Home sales stall ahead of projects in Hong Kong's New Territories

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2012, 11:16pm

Sales of both new and older homes stalled last week as would-be buyers turned their attention to the upcoming launch of two projects in the New Territories.

Analysts said recent government policy measures aimed at cooling down house prices may have contributed to the slowdown in sales.

Some buyers may have become cautious in the expectation that prices could be forced down.

Total transactions at 50 selected estates monitored by Ricacorp Properties fell for a fifth straight week, with 218 flats sold for the week ending on Sunday.

This represented a week-on-week decline of 27 per cent compared with the week ending September 2.

Ricacorp director David Chan Tai-wai said buyer interest was drawn to the impending release of Sun Hung Kai Properties' Century Gateway in Tuen Mun and Henderson Land Development's Double Cove at Wu Kai Sha.

He expected that secondary market deals could drop further to below 200 flats during this week.

Nomura Hong Kong said developers sold 21 new flats, with eight sold at Providence Peak in Tai Po and five sold at The Riverpark in Sha Tin. In total, New World Development has sold 720 flats at The Riverpark, generating HK$6.4 billion in sales.

Cheung Kong said it sold a further five flats at Kennedy Park in Central at average prices of HK$27,800 to HK$29,300 per sq ft, generating HK$320 million in sales. To date Cheung Kong has sold 21 flats at the site.

Prices of secondary deals rose 1.03 per cent last week and set a new record high, widening the year-to-date gain to 13.1 per cent.

"While the market was initially dismissive of the efficacy of the policies, we believe the policies are dynamic in nature and are unlikely to be the last moves - especially if speculative activity continues," said Paul Louie, head of regional property research at Nomura Hong Kong.

The policies involve a "Hong Kong property for Hong Kong residents" scheme, and also converting 700 industrial buildings to temporary residential use with land premium payments waived.