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Hong Kong housing

Hong Kong housing project in Yuen Long attracts third highest number of potential buyers, despite market downturn

Most of the flats on offer at Sun Hung Kai Property’s Grand Yoho are snapped up within hours as developer offers discounts and flexible loans

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 August, 2016, 7:37pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 August, 2016, 11:09pm

More than 16,700 potential buyers signed up for Sun Hung Kai Properties’ latest residential project, Grand Yohoin Yuen Long – the third highest number ever for a Hong Kong development.

Lured by a raft of discounts and flexible loans, over 300 flats were snapped up within hours. A total of 308 units were put up for sale during a first phase on Saturday.

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In 1997, with the property market driven largely by speculation, the firm’s Villa Esplanada in Tsing Yi registered a record 30,000 interested buyers, while East Point City in Tseung Kwan O chalked up 27,000 potential purchasers.

By 3pm on Saturday, over 95 per cent or about 300 Grand Yoho units had been sold, according to market sources who expect all 308 units to be snapped up by the end of the day.

Buyers were attracted by lower-than-expected prices as well as the amenities near the property.

“The project is close to the MTR station which makes it very convenient, and the prices are very reasonable,” said Gordon Fu, an architect who purchased a unit.

Although property prices are forecast to fall as much as 20 per cent in the next two years, Fu said that he was not too worried about housing prices as he purchased the flat primarily for personal use and not as an investment.

Another buyer, Po Lo, said he was not bullish about property prices in the near future but decided to purchase the flat because it was one of the “most luxurious” condominiums in Yuen Long.

“The location is very convenient, prices are reasonable and the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor is close to Yuen Long,” Lo said, adding that the nearby Yoho Mall and reputable schools in the area were also reasons why he bought.

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Prices at Grand Yoho go as low as HK$9,931 per square foot after factoring in a maximum discount of 18.25 per cent, according to the price list released by Sun Hung Kai Properties.

A 543 square foot unit on the seventh floor of block nine was offered for HK$5.29 million after the discount, making it the cheapest in terms of price per square foot.

Prices are about 10 per cent lower than for Cheung Kong’s Yuccie Square project in Yuen Long, which was offered for HK$13,200 per square foot in July.

To lure buyers, Sun Hung Kai Properties has offered a “Yoho30 Plus” scheme – a 30-month, interest-free loan of up to 92 per cent of the unit’s value, making it more attractive than a standard bank mortgage of 60 per cent of a unit’s value up to HK$10 million or 50 per cent for units that cost more than that.

Sammy Po, chief executive of Midland Realty’s residential department, said that as secondary market property prices in Hong Kong continued to surge, Grand Yoho’s competitive offering made it attractive to many buyers.

Po added that Brexit and the subsequent quantitative easing had also resulted in a greater cash flow into the Hong Kong property market as investors started to favour real estate over other investments.