New World Development's latest residential project in Yuen Long will test buying sentiment in the mid-range market in the New Territories amid subdued demand as a result of the government's cooling measures.
The first price list for New World's The Woodsville at 18 Hung Shun Road, Hung Shui Kiu, in Yuen Long, was released on Friday. The first batch includes 50 flats - 21 of which come with gardens while the rest come with rooftops - priced from HK$4.69 million to HK$11.38 million.
The average asking price is HK$9,535 per square foot of saleable area and New World is offering an 8 per cent discount to buyers who settle in full within 90 days of signing the preliminary agreement.
"A new and low-density residential project like this one has not been seen in Yuen Long in the last seven to eight years. So it will attract many buyers, including retirees and investors who want to lease the properties," said Eric Chan Chung-ho, deputy sales director at Centaline Property Agency. Up to 90 per cent of people who had expressed interest in the flats were end-users, said Chan, and the remainder were long-term investors who like the project because it is close to Qianhai, the special economic zone in Shenzhen.
The first 50 flats come with parking spaces worth about HK$600,000 each, and this would help woo buyers because the government had restricted the number of parking spaces in future projects, Chan said.
Property agents said about 40 potential buyers had presented cheques to the developer, which would be used to pay deposits once the project opened for sale.
"The response is reasonable. Pricing from more than HK$4 million for a flat with 500 sq ft of saleable area is acceptable in the present market," said Sammy Po Siu-ming, a director at Midland Realty.
However, another property agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the area was still rural and the asking price of more than HK$9,000 per sq ft was high compared with other low-rise properties in the area priced at HK$5,000 to HK$7,000 per sq ft.
"There isn't any large infrastructure or facilities in that area yet. To get to larger shopping malls, people will need to travel a bit to go to Tin Shui Wai, Tuen Mun or the Yuen Long city centre," the agent said. "And buyers are very cautious now because they are uncertain about the market outlook due to the government's cooling measures."
BNP Paribas property analyst Patrick Wong Chi-leung said the asking in terms of saleable area after discounts at The Woodsville was about 30 per cent more than for homes recently sold in existing developments such as Park Nara and Uptown.
"However, all units in the first batch of The Woodsville are special units with gardens or roofs which are excluded from the saleable area," he added.
New World would start selling the project, which comprises 236 flats of two to four bedrooms, on Saturday, Po said.