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Hong Kong property

Intrepid 98-year-old woman buys US$1.9 million flat as Sino Land’s discounted Grand Central project is a sell-out

  • Sino Land sells 383 flats at Grand Central project in Kwun Tong on Tuesday after the first batch was a hit last week
  • 5,000 potential buyers had registered for the sale
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2018, 8:24pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2018, 10:53pm

A 98-year-old woman has paid HK$15 million (US$1.9 million) for a four-bedroom flat in Sino Land’s Grand Central project in Kwun Tong, with the builder’s low-pricing strategy working once again.

She was among the 5,000 potential buyers who had flocked to the builder’s sales centre at Empire Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui even though the flats were priced higher than the first batch of 488 sold last Thursday.

All 383 flats on offer were sold as of 4pm on Tuesday, generating sales of over HK$6 billion.

“The age range of buyers is very wide. There was a 92-year-old buyer too,” said Victor Tin Sio-un, associate director of sales at Sino Land, who said the two buyers were likely to pay for their flats in full.

Tin said that the biggest buyer on Tuesday forked out HK$40 million for a couple of three-bedroom flats.

Sino Land’s low-price strategy pays off as first batch of Grand Central flats in Kwun Tong is sold out

Since the 98-year-old buyer is a first-time buyer she does not have to pay the double stamp duty of 15 per cent of the flat’s value, said James Man, regional associate director at Midland Realty, who handled the sale.

Raymond Chan, director of Kowloon district at Midland, said she could be the oldest buyer in recent years.

Her family member, who bought a smaller two-bedroom flat worth about HK$10 million, however will have to pay the 15 per cent stamp duty as he already owns other homes, Chan said.

Buyers patiently waited in the queue on Tuesday for their turn to pick out flats.

“I plan to buy a three-bedroom flat worth more than HK$10 million as my son’s wedding home and plan to pay for it in full,” said a middle-aged woman who gave her surname as Sin, adding that she remained upbeat on the prospects of Hong Kong’s housing market. “There will not be big drops [in home prices].”

Midland Realty said there was an unusually high interest from investors vis-à-vis end users who had registered for the project. It said that 30 per cent were investors, which was unusually high among recent home sales given the economic uncertainty.

“As the development is in urban areas, the effective rent could reach about HK$55 per sq ft with a yield of 3.5 to 4 per cent,” said Sammy Po, chief executive of Midland.

However, analysts warned that the success of the project does not necessarily indicate that the current correction in home prices has reversed.

“Unless the US-China trade war is settled completely and the rise in interest rate stops, home price will normally continue to drop,” said Lee Shu-kam, associate professor at Hong Kong Shue Yan University. “This is just a temporary respite.”

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