Homebuyers unfazed by prospect of falling prices

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 June, 2013, 5:07am

Homebuyers at a new project in Ma Tau Kok say they are unfazed by the prospect of prices falling when interest rates rise in the United States, as most plan to live in the flats themselves.

Kerry Properties' Bayview, at 9 Yuk Yat Street, went on sale yesterday. It is the fifth new project to go on sale since new rules for sales of new homes took effect at the end of April. They require buyers to be shown the actual flat they intend to purchase before making a decision about whether or not to buy.

More than 100 homebuyers had earlier shown interest in the project, and the developer arranged for 90 of them to view the flats yesterday.

The 36-storey Bayview has 175 apartments, and 80 of them were up for grabs yesterday.

The order in which buyers could see and choose flats was decided by ballot.

A mother and her son were the first to see the actual flats, and they took the plunge - buying a 603 sq ft flat with a sea view for HK$10 million. The family is selling a flat in Kowloon Bay. They said they were not worried about the price going down as it was for their own use.

Another buyer said she thought property prices were "crazy", but she still bought an 875 sq ft flat for HK$15 million. She also wasn't bothered about a price fall as it wasn't for investment.

Chu Ip-pui, an executive director of Kerry Real Estate Agency, believed that over 90 per cent of the buyers were seeking flats for their own use. He was basing that on the addresses they supplied and information from property agents.

There was also some interest from overseas and mainland buyers in the project. "But the number is very small," he said.

Economist Dr Andy Kwan Cheuk-chiu said the prospect of interest rate rises in the United States had cast a cloud over the market. He expected property prices to fall by 10 to 15 per cent by the end of the year.

Kerry Properties is part of Kerry Group, the controlling shareholder of the SCMP Group, which publishes the South China Morning Post and Sunday Morning Post.