Hong Kong property

New flat in Marin Point, Sha Tau Kok, priced above HK$9 million

Far East Consortium has priced the flats at up to HK$17,815 per sq ft, reflecting a rise in property values in the northwestern New Territories

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2017, 9:35pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2017, 11:00pm

A new apartment complex in a frontier town in the New Territories is offering a 593 square foot unit for HK$9.6 million, highlighting the pressure on the city’s next administration to rein in runaway home prices.

Far East Consortium International unveiled its new project, Marin Point, in Sha Tau Kok in the northwestern New Territories on Tuesday. The development, the first in the fenced-off area in 17 years, has priced its flats in a range between HK$10,196 per square foot and HK$17,815 per sq ft.

The first batch to go on sale comprises 57 units, with an average price of HK$10,175 per sq ft after discount. The 593 sq ft apartment priced at HK$9.6 million is the most expensive in the development.

While we used to think that projects in the New Territories are relatively low in class and quality, there are now many upscale ones entering the market
Thomas Lam, senior director, Knight Frank

Only Sha Tau Kok residents are permitted to purchase units in the project because of the town’s special status as a frontier closed area, or divided border town.

It was originally established to prevent migrants from the mainland and smuggled goods from making their way across the border in the 1950s.

The high price of Marin Point reflects a broader trend of rising property values in the northwest of Hong Kong. In recent years, homebuilders have been keen to develop more upscale projects in the New Territories.

Thomas Lam, a senior director at Knight Frank, said units in the New Territories are now often priced in the vicinity of HK$14,000 per sq ft.

“While we used to think that projects in the New Territories are relatively low in class and quality, there are now many upscale ones entering the market. Developers are selling new units which are more luxurious,” he said.

Allen Fong Chun, group senior sales and marketing director of Far East Consortium International , said the price was not set too high, even for frontier town residents, since Marin Point is one of very few upscale estates in the area and has a small private clubhouse.

He said that given the rarity of housing projects in Sha Tau Kok, Marin Point would be very attractive to potential buyers, even though it is limited to those who possess residence permits.

“Although Sha Tau Kok is still currently closed, its historical function is likely to end. We can’t exclude the possibility of the frontier closed area being unsealed soon. It would not surprise me,” said Fong.

He said there are currently about 3,000 families living in Sha Tau Kok.

The last new housing project in the area was Greenside Paradise, which was built about 17 years ago. A unit at that time was priced at about HK$2,000 per sq ft. In December, a 779 sq ft unit in Greenside Paradise was sold for HK$4.28 million, or HK$ 5,494 per sq ft.

Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, an executive director at Colliers International, said estates in the northwest of the New Territories are likely to become more popular in the near future as rising rent in Shenzhen drives more residents to invest in Hong Kong’s property market.

“If Shenzhen residents are considering homes priced at HK$23,000 per square foot in Shenzhen Bay, prices in Hong Kong are actually cheaper,” he said.