Centaline Property Agency has painted a rosy picture on the outlook for the Hong Kong property market, saying the total value of residential and commercial sales are expected to reach all-time highs this year.
The agency's bullish forecast came despite concerns in the market that further measures to curb demand and price growth may be announced after chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying takes office next week; and news that developer Cheung Kong (Holdings) is offering flats in its joint venture project, the Beaumount in Tseung Kwan O, at prices below transaction values in the secondary market in the area.
Brushing aside these concerns, Centaline chief executive for Asia-Pacific Addy Wong forecast a rise of almost 42 per cent in the number of new flats released for sale this year, from 10,500 last year to 15,000.
In the first half, he said 5,180 new homes were sold for a total of HK$64.5 billion, but the second half of the year 'will be dominated by developers rolling out their new projects'.
Since developers were launching more mass residential projects and fewer luxury developments, total transaction values would rise by a more modest 12.5 per cent to HK$150 billion.
'That will set a historic high,' Wong said.
The comments came as the secondary residential market digested the news that Cheung Kong had unveiled a price list for the first batch of flats at the Beaumount on Monday, pitched at an average of HK$5,313 per sq ft for cash buyers.
That was 25 per cent below the prices at which flats were changing hands in the secondary market in the area.
The 1,777-flat development is the biggest to go on sale this year.
But Wong was buoyant about prospects for sales of both new and secondary-market luxury flats, and believed that with 6,000 deals to be concluded this year, combined primary and secondary market sales in the sector would reach a record HK$180 billion.
Total sales of commercial properties, meanwhile, could reach HK$200 billion, which Wong said would be a record high.