Buyers return to market as no more curbs in sight

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 January, 2013, 3:01am

Home sales in the primary and secondary markets are picking up as buying interest returns, buoyed by a growing belief that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying will not introduce further cooling measures in his first policy speech due to be delivered on Wednesday.

Data from Ricacorp Properties, which monitors sales in the city's 10 major housing estates, shows deal numbers were up 38 per cent to 47 over the weekend, compared with 34 in the previous weekend.

"Sales surged as a result of the release of pent-up demand from genuine buyers after the market took the view that the policy speech will not unveil additional cooling measures," said Willy Liu Wai-keung, chief executive of Ricacorp.

Sun Hung Kai Properties said yesterday that it sold 39 more units at The Wings II in Tseung Kwan O, taking the total number of flats sold since the project was launched early this month to 144.

The 39 units fetched an average of HK$14,134 per square foot of saleable area, about 4.6 per cent higher than the launch price of HK$13,500 per square foot.

SHKP said it had so far raised about HK$1.8 billion from the sale of the project. It now plans to increase prices of the next batch of 50 units by 3 per cent.

Home sales in the secondary market had benefited from the encouraging response in the primary market over the weekend, said Hong Kong Property Services (Agency).

"Quite a number of home-seekers turned to the secondary market after they failed to buy a unit at The Wings II," said Jeffrey Ng Chong-yip, senior executive director of Hong Kong Property Services.

In Taikoo Shing, the most active blue-chip housing estate, 30 flats had so far changed hands this month at an average of about HK$13,355 per square foot of saleable area, said Ng.

Saleable area comprises the floor area exclusively allocated to a flat.

The number of flat-viewing appointments increased by 30 per cent last week, Ng said.

"Sales have sped up as potential buyers have rediscovered their confidence in the market outlook. Flats will sell out quickly as long as owners are willing to cut asking prices by 1 or 2 per cent," he said.