Marketing strategies of developers in less prestigious locations to blame as owners ask for more Owners of prestigious residential properties are raising their asking prices - their confidence boosted by aggressively priced new projects in non-traditional luxury areas. According to Ricacorp Properties, only 17 residential transactions valued at more than $50 million have been concluded since the beginning of this year, compared with 66 similar transactions in the fourth quarter of last year. There have only been two transactions at Regalia Bay in Wong Ma Kok, Stanley, a luxury home project, since the beginning of this year, while eight units were sold in the previous quarter. Ricky Poon, a sales director at Colliers International, said many owners of properties in traditional luxury areas, such as Island South, The Peak and Mid-Levels, were raising their asking prices as they saw more higher-priced transactions in areas that were not traditionally recognised as luxury districts. 'While many of these sky-high asking prices for [luxury] units are marketing strategies of developers to stir up buying sentiment, the higher prices are having a significant psychological impact on sellers,' Mr Poon said. He said many owners were taking reference from the asking prices of some new projects on top of Kowloon station and leaving little room for price negotiation. Mr Poon said this had resulted in slower luxury home transactions in recent months. Property agents said prices asked by developers for some penthouse units were only meant to boost sales of cheaper standard units. Sun Hung Kai Properties recently indicated it was asking about $15,000 per sq ft for sea-facing units in its flagship 1,054-unit The Arch, on Kowloon station, while penthouse duplexes and larger units on the higher floors would be priced between $20,000 and $30,000 per sq ft. Wharf (Holdings) is offering a 2,715 sq ft duplex unit at Sorrento, near Kowloon station, for tender in the hope of getting $20,000 per sq ft. Cheung Kong (Holdings) also recently put on sale a 3,000 sq ft penthouse in a mass residential project in Tseung Kwan O at $13,000 per sq ft. Among sellers who had turned more aggressive in traditionally prestigious areas was Onshine Holdings, owner of Grosvenor Place at 117 Repulse Bay Road. The firm acquired the property en bloc from British property giant Grosvenor for $939.8 million, or an average of $15,575 per sq ft, in April last year. After selling 10 units of the 21-unit development last year, Claires Keung Pui-fong, general manager of the property division of Onshine Holdings, said the firm was going to relaunch the project with a 15 per cent price rise compared to the last batch, which sold for an average $18,500 per sq ft. The relaunch will feature a show flat. The asking price for two 2,809 sq ft units on the 11th and 20th floors would be about $19,000 to $23,000 per sq ft, Ms Keung said. 'I consider the price rise modest, considering asking prices in less prestigious locations.' Jimmy Fong, director of residential development and investment of Savills, said: 'While new projects in prestigious locations are rare, owners feel confident in asking for higher prices as they see projects in much more densely populated areas going for even higher prices.'