Hong Kong Ferry has teamed up with former Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) chairman Walter Kwok Ping-sheung to place the winning bid for a residential site in Tuen Mun at 17 per cent above the high-end of market expectations. The Lands Department awarded the site, close to Harrow International School of Hong Kong, to the joint venture for HK$2.7 billion, higher than the market forecast of HK$1.9 billion to HK$2.3 billion. Colin Lam, chairman of Hong Kong Ferry, said the joint venture would invest a total of HK$6 billion on the development, including the land cost. Hong Kong Ferry is a subsidiary of tycoon Lee Shau-kee’s property flagship Henderson Land Development. “The joint venture plans to build 1,800 units on the site where infrastructure is well developed,” Lam said. The 50-50 joint venture defeated nine other bidders include Sun Hung Kai Properties, Sino Land, Wheelock Properties and Cheung Kong Property Holdings. “The site sold for a better than expected price as developers are willing to pay more for land replenishment after seeing the property market has stabilised,” said Alvin Lam, a director at Midland Surveyors. The site could yield a total gross floor area of 663,062 square feet, which translates into a land price of HK$4,085 per square foot, he said. It is still too early to say if Hong Kong land prices have bottomed out Thomas Lam, Knight Frank The Lands Department also announced that SHKP won another residential site in Sha Tin for HK$2.36 billion, or HK$5,448 per sq ft. Thomas Lam, Knight Frank’s head of valuation and consultancy, said the two sites fetched higher prices because they were individual cases. “Developers are more selective for land replenishment. They will bid aggressively for sites if they have greater interest in a good location. But it is still too early to say if Hong Kong land prices have bottomed out,” he said. With the increase in land supply and rising competition from mainland Chinese developers, he believes the market still need more time for observation before making any calls. Lam of Midland Surveyors said the Sha Tin site, which could yield a total gross floor area of 434,004 sq ft, has the potential to develop into luxury housing. “It is a rare for a large site to be available for sale in an urban area,” he said. Mainland developers, however, did not participate in the government tenders for the two sites, after going on an aggressive land buying binge since 2013. On August 3, state-owned Minmetals Land paid HK$4 billion, or HK$7,068 per sq ft, for a residential site in Yau Tong, a record in terms of price per square foot.