Hong Kong property

Upscale homebuyers unwavered by Hong Kong government’s new measures to cool property market

18 out of 45 flats newly-released at New World Development’s Fleur Pavilia development in North Point were sold on Saturday

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 9:22pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 9:22pm

Sales of remaining flats from two upscale projects received a warm response from homebuyers as the effect of new cooling measures by the government remains uncertain.

As of 6pm on Saturday, 18 out of 45 flats newly-released at New World Development’s Fleur Pavilia development in North Point were sold, according to the developer. New World, describing the sale as “ideal”, has raised more than HK$450 million from the Saturday sale.

One group of the buyers snapped up two units of three-bedroom flats for HK$51.78 million, the company said. A total of 449 units were sold since the project’s first sale in June, with total sales over HK$10.7 billion.

Out of the 10 flats offered by CK Asset Holdings’ Seanorama development in Ma On Shan on Saturday, two units were sold by 5.30pm, according to market watchers. These flats were offered on a “first come, first served” basis.

The sales results were no surprise to market analysts.

“The market response was good, and within expectation,” said Louis Chan Wing-kit, the Asia-Pacific vice-chairman and chief executive of the residential division at Centaline Property Agency.

These new batches were part of the remaining units of the two projects which were not expected to sell fast or sell out in a day, Chan explained, adding the new batch at Fleur Pavilia was the highest-scale in the project, which are usually the last units to clear out.

The Saturday sales come after the city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, announced last week a vacancy tax on newly built flats that remain unsold for six months, as well as cutting the price of subsidised homes under the Housing Ownership Scheme to 52 per cent of market rates from 70 per cent previously.

The proposed tax, equivalent to two years of rental income or 4 to 5 per cent of the value of the vacant property according to government and analysts, aimed to discourage hoarding by developers, leading to a rush by local builders to offload their unsold flats.

However, the impact of Lam’s new policies on homebuyers is yet to be clear.

“By far we haven’t seen much influence on the demand side yet, as we observed stable sales of new and second-hand homes in the past week,” said Sammy Po, chief executive at Midland Realty’s residential department.

Chan from Centaline said that the market would be able to feel the impact when new developments, including the Victoria Harbour luxury project by Sun Hung Kai Properties, were open for sale over the next weekend.

The latest batch of Fleur Pavilia units on offer ranged in size from 605 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft, and were sold from HK$17.24 million to HK$64.46 million, or HK$26,648 per square foot ft to HK$43,270 per sq ft after factoring in as much as 20 per cent discount. The project is expected to be completed in September.

Prices for the newly sold units at Seanorama, which are four-bedroom flats sized at about 1,660 sq ft, were from HK$17.66 million to HK$30.69 million with discount as high as 22 per cent. CK Asset had sold 335 units or 92 per cent of the development before the new releases on Saturday, raising over HK$5.8 billion for the developer.