The frenzy of property-buying in Hong Kong showed no signs of easing on Saturday as the latest 108 apartment units from Sun Hung Kai Properties at the St Barths complex in Ma On Shan were snapped up. More than 1,000 buyers bid for the homes, making for an oversubscription of 8.5 times availability. Among the sales, the most expensive was a four-bedroom unit measuring 979 square feet for HK$23.13 million (US$2.95 million), according to property agents. Average prices for the latest batch of units hit HK$23,184 per sq ft, up 38 per cent on the original amounts. After factoring in a maximum discount of 12.5 per cent, the final price came to HK$20,286 on average. The enthusiasm greeting the latest round of offerings at St Barths signalled the market was not immediately slowing, even after the Hong Kong Monetary Authority raised interest rates and city officials warned buyers of the dangers of rising mortgage payments due to higher financing costs. On Friday, a three-bedroom unit, or 1,125 sq ft flat on the 10th floor of the project, was sold through tender for HK$30.4 million, or HK$27,031 per sq ft, establishing a record high at St Barths. It also set a new price record by square feet for a home in Ma On Shan. Buying sentiment remains high Sammy Po, Midland Realty A week ago, all 118 units in the first-round offering were sold out, signalling a roaring start to the city’s first property launch of 2018. “Buying sentiment remains high,” Midland Realty’s Sammy Po said. Po said 80 per cent of the real estate company’s clients were buying for their own use, with the remaining 20 per cent eyeing investment. Po said he expected first-hand flat transactions to surpass 1,000 deals this month in Hong Kong thanks to strong market sentiment and new offerings from a number of developers. Meanwhile, pre-owned home prices could rise by 5 per cent in the first quarter, he added. Time to upgrade as Hong Kong’s new property stamp duty rule kicks in Property prices in Hong Kong have been climbing for more than 12 straight months, making the city among the world’s most expensive major metropolitan areas to live and work in. Prices have surged even after local officials introduced measures to cool the market. The city’s total transaction value for properties, including flats, shops and industrial units, rose 34.8 per cent to HK$743.3 billion in 2017 – the second highest level since 1997 – according to data from real estate firm Ricacorp. The volume of transactions increased by 14.8 per cent last year to 83,690.