Hong Kong’s homebuying frenzy reaches down to small flats, as customers snap up Vanke’s Vau Residence in Ho Man Tin

expected a 5 per cent rise, economy expanded 7.9 per cent, about 3 per cent

Hong Kong homebuyers returned in droves to snap up new flats in Ho Man Tin on Saturday, showing confidence in the city’s property market amid the improving local coronavirus situation and early signs of economic recovery.

Vanke Holdings (Hong Kong), a unit of China’s third-largest developer China Vanke, sold 53 of the 55 units on offer at its Vau Residence project in Ho Man Tin as of 3pm, agents said, adding that they expect the remaining two units to sell out by the end of the day.

Around 530 bids were received for the units, or up to nine buyers vying for each available flat, according to a spokesperson.

“Homebuyers are showing more confidence in the property market,” said Louis Chan Wing-kit, Centaline’s vice-chairman and chief executive of residential in Asia-Pacific. “The coronavirus situation in the city has improved and we’re seeing more days without any new local infections. We’re also seeing early signs of an economic recovery. As the vaccination rate picks up, there are hopes that the border between mainland China and Hong Kong will reopen soon.”

expected a 5 per cent rise, economy expanded 7.9 per cent, about 3 per cent

An artist’s illustration of the lounge at Vau Residence in Ho Man Tin. Photo: Handout

Prospective homebuyers are also rushing to buy new flats as they are worried that home prices may increase over the coming months, Chan added. There is growing optimism that Hong Kong home prices will climb further this year as the city’s economy shows further signs of recovery.

Earlier this month, US investment bank Goldman Sachs said it expected a 5 per cent rise in home prices this year, while Shih Wing-ching, Centaline’s founder, has forecast a 15 per cent increase. Hong Kong’s economy expanded 7.9 per cent in the first three months of the year, the fastest quarterly pace in 11 years, beating economists’ forecasts and bolstering investors’ confidence in the city’s property market.

The first batch of Vau Residence flats on offer consisted of one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, ranging from 209 square feet to 388 sq ft (36 square metres) and priced from HK$4.99 million to HK$9.46 million (US$1.22 million), after discounts of up to 16 per cent.

The average price was HK$24,647 per square foot, about 3 per cent more than the flats at Seven Victory Avenue, a two-year-old development within walking distance of Vau Residence. The units at Seven Victory Avenue were selling for HK$23,820 per square foot, according to listings on Centaline Property Agency’s website.

Vanke will also offer a cash reward of HK$28,000 to each of the first 50 Vau Residence buyers who have received their Covid-19 vaccinations before August 31, joining in the campaign among property developers and Hong Kong’s conglomerates to help boost the city’s vaccination rate. Vanke said it expects the cash reward to cost it about HK$1.4 million in total.

The success at Vau Residence followed two successive sell-out weekends at New World Development’s The Pavilia Farm III residential complex in Tai Wai. The developer has sold 2,769 out of a total of 3,090 apartments in the entire project, for a total haul of HK$33.1 billion.

Another 173 units of the latest batch of apartments go on sale on Sunday, for which New World has received 30,500 bids, translating to 176 buyers bidding for every unit.

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