Hong Kong's first sales launch of a new residential property project in 2019 got off to a good start, as China Overseas Land and Investment sold most its latest apartment complex in Tai Po with steep discounts.
The Regent, a project featuring 1,620 flats between 377 square feet and 761 sq ft in size, released the first batch of 486 units for sale on Saturday, attracting up to 7,500 bids, or an average of 15 buyers for every available flat. The developer managed to sell 470 units, or 97 per cent of the flats offered, by the end of the launch at 9pm, agents said.
The Regent is popular because of the attractive prices that the developer is offering, said Midland Realty's residential division chief executive Sammy Po Siu-ming.
"The demand and purchasing power had always been there, but the low price was really what attracted" buyers who would otherwise wait on the sidelines for the market to cool further, he said.
China Overseas Land slashed its prices by up to a third, compared with similar projects that launched in the same neighbourhood as recently as five months ago. The declining prices underscored the downturn in the world's most expensive residential property market, as a combination of government policies, rising mortgage rates and additional supply halted a two-year bull market in its tracks.
The number of property transactions in Hong Kong, including those for flats, offices and car parking space, fell 58 per cent to 3,024 in -December from the same period in 2017, according to data from Midland Realty.
The average price for The Regent was about HK$12,800 per square foot for 324 of the flats, while the remainder were priced higher by between 1 per cent and 2 per cent. The average price was 32 per cent lower than a nearby project launched five months ago. The St Martin by Sun Hung Kai Properties, about a five-minute drive away, sold for an average HK$18,698 per square foot in July, before the city's 28-month bull run in house prices ended.
The successful sale by China Overseas underscores how far developers have to slash prices to attract buyers. Recent launches in the city have met lacklustre results. One exception was Sino Land's Grand Central in East Kowloon, which offered new flats at a 14 per cent discount in mid-December, making it the only project to sell out quickly.
China Overseas Land is considering to release a new batch of units later in the day, according to Tony Yau, general manager at its property subsidiary.
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Elsewhere in Tuen Mun, Vanke Property (Hong Kong) offered 85 units of its Le Pont residential project for sale, while another 150 flats went for tender.
In total, 571 units went for sale on Saturday, the biggest weekend launch by number of units offered this month.
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