New-home market seen returning to normal amid brisk Bayview sales

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 July, 2013, 3:14am

The launch of a residential project in Ma Tau Kok at the weekend gave the new-home market a boost after three months of slow sales, but the secondary market remains stagnant.

Kerry Properties sold 67 of the first 80 flats on sale at its Bayview project over the past three days.

"It was the best sales performance in the past three months because of the release of pent-up demand," said Louis Chan Wing-kit, managing director of Centaline Property Agency.

With only a few new projects having been released since rules restricting developers to selling flats by saleable area, rather than gross floor area, took effect on April 29, Chan said it showed there was solid demand from genuine buyers.

The developer released the first batch of flats at Bayview at an average price of HK$15,589 per square foot.

Sammy Po, a director at Midland Realty, believes the new-home market will return to normal once developers adjust to the new restrictions on sales and speed up the pace of launches.

"But the secondary market remains stagnant as most owners have stayed firm on their asking prices," Po said. "With limited room for negotiation, it makes deals more difficult to close."

Ricacorp Properties said its agents helped sell eight homes over the weekend in 10 major housing estates, down on the 20 sales the previous weekend. Sales yesterday, a public holiday, took the number of flats changing hands in the past three days to 16. Hong Kong Property Services said its agents helped sell 12 flats in 10 estates, up 20 per cent from the previous weekend.

Ricacorp said government cooling measures and growing global uncertainties had seen total property transactions this year - including homes, offices and parking spaces - fall to 38,702 as of Thursday, down 36 per cent on the second half of last year. The total value was HK$249.62 billion, 28 per cent down.

"The transactions were the lowest for any six-month period in the past 12 years," said Patrick Chow, the firm's head of research.

Kerry Properties is part of Kerry Group, the controlling shareholder of the SCMP Group, which publishes the South China Morning Post and Sunday Morning Post.