Hong Kong property

Hong Kong flats snapped up despite interest rate warning

Poly Property Group says 140 units are sold in a day at Vibe Centro project on old airport site at Kai Tak

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 March, 2017, 11:27pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 March, 2017, 11:30pm

Hong Kong residents’ unceasing demand for new flats allowed Poly Property Group to shrug off last week’s disappointment by selling at least 75 per cent of units at its latest residential project.

Poly, the Hong Kong-listed arm of state-owned China Poly Group, had sold 140 units of its Vibe Centro project, as of 7.30pm on Saturday, the developer’s first sale in the city.

A spokeswoman for the company said the group was broadly satisfied with the day’s sales, and added that as of 8pm there were still prospective buyers at its sales office, so it was hoping for further sales.

The project is at Kai Tak, the site of Hong Kong’s former airport, where last week Poly failed to acquire its third plot of land in the city.

Then it was outbid by mainland conglomerate HNA Group and Hong Kong firms Wheelock Properties and K. Wah International.

Despite last week’s interest rate rise, Hongkongers are still pursuing property and Sammy Po, chief executive of the residential department at Midland Realty, said he expected to see 3,000 transactions this month beating last September’s monthly record.

He also said he anticipated 6,000 transactions in the first three months of the year, 80 per cent more than in the same period last year.

The demand for housing goes against warnings from senior Hong Kong officials about rising mortgage rates.

When announcing the rate rise, Norman Chan Tak-lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, urged prudence from borrowers when taking out a mortgage, as he said he anticipated as many as nine interest rate rises in coming years.

So far at least, these warnings have not been heeded by homebuyers, and last week a family of three spent more than HK$200 million on nine flats at Sun Hung Kai Properties’ Cullinan West.

In total, the Vibe Centro project will feature 930 units in four blocks. They are studio flats, starting from 200 square feet.

Before Saturday Poly said it would sell the units at between HK$17,407 per sq ft and HK$24,141 sq ft after taking a discount of 18 per cent.

The Poly spokeswoman said she was unable to comment on the prices paid so far, or offer any further information.

On Saturday Sun Hung Kai Properties also offered the second round sale of 312 units at Cullinan West atop Nam Cheong station at an average of HK$21,881 per sq ft.

Sun Hung Kai will release the details of sales on Sunday.