Sun Hung Kai Properties

Buyers snap up Sun Hung Kai’s Lime Gala apartments, lured by discounts, buoyant stock market

Shau Kei Wan apartments launch at lower price than other newly completed projects in the neighbourhood

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 August, 2016, 6:46pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 August, 2016, 11:41pm

Sales of Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd’s latest apartment project in eastern Hong Kong exceeded expectations over the weekend, as Hong Kong’s biggest developer offered discounts on the back of a buoyant stock market to attract buyers to splash out for rental income.

Lime Gala, located on Church Lane in Shau Kei Wan, features 650 apartments measuring between 281 and 1,279 square feet, priced from HK$5 million each to more than HK$10 million. By mid afternoon on Sunday, 79 of the first 143 units on offer had already been snapped up, at a discounted average price of HK$17,732 per square foot.

“A growing number of investors are positive about the property market and are buying property for rental income,” said Midland Realty’s residential market chief executive Sammy Po. “As long as the stock market remains upbeat, it will boost the sales of new homes.”

The Hang Seng Stock Index has risen 6.6 per cent in the past 12 months, advancing to a nine-month high last week, bolstered by a long-awaited easing of China’s financial market regulations to allow for two-way trade between the bourses of Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Sun Hung Kai’s discounts and incentives didn’t hurt either.

Lime Gala had the lowest launch price compared with other newly completed apartments in the neighbourhood.

Henderson Land Development ’s Parker 33 project was offered last year at an average price of HK$20,200 per square foot, while Wheelock Properties’ Island Residence went on the market in September at HK$18,388 per square foot.

To attract buyers, Sun Hung Kai offered low-interest loans to finance their purchases. Last week, the developer announced a 36-month interest-free loan for up to 88 per cent of the value of its apartments for its residential projects in Yuen Long, located close to Hong Kong’s border with mainland China.

“Developers are offering discounts and favourable policies for down payment, making the purchase of new homes easier than second-hand properties, ” said Knight Frank’s head of valuation and consultancy Thomas Lam.

Group A buyers, those interested in buying two or more apartment units, queued up first thing Sunday morning at the IFC mall in Central.

By mid afternoon, more than half of the units had been booked, according to the developer’s sales and marketing assistant general manager Tam Sik-cham.

Midland Realty’s Po expects Sun Hung Kai to sell all of the first 143 units by Sunday night.

“This could grow into a mid- to long-term momentum,” Po said. The chance of a rate increase by the US Fed remains slim, which is positive for Hong Kong’s property market, he said.

Sun Hung Kai later confirmed that it had sold all the 143 units by Sunday evening.