Grand Central flats in East Kowloon nearly sell out, giving Sino Land a strong finish to rocky year for developers
- About 180 of the 280 units released had sold by 3pm on Saturday
- Signals are everywhere that property market is in a downturn, with a slide in prices expected to accelerate
Hong Kong developer Sino Land is closing the year on positive note, after buyers snapped up close to 90 per cent of its flats for sale on Saturday.
About 180 of the 208 units the company released at the fourth round sale of its Grand Central residential project in Kwun Tong in East Kowloon were sold as of 3pm. The year-end offer had drawn registrations from 1,500 prospective buyers, making it more than six times oversubscribed.
Although not all were sold, the figure is a “strong” one given the market is reaching year end, according to Sammy Po Siu-ming, chief executive of Midland Realty’s residential division.
“This would be this year’s last one and has set a positive note for the market in early 2019,” Po said.
The developer had sold 1,205 flats at the 1,999-unit Grand Central for the first three rounds, raking in about HK$14.7 billion (about US$1.9 billion) in sales, the most for new flat sales this year. As of Saturday, about 97 per cent of the units made available were sold.
The latest flats were offered at an average price of about HK$19,892 per square foot, up 14 per cent from the launch price on December 13, when the first batch of 488 units were snapped up by buyers in less than seven hours.
Buyers on Saturday included a doctor of United Christian Hospital and a bank worker who said they took part in the draw of previous batches but only got in the fourth round, according local media. The latter said that although he expected the market to slump by 10 to 20 per cent, the project was priced low and therefore was worth getting in on.
The city’s property market has been in a downturn since August, after Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor proposed a vacancy tax designed to force developers to add to the city’s housing supply while banks began raising mortgage rates for the first time in 12 years.
Centa-City Leading Index, the home price index compiled by Centaline Property Agency, has fallen 6.4 per cent in the 13 weeks ended December 16, which is the longest losing streak since November 2008.