Quantitative easing (QE) refers to large-scale asset purchases by the US Federal Reserve to inject liquidity in the world’s biggest economy after the onset of the global financial crisis in late 2008. In September 2012, stubbornly high US unemployment and faltering economic growth prompted it to launch QE3, under which it planned to buy US$40 billion worth of bonds per month, with no set end date. As of late 2012, it had bought some US$2.3 trillion in long-term securities.
QE3 encourages bids for MTR site near Long Ping station
A residential site near Yuen Long's Long Ping MTR station is expected to attract keen interest from developers and could fetch a top bid of up to HK$1.9 billion, valuers say.
Sixteen developers, including heavyweights Cheung Kong, China Overseas, Hang Lung Properties and Sun Hung Kai Properties, last month submitted expressions of interest in acquiring the 106,564 sq ft site located on the northern side of the MTR station. Bidding will be open until October 15.
"Since the launch of QE3, even if people do not buy property as a hedge against inflation and cash depreciation, prices are unlikely to down," said Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield's national director for valuation.
QE3 refers to the third round of quantitative easing measures announced last month by the US Federal Reserve aimed at aiding the US economic recovery.
"So, the site should attract a good response with about eight or more bids," said Cheung, adding that he valued the site at about HK$1.68 billion or HK$3,200 per sq ft in terms of the gross floor area.
If the site were sold at around that price it would be cheaper than a site in the nearby residential area acquired by Cheung Kong in March last year, which was sold for HK$3,629 per sq ft, because the site now up for auction is located in Yuen Long's Tung Tau Industrial Area. He expected flats to be built on the site would be sold for about HK$6,800 and HK$7,000 per sq ft.
Located to the north of Long Ping MTR station, the site could yield a total gross floor area of 523,938 sq ft. Government restrictions mean the site has to provide at least 832 flats and 75 per cent of the units must be less than 538 sq ft.
Centaline Surveyors director James Cheung King-tat said the restriction would have a limited impact on the site's selling price because there was on-going demand for small flats in the area.