Hong Kong developer Wheelock Properties expects to shrug off headwinds and remains optimistic about the city’s home prices recovering 5 per cent this year if Covid-19 eases. “When the pandemic fades, I believe home prices may recover gradually from the bottom, because buying power is accumulating in the market,” Ricky Wong, the developer’s managing director, told the Post on Thursday. He attributed the recent correction in home prices to homeowners in a rush to sell, and expected prices to “recover to normal levels”. “The pandemic is temporary,” Wong said. “But in long term, I believe the structure of the housing market remains unchanged. [Which] means we continue to keep selling whatever we have.” The developer sold a record HK$35 billion (US$4.5 billion) worth of properties – 2,197 homes – last year. And Wheelock will continue to bet on the Hong Kong housing market – it might offer more than 2,000 homes in five projects in 2022, subject to government approval. Among these potential projects, the first will be the 559-unit Monaco Marine in Kai Tak , which may launch in April at the earliest. Others include the third phase of Koko Hills in Lam Tin with 836 flats, phase one of 1 Plantation Road on The Peak with eight houses, and two other projects on Kai Tak’s runway with 648 and 361 flats, respectively, in their initial phases. Hong Kong’s Covid-19 situation and government approvals would decide the launch schedule, Wong said. Market sentiment had also been affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he said, adding that the housing market had, however, proven to be much more resilient than the stock market. Wheelock said it had sold 58 units in several projects so far this year, for more than HK$1.6 billion. These included flat 15C at phase three of Mount Nicholson , which included two parking spaces, for HK$583.2 million. It fetched HK$640 million for 40 homes at Grand Victoria, a consortium project with other developers in Cheung Sha Wan. It also sold three homes at Monterey in Tseung Kwan O for more than HK$93 million. Notably, it has sold nine units at Koko Hills for more than HK$100 million since January. “The sales result is satisfactory because some of the units were relaunched. They are not newly launched,” a spokeswoman said. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority raised the city’s base lending rate by 25 basis points on Thursday. Wong said the hike had been anticipated and digested by the market and that it would have little impact. Wong said he remained optimistic about the market. Wheelock and its partner Peterson Group won a compulsory auction on Monday. They spent HK$1.7 billion for Ventris Court in Happy Valley under the Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) Ordinance through Savills. The developer has also submitted an expression of interest for MTR Corporation’s project at Tseung Kwan O’s Pak Shing Kok.