THE first major property sale of the year received a lukewarm response yesterday, with mortgage sellers almost outnumbering home buyers.
Only about 37 per cent of 1,911 prospective buyers registered for the sale at Island Resort, Siu Sai Wan, showed up, with 703 out of 828 units sold by 6pm yesterday.
Throngs of bank staff and real estate dealers swamped potential buyers at the sales office for Island Resort in the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre.
A home mortgage interest rate below the prime rate, with some banks offering a rate as low as three per cent, was offered to lure customers.
The 828 units, the first of a total of 3,098 to be put on sale by Sino Land, cost an average of $4,288 to $5,518 per square foot. Flat sizes range from about 480 square feet to more than 1,200 square feet.
Among the would-be buyers, one couple bought an 856-square-foot flat for more than $4 million, saying the property was appealing to women, with a spa, health centre and beauty parlour.
'My daughter and I like it. We don't have to go to the city for a facial,' said the woman, from Quarry Bay.
Another registered prospective buyer said he was cancelling because he feared a rise in US interest rates.
Refusing to be identified, he said: 'I will wait and see as the interest rate may increase in the United States.' Real estate dealers at the scene said most buyers were purchasing the flats as homes rather than investments.