The overwhelming initial response to New World Development and Wheelock Properties' discount strategy at joint-venture project The Austin Station has forced more developers to join the price war and fight for buyers in a depressed market.
About 3,000 potential buyers signed up for the first batch of 185 units at The Austin during a six-day registration period that ended yesterday. The units will go on sale tomorrow.
"The sweeteners coupled with price cuts have paid off as it will be the strongest initial response for a new project launch so far this year," one market observer said.
The number of registered buyers at The Austin, above the MTR's Austin Station, far exceeded the 2,000 potential buyers who signed up for the first batch of 60 units at The Cullinan, at Kowloon Station, last week.
Hang Lung Properties has joined the fight, offering discounts as high as 18 per cent for the first batch of 40 completed units at The Long Beach in Tai Kok Tsui.
On Wednesday night, Hang Lung, which has held on to the 1,100 completed units at the project for nine years, released the price list for 366 units at The Long Beach at an average price of HK$16,487 per square foot, 30 per cent higher than the HK$12,589 per sq ft average for prevailing transaction prices in the area.
Buyers of The Long Beach will receive an 8 per cent discount if they sign the deal by November 3. A further 10 per cent cut will be offered if they complete the transaction in 60 days, with an 8 per cent discount for completion within 90 days and 6 per cent within 180 days.
Unlike others, Hang Lung did not offer a subsidy to help buyers pay stamp duties. "The incentives offered by The Austin are definitely more attractive," said Adrian Ngan, executive director of property equities research at Citic Securities.
The average price for the first batch of 116 flats at The Austin is HK$22,871 per sq ft. That is 21 per cent less than the average price of the first batch of 181 flats at Sun Hung Kai's The Cullinan.