Hong Kong developers raise home prices as undeterred buyers pile in
Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land, Tai Cheung all raised prices by double digits within weeks of their earlier launches, in one case by up to 40 per cent.
Homebuying demand in Hong Kong was showing no signs of abating late on Friday as eager buyers crammed into the sales office of Sun Hung Kai Properties’ Cullinan West project, seemingly undeterred by a price increase of almost 40 per cent in the space of under a month.
Agents expected SHKP would sell about 90 per cent of the latest batch of 152 units on offer at the development atop Nam Cheong MTR Station on Friday despite the enormous price rise since the project was launched well under a month ago.
“I don’t have a budget but the price [for the latest batch] is very, very high. Whether I can buy one very much depends on whether I like the view of the flats that are still available,” said Charlotte Chan, one of the more than 1,000 registered buyers for the latest batch that went on sale on Friday.
She said she had participated in the lottery for Cullinan West apartments in the previous three rounds but failed to get one.
SHKP is the latest major Hong Kong developer to have drastically raised the offer price for apartments in new projects within weeks, or sometimes days, of their launch.
In the fourth round of sales, the developer released 152 units of 257 to 1,854 square feet, priced from HK$7.62 million to HK$65.06 million, or HK$26,700 to HK$43,290 per square foot. Their average price will come down to HK$25,988 per square foot after factoring in a discount of as much as 23 per cent. But the average discounted price is still 38.9 per cent higher than the launch price of HK$18,713 per square foot last month.
Prices for four-bedroom flats soared 50 per cent to HK$28,360 per square foot from HK$18,919 when the project was first launched.
About 1,500 people have registered their interest in the latest batch, meaning every 10 potential buyers are fighting for one unit.
Louis Chan, vice-chairman, residential, of Centaline Property Agency’s Asia-Pacific region, said he expected 90 per cent of the units would be sold.
SHKP said the higher prices were mainly because the units were located on the upper floors and had better views.
Another prospective buyer in attendance on Friday night was Randy Wong, an engineer, who said he would like to buy a one-bedroom flat.
“I’m now living with my parents. I would like to move out,” he said. “Prices are moving fast and steeply. But you never know, the price may go up more if I don’t buy today.”
Wong said he had accumulated enough money to make the down payment.
“I don’t need help from my parents,” he added.
Centaline’s latest Centa-City Leading Index, which reflects the average sale prices on 100 large housing estates across the city, rose 0.85 point to 152.18 in the week to April 2 from the previous week. Prices in the secondary market have gained 52 per cent from 1997.
“Hong Kong home prices have hit a record for seven consecutive weeks, confirming the residential market is heading for an upward trend,” said Wong Leung-sing, associate director of research at Centaline.
The index showed prices in Kowloon and the New Territories hit new records for the week to April 2.
Wong said prices had increased for nine consecutive weeks, the longest growth period in the past nine years.
Hong Kong home prices have gained 5.5 per cent since January, according to Centaline.
A buyer paid HK$308.8 million on Friday for a 7,338 sq ft unit at La Villa De La Salle, a luxury project in Kowloon Tong.
Taking advantage of the strong market sentiment, developers have sped up the launch of their new projects and put up their prices.
On Friday, Sino Land released 30 units at 188-unit Park Mediterranean in Sai Kung for sale. The units, ranging from 425 to 704 sq ft, are being offered for HK$7.21 million to HK$14.27 million, or HK$15,281 to HK$19,847 per square foot.
Sino Land is offering a discount of 14 per cent.
Victor Tin, associate director of the sales department at Sino Land, said the developer had sold 144 units – 77 per cent of the project.
Tai Cheung Properties announced a 10 per cent increase in the prices of five villas it is offering at 3 Plunkett’s Road on The Peak. The revised price for the 4,850 sq ft villas is HK$503.36 million, or HK$103,786 per square foot, compared with the original price of HK$457.6 million in September 2015.
The most eye-watering increase of the past few days was for a Mid-Levels flat whose sale price shot up by HK$33 million in the space of just a fortnight.
The four-bedroom, 3,060 sq ft unit is on the 40th floor of 39 Conduit Road, Henderson Land Development’s super-deluxe residential project. The developer raised prices for the remaining units by 15 per cent on Thursday.
The offer price for the 40th-floor flat went up to HK$255.92 million, or HK$83,633 per square foot, from HK$222.84 million, or HK$72,824 per square foot, just two weeks ago.
SHKP has pulled in HK$11.5 billion from the sale of 840 units at Cullinan West since the first batch officially went on sale on March 18.
One local family of three buyers walked away with 11 units between them for a total shopping bill of HK$230.4 million on the launch day.