The Reach flats in Yuen Long may set price benchmark

Among four new developments to hit market, The Reach is likely to see strong buyer demand

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2012, 2:32am

Improved buying sentiment has prompted developers to accelerate the release of new projects this month in a move that could boost home prices across the board, say agents.

Four new projects involving 3,000 flats worth more than HK$20 billion are set for release. Buyers are likely to mainly focus on the biggest development - The Reach in Yuen Long with 2,580 flats. "The Reach will be the biggest project released for sale in the next two years and the outcome of its launch will certainly set benchmarks for the residential market," said Patrick Chow, head of research at Ricacorp Properties.

Chow said he expected strong demand for the 600 sq ft flats in the development, which were likely to be priced at about HK$3 million each.

The Reach, jointly developed by Henderson Land and New World, is pitched at buyers in the budget bracket. About 80 per cent of the flats range in size from 490 sq ft to 600 sq ft.

Thomas Lam Tat-man, Henderson Land's general manager of sales, said previously that the entry price point for The Reach would be less than HK$4 million. Developers would release a price list this week after receiving more than 2,000 inquiries.

Sales in the secondary market in Yuen Long have fallen 50 per cent as both buyers and sellers await the release of The Reach project.

"Owners have raised asking prices by 20 per cent in anticipation of a strong sales outcome from The Reach," said Teddy Ho, sales manager at Ricacorp Properties' Yuen Long branch.

Meanwhile, Henderson Land Development is gearing up for the release of 138 flats in its High Point project in Sham Shui Po.

Analysts say the two projects could pull in HK$20 billion if all flats are sold.

Also due for release this month is the first batch of apartments in Cheung Kong's 72 four-bedroom project called One West Kowloon in Lai Chi Kok, while HKR International is expected to soon launch Amalfi, with 164 flats, in Discovery Bay.

The month's releases got off to a start on Sunday when the first batch of flats in Lai Sun Development's Ocean One in Yau Tong, offering 52 flats, were released. They are priced at an average of HK$10,325 per sq ft.

Since the middle of last month, homebuyers have spent more than HK$17 billion on purchasing new flats in 10 projects, according to agents.

"It is an exciting figure," said Alfred Lau, a property analyst at brokerage house Bocom International. "We consider sales of new homes as being vibrant when the total value surpasses a level of HK$10 billion a month."

Lau believes the current purchasing power will continue to flow into the market as flats priced from HK$5 million to HK$7 million are expected to find ready buyers.

Sun Hung Kai Properties, the city's largest developer by market value, has generated revenue of more than HK$7 billion from the sale of 97 per cent of flats at Century Gateway in Tuen Mun - comprising 1,075 flats - since the project was launched in the middle of last month, according to deputy managing director Victor Lui.

Other big developments that have generated strong sales include Henderson Land's Double Cove in Ma On Shan, which has reportedly fetched revenue of nearly HK$4 billion so far; Soundwill Holdings' Park Haven in Causeway Bay with sales of HK$2.4 billion; and Wheelock Properties which has raised HK$1.6 billion from the sale of flats at Kadoorie Hill in Prince Edward Road West.

A total of 9,146 sale-and-purchase agreements valued at HK$96 billion were registered last month, according to figures compiled by Centaline Property Agency.

This compares with 10,854 deals worth HK$133 billion for the whole of last year.