Cheung Kong prepares to offer 165 sq ft flats
Small units see strong demand but luxury estate in Mid-Levels has no takers
Property prices continue to rise, but sizes appear to be heading in the opposite direction.
Developer Cheung Kong is set to unveil Hong Kong's tiniest flat - at just 165 sq ft - at its Mont Vert project in Tai Po.
And with the latest figures showing prices rising for five consecutive months up to August - and analysts confident this will continue despite any fallout from Occupy Central - more tiny flats are likely to be on the way as developers cash in on a strong demand for small units.
"The general public can hardly afford spacious homes anymore," said Patrick Chow, the head of research at Ricacorp Properties.
His assessment was backed up after Swire Properties said yesterday that no buyers had registered for the third batch of 22 flats at its 127-unit luxury residential project Arezzo in the Mid-Levels that go on sale today. This is the first new development that has failed to register any potential buyers ahead of the official sale.
The flats, ranging from 916 to 1,306 sq ft, are being offered for HK$30.9 million to HK$43.89 million.
Before the Occupy protests began, Swire sold 62 units for HK$1.6 billion.
The Rating and Valuation Department's monthly price index for private homes climbed to a record 260.8 in August, marking a 6.4 per cent increase in the first eight months of the year.
And while the pace of growth slowed slightly in August to 1.87 per cent from 2.3 per cent in July, property agents and developers remain confident.
"The growth trend will continue in September as small flats manage to fetch relatively high prices," Chow said, adding that rising prices would encourage developers to build smaller flats.
"It appears that political instability has had little impact as most buyers are end-users."
Small flats continued to sell for big prices despite the Occupy protests. On Thursday, a 449 sq ft unit at the 22-year-old Locwood Court, Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai, sold for HK$3.42 million, or HK$7,617 per sq ft of saleable area.
Over the past weekend, agents said, a 242 sq ft unit at the 30-year-old Garden Rivera in Sha Tin changed hands for HK$3.58 million, or HK$14,793 per sq ft - the most expensive for a flat of that size in the 1,585-unit development.
Cheung Kong's 165 sq ft offering takes the record set by Henderson Land's 166 sq ft flat at High Place in Kowloon City last year.
The smallest units in the second stage of its Mont Vert project will be 10 sq ft smaller than the smallest studio it had offered in the first stage of the development. The 279-unit Mont Vert Phase II in Fung Yuen will have 47 studio units. The sales date and prices have not been announced.