Hong Kong home buying surge slows on absence of new projects

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 October, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 October, 2014, 4:02am

Hong Kong developers were unable to make a repeat of the previous weekend's bumper sales that defied the impact of Occupy Central protests.

About 240 properties were sold in the primary market during the weekend, against 456 units snapped up in the previous weekend,

"The buying momentum was not bad but the number of units sold was fewer than that of the previous week, taking into account that there were no brand new projects offered for sale over the weekend," said Louis Chan Wing-kit, the managing director of Centaline Property Agency's residential department.

Property agents said strong sales volumes were expected in the next two months when the three residential projects in Tseung Kwan O will be launched.

Sammy Po, the chief executive at Midland Realty's residential department, said developers might offer flexible pricing strategies for projects in districts that face a surge in supply.

Despite the slower sales this weekend, projects such as Double Cove Starview Prime, jointly developed by Henderson Land Development and New World Development, and New World's the Pavilia Hill remaining a key focus for buyers. Some 187 units at Double Cover Starview Prime, in Ma On Shan, were sold on Saturday. The developers yesterday decided to put a further batch of 120 units up for sale.

Agents estimated at least 26 of the 36 units released yesterday at the Pavilia Hill in Tin Hau were rumoured to have been sold. Prices for that batch of units - sized from 596 sq ft to 1,521 sq ft - ranged from HK$15.69 million to HK$62.94 million. Agents said one buyer bought two units at the project for more than HK$100 million. New World had sold 218 units, or 87 per cent of the development's units, by yesterday afternoon.

Po said primary sales would be strong in the next two months when a number of new projects comprising more than 2,000 units would be put up for sale.

They include Sun Hung Kai Properties' Wings IIIB, comprising 326 units, and Hemera (with 1,648 units), the third phase of the Lohas Park development jointly owned by Cheung Kong (Holdings), Nan Fung and MTR Corp. Also due on the market this quarter will be Wheelock Properties' Parkside, with 591 units.

"The Occupy Central movement has not impacted primary sales, but has impacted on the secondary market," Chan said.

"Potential buyers hoped flat owners would cut prices of second-hand flats because of the political uncertainty, but sellers have refused to do so. That resulted in a drop in sales volume."

Centaline Property said seven units were sold in 10 selected housing estates over the weekend, compared with six units on the previous weekend.