Interest in new homes in Discovery Bay is on the rise as potential buyers are lured to the area by the prospect of capital gains resulting from the construction of the East Lantau Metropolis an artificial island that is to be built to the east of Lantau.
"We have seen more flat viewers over the weekend as potential buyers want to learn more about Discovery Bay, which will be the closest residential area serving the future East Lantau Metropolis," said Simon Lee Wai-ling, an assistant associate director at Centaline Property Agency's Discovery Bay branch. But so far the new interest has not translated into a significant increase in deals in the area.
The plan for the Metropolis was announced by Chief Executive Leung Chun-yin in his policy address to the Legislative Council last Wednesday.
"It will become a core business district in addition to Central and Kowloon East for promoting economic development and providing job opportunities," he said.
Four luxury units at HKR International's project, The Amalfi in Discovery Bay in Lantau, priced at between HK$12.85 million and HK$14.53 million, were sold at the weekend, compared with two transactions a week earlier, according to the government website, Sales of First-Hand Residential Properties Electronic Platform.
"The sales were better than the previous week as home seekers made their decisions faster after the announcement," said Lee.
After Leung's address a government source said 1,000 hectares of land could be reclaimed to build the new metropolis, which could take 50 years to complete and would be connected by bridges or tunnels with the Western Districts on Hong Kong Island as well as Lantau Island and parts of the Western New Territories such as Tuen Mun.
Though greater interest from potential buyers in the primary market was evident after the announcement, this had not translated into an increase in deals in the secondary market in the area, where the number of transactions was down by about half since the introduction of doubled stamp duties in February last year, said Lee.
In his policy speech, Leung also said the government had carried out a preliminary review of the supporting infrastructure needed to explore the feasibility of developing a complex offering shopping, dining, entertainment and hotel facilities at the gateway to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. The bridge is expected to be completed in 2016.
Pandora Chan, senior manager of sales and marketing at HKR International, said the developer would release another 102 detached houses at Amalfi in the short term to capitalise on the announcements of both the new Metropolis and the complex.
"Discovery Bay should be the primary beneficiary of the positive news," she said.
Craig Shute, senior managing director at CBRE Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, said it was clear Lantau would be a key development area in the future.