Sun Hung Kai Properties is one of Hong Kong’s largest property groups, with revenue of HK$68.4 billion in the 2011-2012 financial year, and profit attributable to shareholders of HK$43.08 billion. The company has been shaken in recent years by disputes between family members, with chairman and chief executive Walter Kwok being forced to step down in a dispute with his brothers Thomas and Raymond. In March, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) arrested senior officials as part of a corruption probe that also included former chief secretary Rafael Hui.
SHKP price cuts help offload Riva flats
Homebuyers snap up Yuen Long flats after developer lowers prices, but analysts say it's not a sign of wider property market recovery
Sun Hung Kai Properties' price cutting strategy proved an effective tactic in attracting home buyers when it relaunched its residential project in Yuen Long, pricing it as low as HK$7,583 per square foot.
All 62 units at the Riva in Kam Tin were sold by 6pm yesterday, according to market sources.
"Nearly 80 per cent of registered clients through our firm showed up and wanted to buy in the first batch. It shows SHKP's discounts and incentives work," said Louis Chan Wing-kit, managing director for residential sales at Centaline Property Agency.
For the period from February 1 to 17, there were 150 units sold in the primary residential market, the government's First-hand Residential Properties website said. Chan expects less than 500 new flats will change hands for the whole of February. It was too early to say if market sentiment has improved, an analyst familiar with the market said.
"With the Riva located in a secondary location, the sales outcome cannot serve as an indicator for the prospects of the property market," he said.
Last week, SHKP released the price list of 154 units with the first 62 offered for sale yesterday. The cheapest on offer is a 559 square foot unit worth HK$4.23 million, or HK$7,583 per square foot. SHKP said 3,177 potential buyers were interested in the project.
Prospective buyers and agents started to line up outside the sales office at the development from 9am to wait for their turn to select flats. Units on offer were priced at HK$7,583 and HK$10,884 per square foot, compared with a recent transaction price of HK$9,216 per square foot at the one-year-old One Regent Place in the area.
The latest prices are also far below the average price of HK$12,268 per square foot seen at the Riva project in March last year. Two villas were sold then at about HK$30 million each.
With the Riva launched at below market expectations, sales in the secondary residential market in Yuen Long nearly ground to a halt.
A 475 square feet unit at Yoho Midtown changed hands at HK$4.46 million, or HK$9,406 per square foot, about 10 per cent below current transaction prices in the area.
"Wherever there is a new project put on sale, the secondary market will be hit the hardest. Owners will face difficulties finding a buyer unless they offer at least a 10 per cent price reduction," said Sammy Po Siu-ming, the chief executive of the residential department at Midland Realty.
Separately, Nan Fung Development sold 14 units at Winfield Building in Happy Valley after it offered up to 21 per cent discount from the price list and a free car parking space on Monday. Units were sold for HK$37.8 million and HK$85.6 million before the discounts.