Sun Hung Kai Properties

Ap Lei Chau flats tipped to sell at record prices

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 February, 2010, 12:00am

The developers of a luxury residential project in Island South hope to ride on the latest wave of demand for upmarket properties and launch their project at record prices for the area as early as next month.

Larvotto, located on the east coast of Ap Lei Chau, comprises nine 34- to 37-storey residential towers. Its 715 flats will range in size from 1,000 square feet to 2,600 sq ft and the first batch will be pitched at prices above HK$60 million each.

'We will initially offer 25 units only in Towers One and Two next month or in April. The sizes of the units range between 2,400 and 2,600 sq ft and the average price will be about HK$25,000 per sq ft,' said Victor Lui Ting, executive director at Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency, a subsidiary of Sun Hung Kai Properties.

That will put an entry-level price tag of HK$60 million on the project, which is due for completion in the first half of next year and will be the first new release in Island South since Residence Bel-Air was launched at Cyberport.

Transaction data from Centaline Property Agency show that units in Residence Bel-Air are now changing hands in the secondary market at prices ranging between HK$10,448 and HK$19,576 per sq ft, which pitches Larvotto at a premium of at least 28 per cent to prices on the secondary market in the area.

The project is being developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong's largest developer by market value; developer and property services group Paliburg Holdings; and Kerry Properties, controlled by the Kuok Group, controlling shareholder of the SCMP Group, which publishes the South China Morning Post.

Sun Hung Kai and Kerry Properties each hold a 35 per cent stake in the venture, and Paliburg holds the remaining 30 per cent.

In addition to capitalising on the surge of demand revealed in the strong support for the launch last week of Sun Hung Kai's Yoho Midtown residential project in Yuen Long, the developers are pitching Larvotto as the only luxury residential development in Island South this year. The next release in the area is only due in 2012.

The next new project in the area will be in Aberdeen, developed by a consortium of Sino Land, Nan Fung Development and K Wah International. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012, according to K Wah's annual report.

Cathy Chiu Pui-ching, a senior district manager at Ricacorp Properties, expects Larvotto to record strong sales. 'The market positioning and development of Larvotto is similar to Residence Bel-Air. They are among only a few new housing estates in the area that provide flats of over 1,000 sq ft with sea views,' she said.

Sales data show that an average of 30 deals have been done over the last three months in Residence Bel-Air. In January some 40 flats were sold at prices that were some 30 per cent up on last year.

Victor Lui said the construction cost of Larvotto was more than HK$4,000 per sq ft, similar to The Cullinan, another luxury residential project developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties and the MTR Corporation above the Kowloon station in West Kowloon.

'Larvotto is one of our highest-spending developments. We used high-end materials such as marble and the units are fitted with the international luxury brands,' he said. 'All have curtain walls, giving the residents better sea views. The balcony will be at the back of the flats.'

Traffic used to be a key concern in Ap Lei Chau as the island's only road link is Ap Lei Chau Bridge. However, the MTR Corp plans to build South Island Line (East), which will connect Ap Lei Chau and Admiralty with a travel time of only nine minutes. Work is expected to be completed in 2015.

Home sales in the secondary market dropped 39 per cent last week as buyer attention switched to the launch of Yoho Midtown.

A total of 137 transactions were recorded from February 15 to 21 in the 50 major housing estates monitored by Ricacorp Properties, compared with 225 deals in the previous week. However, the average price rose 0.8 per cent from a week earlier.