MTR may sell land site atop Wong Chuk Hang station amid rising home prices
Hong Kong’s rail operator says several residential blocks and a 450,000 sq ft mall can be built on the site above the station
Hong Kong’s subway operator MTR Corp may release one of the largest parcels of land for residential development – atop Wong Chuk Hang station – on the south side of Hong Kong Island for tender in 2018 despite a volatile stock market.
MTR’s property director David Tang Chi-fai said the rail operator was currently solving the technical issues on the site to get it ready for the tender, which is planned as the third phase of a residential and commercial development. Phases one and two of the development are located next to the station.
“As several residential towers and a 450,000 square feet shopping mall will be built above the Wong Chuk Hang station, the work will be complicated. Logically, the third phase will be put up for tendering this year,” Tang said after the official opening of the second phase of the Maritime Square shopping mall in Tsing Yi Station on Wednesday.
Details would be finalised when the rail operator announces its full year result for 2017 next month, he said.
MTR had put up only three new projects for development along its railways in 2017 – out of the seven that were planned.
The three projects will provide a total of 2,052 flats in the two development phases for the Wong Chuk Hang station project and another residential development at Kam Shueng Road Station in Yuen Long.
Tang said MTR’s tender activities would take into account the overall market sentiment and new land supply from the government and private sectors.
The city’s land supply last year was boosted by an increasing number of land premium settlements between the government and developers over the conversion of farmland for residential use, he said.
“After assessment, MTR Corp decided to adjust the pace of tendering process to avoid a glut,” said Tang.
According to a Citibank survey, 65 per cent of respondents expected home prices to increase over the next 12 months, echoing analysts’ earlier prediction of a further upturn this year.
Hong Kong’s secondary home prices rose for the 21st month in December, the longest stretch of gains since 1993, driven by strong demand for small flats.
The government has been struggling to put a lid on prices, and Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has identified housing affordability as one of the top priorities of her administration.
Meanwhile, demand for new luxury flats each worth HK$12 million or more by mainland buyers climbed to a five-year high – 33.4 per cent of the total value in the last quarter of 2017, according to a survey conducted by Centaline Property Agency.
It rose 1.9 per cent from the previous quarter, it said.
Mainland buyers made up 28.9 per cent of the total number of transactions for new luxury homes for the October to December period, up 5. 5 per cent from the third quarter of 2017.