Hong Kong property

Poly sells almost 80pc of flats launched at Kai Tak project

New World Development, pioneer of the HK$10 million one-bedroom flat, sells a unit at Pavilla Bay to a mainland Chinese buyer on Saturday, sets price record for the New Territories.

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 April, 2017, 8:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 April, 2017, 10:58pm

Close to 80 per cent of 231 units offered by Poly Property Group have been snapped up at the Vibe Centro residential project in Kai Tak, bringing the developer total sales proceeds of HK$2.3 billion (US$295million), with 57 of 108 units offered on Sunday sold by 8pm.

It is the latest sales results reported by a developer, on a project at the site of Hong Kong’s former airport in east Kowloon that saw record land sale prices in recent months, amid strong demand for housing property that pushed Hong Kong’s home price index to records for 11 successive months.

The average selling price of the 108 studio-to-four bedroom units, the second batch of the development’s total of 930 flats, was HK$25,646 per square foot, making them some of the most expensive in the district on a per square foot basis.

“The Sunday Vibe Centro sales result was within my expectation, since the prices were in line with market prices, whereas Cullinan West units were offered at a discount to market prices,” Midland Realty’s residential department chief executive Sammy Po told the Post.

A new strategy by Poly for Sunday’s sale to give priority to those willing to buy at least three units did not create a buying frenzy, he noted.

On Saturday Sun Hung Kai Properties sold almost all of the 246 units of its Cullinan West apartments.

As many as 219 units, or 89 per cent of the units on offer, were sold by 8pm, sales agents said, with some buyers seizing multiple apartments, undeterred by rising interest rates or the government’s stamp duty on second-time owners.

“Within one hour, over HK$1 billion in sales was recorded,” said Centaline Property Agency’s Asia-Pacific chief executive Louis Chan Wing-kit, who said that two Centaline customers each bought three units, while another bought two.

About half of the Cullinan West apartments – atop the Nam Cheong MTR station in Kowloon – offered on Saturday were one-bedroom units, suggesting a new trend that is catching the fancy of residential buyers: HK$10 million single-bedroom apartments measuring 400-plus square feet.

Some 22 per cent of the 108 Vibe units were one-bedroom apartments.

The trend is apparent even in the New Territories close to the border with Shenzhen, traditionally an area of lower prices.

New World Development, which pioneered the HK$10 million one-bedroom apartment with its Pavilla Bay project in Tsuen Wan, set a price record on Saturday when it sold a 56th floor unit to a mainland Chinese buyer for HK$9.6 million, or HK$22,815 per square foot, agents said.

Across Victoria Harbour at 28 Aberdeen St in Sai Ying Pun, up to 95 per cent of an entire 23-storey condominium is made up of one-bedroom units of about 410 square feet, with prices averaging between HK$34,000 and HK$40,676 per square foot after discounts. That means the priciest unit on the 20th floor costs up to HK$16.55 million.

“Singles who are new to Hong Kong prefer locations near Central. They are also interested in stylish design apartments with bars and restaurants nearby,” said Qi-Homes agent Jane Buckthought, who helps expatriates relocate to the city. Many of her clients are professionals from finance, internet start-ups and fashion who prefer locations like Sai Ying Pun, close to Central, she said.

The first 10 apartments at 28 Aberdeen St offered for sale sold out on Friday , agents said, although the priciest unit on the 20th floor was yet to find a buyer.

The new preference among affluent home buyers is a stark contrast to many college graduates and first-time buyers who are being forced by skyrocketing prices into shoebox units measuring as little as 160 square feet that still cost HK$3 million each.

Hong Kong’s February home price index advanced for 11 months in a row, underscoring the city’s position as the world’s most expensive city to live in.

It’s becoming such a problem that 70 per cent of the respondents of the South China Morning Post’s February telephone survey identified housing prices as the burning issue for Hong Kong’s next chief executive to solve.

It is a concern that has been acknowledged by chief executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yue-ngor, who admitted that efforts to suppress Hong Kong property prices have failed and pledged to tackle the issue with a “starter home” scheme once she assumes office.

On the other hand, some deep-pocketed buyers had been snapping up apartments in droves. Three developers that put a combined 1,000 units on sale last month reported a bumper weekend, with a family of buyers spending more than HK$200 million buying 11 apartments between them.

The frenzy was enough to draw government officials in to urge caution. Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po took to a Sunday radio talk show and his blog post to remind apartment hunters of “changing circumstances”, while Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Norman Chan Tak-lam pointed buyers to the nine interest rate increases that have been telegraphed until 2019.

Additional reporting by Viola Zhou, Jane Li and Eric Ng