Hong Kong's buyers shrug aside leftover projects in their rush for small, cheaper homes as robust supply spoils them with options

Asia's Tech News Daily

last weekend’s success, Northern Metropolis, last Saturday and Sunday

Hong Kong’s weekend home sales were mixed, with buyers piling in after new launches and the smallest flats that require less upfront payments, giving their collective cold shoulder to unsold projects left over from last year.

Centralcon Properties sold 160 flats, or 47 per cent of the 338 flats earmarked in its second round of sales at The Arles in Sha Tin as of 8:30pm, extending last weekend’s success which found buyers for 82 per cent of the 536 apartments on offer.

Wheelock Properties was less lucky with its Koko Hills project in Nam Tin which was launched more than a year ago in July 2020, selling only four out of 101 units on offer, sales agents said.

“Homebuyers were quick to snap up lower priced single and two-bedroom flats at The Arles, but were more hesitant to purchase flats priced above HK$10 million (US$1.3 million) as there were more choices in the market,” said Midland Realty‘s residential division chief executive Sammy Po Siu-ming, adding that sales were within expectations.

last weekend’s success, Northern Metropolis, last Saturday and Sunday

Centralcon Properties’ The Arles project under construction near the Fo Tan subway station in the New Territories, on 14 October 2021. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

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

The outlook for the property market brightened after Lam’s address, and transactions of both new and second-hand homes are expected to quicken, said Louis Chan Wing-kit, Centaline Property Agency’s vice-chairman and chief executive of its residential department in Asia-Pacific. He also predicts new home transactions could reach 2,200 units in October, reaching their highest level in 11 months.

Thousands of new homes are scheduled for launch in Hong Kong in the remainder of the financial year ending in March 2022, with Ricacorp predicting an annual increase of 14 per cent to 36,919 units.

CK Asset Holdings and Henderson Land Development, two of Hong Kong’s largest and best-known property developers, are poised to release 2,000 new homes between them in the New Territories.

The latest round of Centralcorn’s sales at The Arles featured studio units, all the way up to three-bedroom apartments with sizes ranging from 228 square feet to 677 sq ft (63 square metres), with prices from HK$4.96 million up to HK$16 million after discounts of up to 15 per cent, as is the industry norm.

The average price for the latest batch was HK$21,267 per square foot, up 12.6 per cent from the October 5 launch price of HK$18,888 psf. As many as 26,900 people registered their intention to buy, translating to 79 people vying for each available unit on average, agents said.

last weekend’s success, Northern Metropolis, last Saturday and Sunday

Aerial view of Koko Hills by Wheelock Properties at Cha Kwo Ling to the east of Kowloon on 6 May 2021. Photo: Martin Chan

Centralcon sold 440 flats, or 82 per cent of the first 536 units put on sale last Saturday and Sunday. 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 discounts.

The same buzz was missing at Koko Hills, which comprises three phases. The first phase has 413 apartments in three tower blocks, one of which stands at 21 storeys.

The largest apartments at Koko Hills were set aside for sales by tender, with 14 of them earmarked for this purpose. The remaining 87 flats for open sales were single-bedroom units and three-bedroom flats, with sizes ranging from 366 sq ft to 770 sq ft and prices from HK$7.94 million to HK$17.5 million.

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