Bright spots lift gloom: home sales in Ho Man Tin and Hung Hom energise Kowloon’s primary residential sector
During a period of downward pressure, high-end apartments in developments such as Stars by the Harbour, Ultima and Homantin Hillside have proved popular with buyers
While Hong Kong’s property sector remains under downward pressure, there are bright spots lifting the gloom. Over the past 12 months, Ho Man Tin and Hung Hom have been the key drivers of Kowloon’s home sales in the primary market, with more than 600 apartments sold during the period, figures from the Land Registry show.
The largest contributor to central Kowloon’s home sales was the second phase of Sun Hung Kai Properties’ Ultima in Ho Man Tin, with at least 205 deals, including the sale of two duplexes in May. The average unit price for the units was about HK$28,500 per square foot, while the duplexes fetched about HK$41,200 per square foot.
Stars By The Harbour, located at 7 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, came in second with about 157 deals, out of a total of 321 units, at about HK$20,000 per square foot since August last year. William Kwok Tsz-wai, a director at Cheung Kong Real Estate, says another 15 units in Block 5 have been released for sale, of which prices have been marked up by 3 per cent.
Since it was launched in March this year, Wheelock Properties has sold at least 64 units at One Homantin at an average price of about HK$19,300 per square foot. Kerry Properties sold at least 50 units at Mantin Heights for about HK$19,600 per square foot since April, according to Land Registry records.
In recent weeks, Wing Tai Properties Development has ramped up efforts to market the Homantin Hillside development it co-developed with Nan Fung Development. The project was briefly on the market in November 2014, and so far about 103 units have been sold for about HK$22,736 per square foot on average.
The latest deal involved the sale of a high-floor, 1,243 sq ft furnished four-bedroom flat for about HK$34.7 million, or about HK$27,934 per square foot.
Kitty Ngan King-fung, director of sales at Wing Tai Properties Development, says the façade of the complex is positioned to front a 1.2 million sq ft green-belt zone and East Ho Man Tin Reservoir Playground.
“You’ll find the 173 residences, with more than 90 per cent of them fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows and glassed balconies, enjoy unobstructed views of the surrounding greenery and onto the city.”
She says international design firm Yabu Pushelberg was commissioned to design not only the clubhouse, entrance lobby and lift compartment, but also part of the interior space, including the kitchen and bathroom.
“This all-in-one design approach is meant to exhibit a sense of modernity that makes you feel like you are living in a luxury New York condo,” she says.
Homantin Hillside is the only residential development located on the tranquil Wai Yin Path in the neighbourhood, giving it a quiet and exclusive environment, she adds.
The project is scheduled for completion by the end of August, which she says will coincide with the commencement of the Ho Man Tin station of the Kwun Tong Line Extension later this year.
As the development pipeline continues to feed a large number of new homes into the market, other developers are seeking to offload their stock units.
Phoenix Property Investors has recently relaunched for sale 13 stock units at the 3 Julia Avenue project at discounts of as much as 35 per cent, it says, along with other sweeteners, such as an option to push back mortgage instalment payments, tax rebates to offset the buyer’s stamp duty, and access to 70 per cent loan-to-value mortgage financing. As of mid-July, a total of 28 units out of 67 units in the completed building were sold.
In Hung Hom, CK Property is also marketing the remaining stock units at the single-block Viva with sweeteners thrown in, including second mortgages and flexible payments. However, it has suspended the sale of its Ho Man Tin project, The Zumurud, which was originally scheduled in March. No updated sales arrangement has been announced since then.
In the secondary market, transaction volumes have weakened in recent months. Whampoa Garden, a landmark housing estate in Hung Hom, saw up to 25 deals closed at an average price of HK$12,200 per square foot between April and June.
Harbour Place and Royal Peninsula, the two newer residential complexes in Hung Hom, registered nine and six transactions in April and June, respectively, at prices of HK$13,000 to 13,800 per square foot, according to Ken Wong, district sales manager at Centaline Property, citing Land Registry records.
In Ho Man Tin, Celestial Heights posted a monthly sales volume of four deals in the past three months, at an average price of HK$15,700 per square foot.
Wang Wai-keung, a branch manager of Sunrise Property HK Agency in Hung Hom, says the lettings market has been buoyant for some years thanks to the development’s close proximity to Tsim Sha Tsui.