Hong Kong’s developers are offering discounts, longer payment terms, cash rebates and other goodies to drum up buying interest, as the residential property market is poised to rebound from its first-quarter slump after the city’s Covid-19 outbreak abates. Henderson Land Development is offering up to HK$100,000 (US$12,757) of cash rebates to spur buyers to pay within 120 days for their purchases of leftover flats at The Richmond development at West Mid-Levels. Chevalier International Holdings is waiving the management fee for up to 24 months for the first 10 buyers to book its Sablier project in Tai Kok Tsui, with an extra 3 per cent discount on some units. “Major developers need to catch up with their performances,” said Hong Kong Property Services (Agency)’s Chief Operations Officer Dave Ma, who expects 4,000 new flats to be released for sale in the three months through June. “To keep the market’s attention and ensure sales, developers are expected to exercise restraint in pricing to attract buyers and investors.” The expected releases, based on a calculation of homes that qualify for presale consent, would mark the busiest quarter in nine months, as the ebb and flow of successive waves of the Covid-19 disease sent the world’s most expensive residential property market into bouts of inactivity and torpor. Sales of newly built homes slumped 64 per cent in the first three months of 2022 to a six-year low of 1,679 units, compared with the fourth quarter of last year, according to Land Registry data. Large-scale weekend property launches had been missing in Hong Kong since late January, as social distancing rules enforced to contain the city’s latest wave of Covid-19 outbreak diminished the scope for gatherings and forced many businesses to postpone their marketing activities. The turning point would come on April 21, when local authorities said they would relax social distancing rules. A week earlier during the Easter holidays, Wheelock Properties is expected to invite customers to register their intent to buy at its Monaco Marine project at the former Kai Tak airport. Apartments in Kai Tak, an area with seafront view of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, redeveloped from an old airfield, may be among the property that sell the quickest due to its proximity to the subway network and amenities, providing a hotbed for a bout of “revenge buying” by customers, Ma said. Wheelock uploaded virtual reality videos of the Monaco Marine’s show flats and clubhouse with its sales brochure last week, attracting more than 100,000 unique views in just two days. Sales during this coming weekend’s Easter holidays will mostly comprise flats that had been left over from previous launches, because developers still need time to upload their sales brochures, set their prices and collect registrations of intent from potential customers, said Ricacorp Properties’ head of research Derek Chan. New projects may launch from the end of April to early May as developers hold their marketing plans to assess the government’s social-distancing rules, he said. More new projects will be on offer in the second half, as long as Hong Kong’s Covid-19 outbreak remains stable and under control, Chan said. The Centa-City Leading Index (CCL), a gauge of lived-in home prices compiled by Centaline Property Agency, had the biggest uptick in 20 weeks at 1.1 per cent for the week ended April 3.