nearby Cullinan.

Credit Suisse said in a research report that secondary home prices of nearby developments such as The Victoria Towers, The Coronation and The Cullinan ranged from HK$20,000 to HK$31,000 per square foot.

Shih Wing-ching, founder of Hong Kong's leading property agent, Centaline Property Agency, expects developers may extend the price war to their new launches of mass housing projects in the coming months.

"If [developers] want to grab corporate buyers and mainland buyers, they need to introduce sweeteners," said Shih. "The sentiment has changed since the competitive pricing offered by the two projects,"

He expected home prices to drop as much as 20 per cent in the first quarter of next year.

Shares of New World rose 0.18 per cent to HK$10.98 and Wheelock added 1.61 per cent to HK$69.25 yesterday as analysts expect strong sales at The Austin.