HK’s home buyers are back in droves at CK Asset’s Sea To Sky project as they shrug aside political concerns

07-Jul-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong’s homebuyers turned out in droves for the second consecutive weekend to snap up the most expensive flats to launch in Lohas Park in two years, shrugging aside concerns about large financial commitments even after the enactment of a security law in the city.

CK Asset Holdings Limited, one of the city’s bellwether property developers, sold 200 flats, or 60 per cent of the 336 flats on offer at its Sea To Sky project, as of 6pm, according to sales agents. More than 10,000 people submitted bids at the launch, comprising 108 two-bedroom flats that start from HK$6.5 million (US$838,676) each, 203 three-bedroom flats and 25 four-bedroom apartments.

The brisk sales, following a sell-out launch last weekend, shows how Hong Kong’s underlying property demand remains strong, lifted by a record wave of easy financing even as the city’s economy is mired in its worst recession on record, and joblessness is expected to climb. The enactment of the national security law could help return the city to normalcy, reversing last year’s anti-government protests that contributed to the housing market’s downturn, agents said.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

“The dice has been cast as the security law has passed,” said Louis Chan Wing-kit, Centaline’s vice-chair and chief executive of residential in Asia-Pacific. “The market will stabilise with fewer uncertainties, and we will see even stronger sales in July.”

Sea To Sky comprises three tower blocks, with 1,422 apartments in total. The developer raised the average price by 5 per cent to HK$16,694 per square foot after selling out all 462 flats most single-bedroom units last weekend in the first batch. The average price is about 28 per cent higher than the prevailing cost of lived-in homes in the Tseung Kwan O neighbourhood, according to Centaline Property Agency’s data.

“The result is reasonable and in line with our expectation,” said Sammy Po, chief executive of Midland Realty’s residential division. “All two-bed room units sold out, and many buyers who failed to get their hands on two-bedroom units today said they will apply again in the next batch.”

CK Asset’s success shows how Hong Kong’s sales of newly completed homes have taken off since late May, when the coronavirus outbreak eased in the city, and easier financing unleashed by global central banks began to find its way into the property market.

Transactions in July are likely to surpass the 2,137 units sold in June, double what was sold in May, according to Centaline’s Chan.

That optimism is shared by Ricacorp, which expects Hong Kong’s home prices to increase by 10 per cent this year, barring any unforeseen events like a resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak in the city. If property appreciates as predicted, prices will reach a record high by the end of 2020.

Already, there are signs that the property market has turned a corner. An index that measures prices in the secondary market rose 1.9 per cent in May, reversing the 0.1 per cent decline in April, according to data released by the Rating and Valuation Department. It marked the biggest monthly jump in 13 months and brought the average price of a second-hand home to a six-month high, a mere 3 per cent shy of the May 2019 peak.

Vanke Holdings (HK) sold 94 units at The Campton residential development in Cheung Sha Wan on June 2, extending the success of its May 27 sales debut when it sold all 188 units. The return of buyers also lifted demand at K Summit, a project at the former Kai Tak airport site which launched last December. K Wah International, the developer, sold 23 of the 170 flats on offer today, pricing the batch of apartments at an average of HK$24,836 per sq ft, or 8 per cent higher than the December launch.


Category: Hong Kong

Print This Post