Midsized developers snapped up residential sites in Sha Tin and Tuen Mun yesterday as large developers turned cautious about acquiring land.
HKR International, the developer of Discovery Bay, teamed up with Nan Fung Development to outbid 10 other developers and acquire a site in Sha Tin's Kau To for HK$1.22 billion, or HK$9,071 per square foot, at the lower end of market expectations.
Its last acquisition in Hong Kong was in 2011, when it paid HK$55 million to buy a residential site in Sai Kung.
Wing Tai Properties, one of the major landlords in Kau To, outbid eight developers to win a 125,142 square foot site in Tuen Mun Road in So Kwun Wat's Siu Sau for HK$563.18 million. That fell within surveyors' estimates of between HK$478 million and HK$740 million.
Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, national director of Greater China at Cushman & Wakefield, said: "It is similar to the land market of Tseung Kwan O. Developers who bought a number of sites in the area are still interested in land in the area but they expect lower land prices. This gave midsized developers a chance to buy a plot at a lower price."
The 64,046 sq ft site in Kau To could yield a total gross floor area of 134,496 sq ft. The price is 17 per cent less than a previous site in the area sold to Sun Hung Kai Properties in March.
As the So Kwun Wat site could yield a maximum gross floor area of 159,372 sq ft, the selling price equates to about HK$3,534 per buildable square foot. That is about 9 per cent higher than another residential site in Tuen Mun, which was sold to Wah Yip at HK$3,241 per buildable square foot in June.
Wing Tai is required to build at least 175 flats on the land parcel.