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Yvonne Liu
Yvonne Liu

A leading Hong Kong real estate investment trust (reit) is urging authorities to ease restrictions on Mandatory Provident Fund investments in the trusts.

Phiyona Au Yeung Ming-sze believes architecture should reflect community needs in a city. In Hong Kong, an increasing desire for more open space and green areas will be addressed by her design firm's current major project - the West Kowloon park.

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The government faces an uphill task in increasing land supply, with more than half of the residential sites in the land sale programme yet to complete the rezoning process.

A small residential site in Fanling attracted 23 bidders yesterday although the site is far from the city centre, with surveyors estimating it could be worth between HK$525 million and HK$693 million.

New World Development kept a conservative target for contracted sales in the fiscal year to June 2015, even though its contracted sales hit a record in the previous financial year.

New World China Land said it cut its sales target for the current financial year by 15 per cent given the downturn in the sector as it reported net profit last year rose marginally, although it came in slightly above market expectations.

Nanjing has become the latest mainland city to remove property curbs in a move to boost the struggling market, but the rights issue offering of Agile Property Holdings has led to a fall in mainland property shares.

Xiamen is the only mainland city which recorded growth in new private housing prices among the 70 major mainland cities in August, government figures showed.

Average rents at 50 major housing estates in Hong Kong hit a record high last month, research by Ricacorp Properties shows.

CSI Properties, a property investment company, is raising up to HK$442.4 million through placement of new shares to fund its property investment.

MTR Corp released the tender terms for the Tai Wai Station residential project as the land premium was cut to a level 18 per cent lower than two years ago in a bid to woo developers.

New projects with smaller flats in Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island and luxury flats at Kowloon Station are proving the most attractive to investors.

The mainland's inventory of unsold housing stock has soared 190 per cent over the past four years, in a further sign that the downturn in the property market is deepening.

MTR Corp's Tai Wai Station residential project yesterday received an overwhelming response, with 23 developers expressing interest in the property.

The MTR Corp will reopen bidding for the Tai Wai Station residential project, two years after its tender was pulled. The project was withdrawn in 2012 because of a lack of interest and the bids were too low.

Developers are taking advantage of the government's controversial plan to rezone green belt areas to meet housing targets.

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The outlook for Hong Kong's retail property market has become a hot topic for debate amid the recent decline in retail sales and proposed changes to the scheme allowing individual mainland tourists to visit the city.

Strong demand for small flats helped push Hong Kong property prices to a fresh high for the third consecutive month in July, with analysts expecting gains to continue in the coming months.

Prices in five of the housing estates most popular among investors in the 1990s are still below their peak values in 1997, although the average home price in HK is 23.8 per cent higher than at the top of the market 17 years ago.

Fast-selling properties in Tseung Kwan O and at a luxury project at Kowloon Station could be a sign of an upturn in the property market.

The government tender for the first commercial site to become available in 16 years in Tsim Sha Tsui right attracted 18 bidders yesterday.

Sino Land said its underlying profit slid 24.3 per cent to HK$5.02 billion for the year to June as the lack of completed new projects weighed on its results.

Shimao Property Holdings reported a 20.5 per cent jump in first-half net profit yesterday, but falling turnover prompted fellow developer Guangzhou R&F Properties to cut its full-year target for contracted sales by 14 per cent.

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) succeeded in attracting more bidders for the latest phase of its biggest redevelopment project after it relaxed the terms for the sale of the land following an aborted auction earlier.

Guangzhou R&F Properties has cut its contracted sales target by 10 billion yuan (HK$12.57 billion) this year on signs of slowing sales.

The only commercial site in Tsim Sha Tsui released for sale in 16 years is expected to generate an overwhelming response by the time the tender closes on Friday.

Hysan Development, the largest landlord in Causeway Bay, believes it can seize the opportunities from the consolidation of store networks undertaken by luxury brands as a slowdown in retail sales gathers pace.

It was a familiar environment for Lau Siu-chuen when he took up the post of deputy chairman and chief executive of Hysan Development in 2012. He was the group's acting chief financial officer in 1999.

Swire Properties posted a 34.2 per cent jump in first-half underlying profit to HK$3.78 billion on strong property sales and rising rental income, with the property giant looking to build on its gains as it expected a positive performance in the second half.

The relaxation of home purchase restrictions on the mainland might be extended to Beijing and Shenzhen, the Shanghai Securities Journal reports.

Li Ka-shing is set to sell Shanghai property assets worth almost HK$6 billion, bringing the value of disposals made by him on the mainland and in Hong Kong since August last year to about HK$25 billion.

Weakening retail sales and high rents at second-tier streets in core shopping districts have led major brands to look for shops at regional malls instead.

Among Chinese places, Shanghai – or perhaps Hainan, depending on your criteria and whom you ask – relies the most on property investment.

ARA Asset Management is selling its International Capital Plaza in Shanghai for 1.54 billion yuan (HK$1.94 billion), the Beijing Times reports.

Hong Kong property prices hit a record in June, raising questions about the effectiveness of the government’s measures to cool down the property market.

The tender for two residential sites in the New Territories received an overwhelming response yesterday, a fresh sign of confidence among developers that demand for smaller flats will stay strong over the next three years.

The Rating and Valuation Department's monthly price index of private housing climbed 2.6 percentage points from the previous record, set in May, to 249.8.

Tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung has launched a succession plan that will allow his daughter, Gigi Chao, to take the helm of the family property company Cheuk Nang.

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The URA has offered a series of concessions - including dropping the HK$8 billion minimum requirement - to woo developers to bid for its single biggest project that will turn Kwun Tong's rundown town centre into a "mini Taikoo Shing".

Hong Kong's two largest developers, Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Sun Hung Kai Properties, will battle for buyers in Tseung Kwan O, where they are poised to launch new projects for sale.

Developers are expected to be cautious in bidding for a commercial and residential site in Tsuen Wan because of the large investment required.

A hotel in Zhejiang province in the style of a French country house has been released for sale with an indicative price of 250 million yuan (HK$314 million).

Cheung Kong yesterday put a HK$1.55 million price tag on its 177 square foot studio flats at Mont Vert in Tai Po amid new data that shows home sales in the city continue to surge to new heights.

New residential projects where discounts and subsidies for extra stamp duty are being offered have revived buying interest from investors who stayed on the sidelines.

High construction costs and strong demand are seen keeping property prices high although new private housing supply over the next three to four years is set to push inventory to an eight-year high, analysts say.

Vacancy rates for retail outlets, at their highest in three years in four shopping districts, will head higher still by early next year, but not enough to bring down rents by more than a modest amount, analysts say.

Two members of a watchdog group who protested at The Link Real Estate Investment Trust's annual general meeting were carried away from the venue.

While the government seeks more land across the city to meet its ultimate target of 470,000 more homes within a decade, architect Bryant Lu says Hong Kong urgently needs an urban master plan.

Tight housing supply led to a decrease in secondary home sales in Hong Kong last week, but prices continue to rise.

Bryant Lu worked for an architectural firm in New York for two years after he graduated from Cornell University. In 2000, he decided to join Ronald Lu & Partners, founded by his father, Ronald Lu, a well-known Hong Kong architect.

Four of the 10 developers invited to tender by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) have submitted bids for its Kwun Tong redevelopment project, which could see an estimated investment of HK$18 billion.

Developers are planning to release commercial projects to cash in on improving market sentiment in Hong Kong after strong residential sales in recent months.

A private developer is confident it can profitably build on sites where the Housing Society abandoned a residential project for the elderly as being too expensive.

Tiny flats on offer at Cheung Kong's Mont Vert in Tai Po are set to cause a big impact among investors and first-time buyers. The 1,071-unit project in Fung Yuen offers 196 flats with sizes of less than 200 sq ft.

A pan-democratic legislator's idea of refunding stamp duty to firms that hold on to properties for more three years is likely to fail in the Legislative Council.

Property investors who bulked up their retail portfolios in recent years have found themselves on the wrong end of a bet on mainland shoppers driving a sustained boom in sales.

As Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's administration enters a third year, planners and property consultants say the government should have a blueprint for the development of the city as a whole, rather than use town planning as a tool to remedy a housing shortage.

The government and MTR Corporation will release five housing sites worth HK$5.5 billion for sale between now and September 30.

Rents for luxury homes plunged in the first half, with declines of as much as 15 per cent in the top tier of the market, reflecting reductions in corporate housing allowances.

Home seekers troubled by recent rises in the mass-residential sector now have an old foe to contend with: a resurgent rental market.

Buyers snapped up about 460 luxury flats as sales of four new developments were held. Experts said the easing of cooling measures had released pent-up demand.

Hong Kong developers are likely to remain cautious about buying land, industry watchers say, even though they have been aggressively raising prices for new projects.

Weakness in the global economy is driving some companies to downsize their offices and seek replacement tenants for their office space in Kowloon.

Shares in New World China Land plunged 16.93 per cent yesterday after shareholders vetoed the privatisation offer proposed by its parent firm, New World Development.

Hong Kong's property market is always full of surprises. Even as some home seekers were waiting for property prices to fall this year, prices recently began to rebound.

Shareholders of New World China Land yesterday rejected New World Development's HK$18.6 billion proposal to take the company private, effectively throwing the parent firm's future plans into doubt.

The government should import workers to cope with the problem of increasing construction costs, K Wah International chairman Lui Che-woo says of a problem brought on in part by an ageing population in Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong's construction industry is always in a boom-and-bust cycle," said Thomas Ho On-shing, chief executive of Gammon Construction.

Gammon Construction was founded in India in 1919. The company has been based in Hong Kong since 1958, after it won the contract to build a new runway at Kai Tak airport in 1955.

Market watchers say Great Eagle Holdings' first purchase of land in the city in 25 years last month was more a case of grabbing a cut-price opportunity than a sign the market is looking up.

Prices of small flats in the second-hand market have rebounded recently, with some units even changing hands at record highs.

Hong Kong home sales rose sharply over the Dragon Boat Festival long weekend, fuelled by interest in Cheung Kong's City Point project in Tsuen Wan.

Property sales throughout the city are likely to be boosted after the entire first batch of flats at Cheung Kong's City Point in Tsuen Wan sold in a day, real estate agents involved in the transactions say.

Flat owners in Tai Po have refused to cut asking prices after a record low winning bid for a luxury residential site indicated land prices in the area have plunged by nearly half since 2007.

A record low winning bid for a residential site in Tai Po surprised the market yesterday as it became evident the government is open to settle for cheaper land prices as it seeks to increase housing supply.

A Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors member said it planned to suggest the government establish an authority to regulate renovation work to ensure fairness and efficiency.

Chinese Estates Holdings said it was planning to launch a residential project in Sai Wan in the second half of the year and the firm would continue concentrating on luxury projects.

Would you buy a flat if the government extends the period during which you can sell your old home and still qualify for exemption from double stamp duty?

The booming online shopping market on the mainland has fuelled the growth of courier companies over the last few years and has turned them into the buyers of some of the most luxurious houses in Hong Kong.