Hong Kong overall propery sales fall 11.3pc in July

But agents remain upbeat, as more residential developers speed up the marketing of new projects

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2016, 9:19pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2016, 11:35pm

Overall property sales in Hong Kong fell 11.3 per cent last month from June — but industry experts still expect buyer interest to improve, driven by positive sentiment which is encouraging more developers to speed up their marketing of new projects.

The number of sale-and-purchase agreements for all properties, including apartments, shops, industrial units and car parks, reached 5,354 last month, according to data released by the Land Registry yesterday.

However, the number of deals slumped 27 per cent from a year ago.

“Property sales will rebound this month as the market warms up. New projects have registered good sales responses in general,” said Buggle Lau, chief analyst at Midland Realty.

Lau now predicts the number of transactions to climb to a 13-month high, surpassing 6,000 this month.

The Land Registry said total transaction value fell 9 per cent to HK$36.1 billion in July, while sales of residential units last month dropped 8.2 per cent, to 4,243.

Its data showed total transaction value for residential units alone was HK$29.7 billion last month, down 8.8 per cent from June.

Residential transactions staying above 4,000 for four consecutive months indicates the market has stabilised
Wong Leung-sing, associate director of research at Centaline Property Agency

Wong Leung-sing, associate director of research at Centaline Property Agency is forecasting home sales to increase to 4,800 this month, with estimated transaction value amounting to HK$35 billion.

“Residential transactions staying above 4,000 for four consecutive months indicates the market has stabilised,” he said,

“The recent rebound in home sales is the result of investors seeking a safe haven for cash after the Brexit.”

Ignored the year’s first typhoon No. 8 warning signal on Monday, prospective home buyers appear keen to continue their buying spree this month.

Tim Chan, senior sales manager at Midland Reatly’s Sha Tin branch, said he helped one customer close a deal to buy a 308 square feet flat for HK$4.15 million at Wai Wah Centre, at nearly 10 pm on Monday, despite the weather.

“The client had been looking for flats for nearly two years. He signed the deal, finally, after seeing prices had started to surge,” he said.

Separately, according to the government website, Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Electronic Platform, buyers have now snapped up 80 units at Sun Hung Kai Properties’ Park Yoho development in Yuen Long.

Also hoping to land more sales as buyer interest remains strong, Nan Fung Development said on Tuesday it will now release all 370 units of its joint venture Ori development in Tuen Mun for sale on Saturday.

“More than 1,800 prospective buyers have signed up to reserve a buying right for Ori,” said Nan Fung sales manager Chung Chi-lam. “That indicates the project is sought after.”

Prospective buyers need to put down a deposit of HK$90,000 before being entitled to purchase a unit. But the money will be refunded if they fail to buy the flat they initially want.

The average price for the first batch of 138 units at Ori was HK$8,826 per square foot after factoring as much as 20 per cent discount.

One of the 138 flats was being offered at below HK$2 million, while the others are expected to fetch between HK$3 million and HK$7 million. 253 sq ft units being offered for HK$2.48 million are expected to be reduced to HK$1.97 million, after a 20 per cent discount, the company said.

The government website, however, revealed that not all Hong Kong buyers are totally convinced yet.

It noted one recent customer cancelled the purchase of a HK$5 million studio unit at South Coast in Aberdeen.

According to the rules, developer Kowloon Development will forfeit the 5 per cent initial deposit of HK$250,000, since the buyer refused to complete the deal.