Hong Kong developers push new projects as sales momentum grows

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 September, 2014, 2:11pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 September, 2014, 3:16am

Developers are gearing up to market new home projects as sales momentum gains ground but activity in the secondary sector remains slow, agents said.

In the primary market, more than 300 units were sold over the weekend and the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. That compares with the 115 units sold at the 50 largest estates in the secondary market for the week to September 7, down 20 per cent from a week earlier, sales figures tracked by Ricacorp Properties showed.

There were 2,500 units that had secured pre-sale consent and were available for sale, with the 1,648-flat Hemera, the Phase IIIA of Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O developed by Cheung Kong (Holdings), the biggest upcoming project, agents said.

"The strong sales have boosted developers' confidence about the prospects of the market and will encourage them to speed up [new project] launches," said Patrick Chow, the head of research at Ricacorp.

At the weekend, buyers snapped up the second batch of 206 units at Sun Hung Kai Properties' Wings IIIA in Tseung Kwan O and 50 units at Hang Lung Properties' luxury residential project, the HarbourSide, at Kowloon Station.

SHKP immediately released the third batch of 169 units after it pulled in HK$3.5 billion from the sale of 400 units in the first two phases.

Deputy managing director Victor Lui Ting said the third batch included units with a garden or top-floor flats with a rooftop at HK$14,000 to HK$18,000 per square foot.

Chow said the total transaction value in the primary market could reach HK$150 billion this year, the highest since 1996. Ricacorp's figures showed developers had sold HK$99.5 billion worth of new flats by August 13 this year.

He said more investors had returned to the market, reflecting their optimism on the outlook.

Chow believes sales in the primary market will continue to be buoyant as discounts offered by developers and stamp duty subsidies will lure home-seekers away from the secondary market.

"Developers are adopting a less aggressive price strategy than what they did a year ago," he said.

Yesterday, Wheelock Properties released 30 units at Kensington Hill, its luxury residential project in Sai Ying Pun, and Chinese Estates Holdings offered 40 units at One South Lane in Kennedy Town.

Units at Kensington Hill, with sizes of 569 to 865 sqft, were offered at HK$11.7 million to HK$23.5 million each, while prices for One South Lane, with flat sizes of 210 to 268 sqft, were HK$5 million to HK$13.7 million.

After taking into account Wheelock's discount of up to 15.25 per cent, the average price of the units at Kensington Hill was HK$19,828 per square foot.

Factoring in the 18 per cent discount, the average price at One South Lane would be HK$21,700 per square foot.