The government's efforts to cool the property market appear not to have dampened developers' appetite for land, with 14 of them submitting bids for a residential site in Sha Tin yesterday.
Another site, for a hotel on the North Point waterfront, attracted 11 bids.
The residential site in Sha Tin's Kau To Shan drew bids from developers such as Sun Hung Kai Properties, Cheung Kong, Sino Land, New World Development, Wheelock Properties, CSI Properties, A&F Capital and Yuexiu Property.
Surveyors estimated the site was worth between HK$1.24 billion and HK$1.31 billion, or HK$9,500 to HK$10,000 per square foot.
The valuations for the hotel site ranged between HK$2.33 billion and HK$3.91 billion, or HK$6,000 to HK$10,085 per square foot. Its bidders included SHKP, Cheung Kong, Sino Land, Lai Sun Development, Regal Hotels International, Emperor Group, Wheelock Properties and Magnificent Estates.
Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, national director for Greater China at property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield, said: "The number of bids for both sites is more than my expectation of eight to 10 each. But I think major developers' offers will be conservative because of the market outlook. Investment funds and small developers will be willing to offer higher prices to get the sites."
Alvin Lam Tsz-pun, a director at Midland Surveyors, said more developers submitted bids for the Sha Tin site because it was in a traditional luxury residential area.
"Also, the development scale is small, and the investment cost is lower," he said.
The low-density site in Sha Tin covers an area of 86,973 square feet. It is on a hill overlooking Chinese University.
It could yield a total gross floor area of 130,460 sq ft. The building height is limited to 227.5 metres above a baseline close to sea level (so the limit includes the height of the hill).
The hotel site, at the junction of Shu Kuk Street and North Point Estate Lane, is part of the former North Point Estate. It is one of the few waterfront sites on Victoria Harbour available for sale.
The 57,792 sq ft site could provide a total gross floor area of 387,504 sq ft and be developed into a hotel project with retail space. As it is a waterfront site, the building height is restricted to 80 metres.
Cheung said: "The waterfront site is next to the Island Eastern Corridor, which will be linked with the Central-Wan Chai Bypass under construction.
"It will be more convenient to go to Central from North Point. The location is good."
Lam said developers were interested in the site because the hotel market was not affected by the government cooling measures targeting residential property.