New projects try to ride positive sentiment

Analysts expect Grand Austin and Mont Vert to be released for sale this week as mood improves

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 3:23pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 4:34am

Developers in Hong Kong hope to tap the positive sentiment in the market by releasing for sale projects with hundreds of homes.

Following the well-received launch last month of City Point in Tsuen Wan by Cheung Kong (Holdings), Nan Fung Development and MTR Corp, analysts expect Grand Austin - developed by MTR, Wheelock and New World Development with 691 units - and Mont Vert, by Cheung Kong with 1,071 units, to be released for sale this week.

Other projects where sales schedules are expected to be sped up are Sino Land's Park Ivy in Tai Kok Tsui and Sun Hung Kai Properties' Twelve Peaks on the Peak.

SHKP released the price list of The Seafront in Tsing Lung Tau on Saturday. The average selling price after the maximum discount was HK$44,957 per square foot, BNP Paribas said in a report.

It said the asking price was 28 per cent above the average transacted selling prices at Seascape Villa, a nearby development launched by SHKP in 2012.

Market sentiment has improved, with 533 homes sold over the past weekend and 655 the previous weekend, 450 of which were at City Point.

HKR International sold 25 of the 62 units at Positano in Discovery Bay.

In the secondary market, Midland Realty reported 112 transactions last week at the 35 housing estates it tracks, an increase of 8 per cent. But overall market activity remained slow.

Developers were taking advantage of a quiet secondary market hurt by the stamp duty measures to dump their new flats at a still high price, said a report from Jefferies.

The investment bank reckons the market is still in a down cycle and said a large number of new units were in the pipeline.

"We note that 7,990 units in total from 28 projects are currently pending the government's approval for presale," it said. The number of units is 18 per cent higher than in April.

On Monday, Peter Woo Kwong-ching, chairman of Wharf (Holdings), said the property market in Hong Kong, plagued by government policies, was still facing challenges.

Woo said he would not be surprised if home prices fell 10 per cent, and the company would be selective in investing in residential projects in the city.