The overwhelming response to the tendering of three Kai Tak residential sites reflects developers' keen interest in acquiring plots in urban areas.
The Lands Department said yesterday it received a total of 28 bids for the three residential sites. The biggest site with a better view attracted the best response, with 12 bids. The other two sites received seven and nine bids each.
The valuations of the sites range from HK$7.52 billion to HK$9.53 billion, or HK$4,500 and HK$5,700 per square foot.
"The market response is good because the sites are located in the urban area and are without 'Hong Kong property for Hong Kong people' conditions," said Alvin Lam, a director at Midland Surveyors, referring to flats that can only be sold to Hong Kong permanent residents. He added that these factors could "lower the risk in property sales".
However, he believes offers made by developers would still be conservative due to weakening market sentiment and increased land supply.
Major developers such as Cheung Kong (Holdings), Henderson Land and K Wah International joined the bidding for all three sites, as well as mainland developer Poly Property.
If a single developer succeeds in winning all three sites the combined parcel of land could amount to 303,977 square feet and yield a total gross floor area of more than 1.67 million sq ft. That would be enough to support a housing estate with at least 2,590 flats.
China Overseas & Investment last year acquired two Kai Tak sites with the conditions attached for HK$4.54 billion, or HK$5,157 per square foot.
The tender result for the three Kai Tak sites is seen as a barometer of the current land market.
Separately, the Lands Department announced two residential sites in Shouson Hill and Tuen Mun will go up for tender on March 21. The tender will close on May 9.
The residential site at the junction of Shouson Hill Road West and Wong Chuk Hang Path, is expected to attract market attention with its potential to develop a luxury project. The site covers an area of 116,897 sq ft and could yield a total gross floor area of 87,673 sq ft.
The 23,702 sq ft Tuen Mun site at Tseng Choi Street, the former Kwong Choi Market, could be developed into a mass residential project with a total gross floor area of 71,107 sq ft.