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Potential buyers line up at the sales office of Ocean Supreme, a residential project in Tsuen Wan developed by CK Property, at Fortune Metropolis in Hung Hom. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Hong Kong’s property bull market boosts CK Assets’ 2017 sales value to record high for sector

Property giant sold US$6.77 billion of residential units in the city last year

CK Assets, the property firm owned by Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing, has recorded record annual contract sales by value for the Hong Kong market, thanks to strong sales at its Ocean Pride and Ocean Supreme developments.

But analysts are warning growth will slow in the coming year.

The property giant sold HK$53 billion worth (US$6.77 billion) of residential units in the city last year, according to Chiu Kwok-hung, its executive director.

“The property market will continue to be driven by positive sentiment this year. We will launch nine projects, or more than 2,800 flats, this year,” Chiu said.

“CK Assets’ sharp increase in revenue was largely because of sales dominated by big-ticket transactions.”

The record-breaking value was helped by the sale of about 5,000 units in Hong Kong, added a spokeswoman for the company, who asked not to be named.

Chiu Kwok-hung, executive director, CK Assets. Photo: Nora Tam

“Unlike other developers such as Sun Hung Kai Properties, we did not sell small flats at low values last year. That was why we made it to the top in terms of yearly sales value even though we sold fewer homes than our peers,” she said.

Analysts, however, believe the company’s sales growth in the coming year will slow.

“The strong sales result [of CK Assets] was driven by its high supply and a strong response to Ocean Pride and Ocean Supreme, both middle-price-range projects,” said Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Properties.

“As the company is going to launch fewer units, sales in the coming year are not expected to be as strong.”

Other analysts agree the unusually high sales and market dominance of CK Assets is unlikely to last as its stock of properties has been reduced, and rival Sun Hung Kai Properties holds a larger market share.

“Contract sales last year increased 3.4 times compared to the previous year. But this year’s [sales] will probably return to normal levels of HK$10-20 billion,” said Lung Siu-fung, a property analyst at CIMB Securities.

Long queues at the sales office of the Ocean Pride development at Fortune Metropolis in Hung Hom. Photo: Nora Tam

“That said, the company’s results will not disappoint because that HK$53 billion doesn’t even include sales of non-residential properties, such as the HK$40.2 billion sale of The Center,” Lung said.

Other developers, too, are expected to deliver strong results in the coming property sector reporting season.

Stewart Leung Chi-kin, vice-chairman of Wheelock and Company, said it sold more than HK$26 billion worth of residential properties last year.

According to property information provider Dataelements, which tracks sales in the primary residential market, Sun Hung Kai Properties sold HK$51.3 billion worth of residential properties in 2017, New World Development sold HK$7.7 billion, and Henderson Land Development HK$6.2 billion worth.