Centralcon's Sha Tin project sees sales pick up as smaller flats attract price-sensitive end users rather than investors

Asia's Tech News Daily

people buying purely to invest, a local developer, a 4,600 sq ft luxury penthouse

Sales picked up on day two of a residential project launch in Sha Tin as the developer allocated smaller flats that tend to appeal to genuine end users, who are more price-sensitive than people buying purely to invest.

Centralcon Properties, a local developer, had sold 150 of the remaining 265 units at The Arles near Fo Tan subway station in the eastern New Territories as of 3pm, according to sources. All the flats looked likely to change hands well before the close of sales at midnight.

The 265 flats that went on sale today included 103 that did not find buyers on a tepid first day of sales on Saturday. As of midnight last night, 271 of 374 units had found buyers.

“The second day sale is easier to find buyers as more one- and two-bedroom flats are being offered at HK$6 million (US$770,000) and HK$8 million,” said Sammy Po, chief executive of Midland Realty’s residential department.

On the first day, buyers were required to buy more than one unit including a three-bedroom flat, agents said, meaning much of the demand came from investors who did not intend to occupy their new residence.

The Arles is a crucial test of whether Hong Kong’s residential property bull run can maintain its momentum in October. It is also the first sales launch in the area since Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor unveiled her plan to build a Northern Metropolis close to the southern border of mainland China, where 2.5 million people may live within 20 years.

“Eighty per cent of the turnout at the sales office on the second day are end users, because the developer has allocated more flats in smaller sizes for sale,” said Louis Chan, Asia-Pacific vice-chairman and chief executive of the residential division at Centaline.

He expects 600 new flats to be sold in Hong Kong over the weekend, raising the total number of transactions to 2,000 in October.

If Kowloon Development manages to launch its new project, Manor Hill in Tsueng Kwan O, this month, he said that would increase to 2,500 deals, which would be the highest number for almost a year. Manor Hill comprises 1,556 units in two residential towers.

“It will set a new high since last November,” he said.

Sales at The Arles got off to a brisk start on Sunday morning.

“Fifty units have been reserved in the first 30 minutes,” said Terence Yang, strategic sales director at Centralcon.

He said 271 flats worth HK$3 billion had been sold on the first day, with the biggest deal involving four units.

Forty per cent of buyers on Saturday were investors, while the rest intended to live in their new purchases, said Yang.

When fully completed in March 2023, The Arles will comprise 1,335 apartments of between 228 and 947 square feet, selling for between HK$6.17 million and HK$23.5 million after factoring in a 15 per cent discount, as is the industry norm.

With fewer big-ticket transactions, Hong Kong’s luxury market has not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

At the weekend, a 4,600 sq ft luxury penthouse in the Mid-Levels formerly owned by Chen Feng, the founder of the sprawling HNA Group, changed hands for HK$312 million, according to Chinese media. The distressed sale price was 28 per cent lower than what Chen – who was arrested three weeks ago on specified charges – paid in 2015.

The luxury penthouse was put up for sale by creditors in August.

The fully furnished four-bedroom flat is on the 45th floor of 39 Conduit Road, Mid-Levels, one of the most prestigious addresses in the world’s most expensive property market.

It was bought by Billion Able Corporation in April 2015 for HK$433 million, or HK$94,150 per square foot, according to Land Registry and Companies Registry records. Chen Feng, the founder and former chairman of HNA, was the director of Billion Able.

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