Demand for luxury apartments remains buoyant as buyers snap up units worth a combined $10b at SHKP development Buyers still hoping to get a piece of the presale action in Sun Hung Kai Properties' (SHKP) record-breaking residential development, the Arch, have missed out - all units available to the public have been sold for about $10 billion. Pressed by property agents keen to cash in on Hong Kong's bubbling luxury apartment sector, SHKP has brought forward its sale timetable and says it now only has reserve units on its books. And the developer, which last week received $168 million for a 5,353 square foot penthouse - a record $31,500 per square foot - is set to top that. 'We have received an offer of $38,000 per square foot for one of the penthouse duplexes,' said Victor Lui Ting, executive director of Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency. He said the firm was still negotiating with the potential buyer. Of the 1,052 units in the 52-storey West Kowloon project, due for completion next year, 800 were sold last week within days of government presale approval. 'The demand is much stronger than I had expected. We can't just hold off on the sale when about a thousand buyers turn up,' said Mr Lui, whose firm splashed out $200 million on show flats at the Arch. Units were sold in a range of prices. Those without a sea view fetched $8,000 to $11,000 per square foot while sea-front units sold for $13,000 to $24,500 per square foot. 'Real estate agents have been urging us to release the remaining units, but those units are reserved,' Mr Lui said. The remaining units are being held back for members of SHKP Club and buyers referred by the firm's senior management. Sales were much faster than assumed by the firm's original schedule. Earlier this month, Mr Lui said the developer planned to sell only about 300 units in the first half of this year, about a third in the second half and the rest next year as the building was finished. The luxury apartment market has surged recently, despite rising interest rates and concerns about the strength of the mass housing market. Veteran investor Lobo Law Ka-po has bought a 98-unit tower in Residence Bel-Air for $1 billion. In view of abundant market liquidity, developers have been promoting their luxury projects aggressively. Wharf (Holdings) is aiming to get $3 billion for a three-year-old housing block at No1 Plantation Road on the Peak. Cheung Kong (Holdings) also hopes to cash in with the Legend on the former Tiger Balm Gardens site in Tai Hang and Shimao China Holdings is selling two 6,000 sqft houses on the Peak. Cheung Kong executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung has warned that the luxury market involved a higher risk. 'Investors who eye short-term profits take a pretty large portion in luxury residential market and thus the market is riskier [than the mass residential market],' he said. Cheung Kong sold about 1,000 units in the first quarter, compared with about 2,000 units in the same period last year.