Sun Hung Kai Properties will not slow the pace of its sales programme even though fresh curbs have led to a sharp fall in home sales and a softening of property prices.
"New and second-hand homes sales have dropped after the buyer's stamp duty introduced [by the government] in October. Property prices have also fallen slightly," SHKP co-chairman Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong said yesterday after the annual general meeting.
"I believe home sales will continue to fall and prices soften in the short run. But we have different products, which include both mass-residential and luxury flats. We won't slow down our sales schedule.
"We'll release the projects for sale when they are ready. But there is no doubt sales would be slower."
Property prices are unpredictable at this stage as the outlook for global economy remains uncertain, Kwok said.
The developer plans to release The Wings II in Tseung Kwan O, Riva and another project in Yuen Long's Ha Yau Tin, the Belcher's Street project in Sai Wan, and phase two of Century Gateway in Tuen Mun by the end of June next year.
Kwok said he supports the government's plan to build more Home Ownership Scheme flats and public housing.
"But in the long term, movements in property prices will depend on land supply. The government should increase land supply to solve the housing problem," he said, adding the company would continue to acquire suitable sites for development.
Co-chairman and brother Raymond Kwok Ping-luen said: "The government has yet to release details of the new buyer's stamp duty. The pace of acquiring old buildings for redevelopment would definitely slow."
In the retail sector, he is bullish on the rental income of the company's retail properties in the face of slackening retail sales in Hong Kong in recent months.
"Mainly sales of luxury watches and jewellery [to mainland shoppers] have been affected. Our malls mainly target local customers and have seen faster sales growth compared with the rest of the market after renovation."
Thomas Kwok said salary increases for staff had not been decided yet but the level should be "okay". Increases at SHKP are seen as an indicator for many companies in Hong Kong.
SHKP yesterday released for sale 665 vacant parking spaces from 10 housing estates in Sha Tin, Sheung Shui, Sham Tseng and Tuen Mun. Prices range from HK$200,000 to HK$470,000.
Sino Land also released about 40 parking spaces at Grand Palisades in Tai Po for sale.
SHKP's shares fell 1.32 per cent to HK$112.60 yesterday.