(July 12): Property sales are back in full swing. Six developers are selling 817 units, including Hong Kong’s smallest flat, in the biggest weekend sale since protests against the controversial extradition bill started in early June.
Louis Chan, vice-chairman of Asia-Pacific and chief executive of residential division at Centaline Property Agency, said market sentiment has improved as tensions have eased between the US and China after the G20 summit and anticipation that possible interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve could lead to a reduction in local banks’ prime rate.
On Sunday, Jiayuan International and Stan Group will offer 344 units at their T-Plus project in Tuen Mun, with sizes ranging from 128 square feet to 387 sq ft. Of these, 12 flats measuring 128 sq ft – smaller than a car parking space – are targeted at first-time buyers.
The project has received 12,000 registrations of interest, which is the second highest this year. This also means that more than 34 buyers will compete for each flat.
Prices start at HK$1.74 million (US$222,200) for the 128 sq ft unit, or HK$13,577 per sq ft after discounts, which makes it the cheapest home in the city since CK Asset Holdings sold 165 sq ft units at Mont Vert in Tai Po for HK$1.65 million in 2014.
The new price is up to 37.6% lower on a per square foot basis than a 131 sq ft studio at T-Plus, which the developer put on the market for HK$2.85 million last November.
The project is likely to sell easily, said Richard Lee, chief executive of Hong Kong Property (Services).
“The price cut this time is quite large, so some buyers will be attracted,” said Lee.
T-Plus only has 20 units priced below HK$2 million each. Agents said developers would have an internal sales quota of 30 for their staff, meaning they would be given priority to buy these cheap flats.
According to findings released by Midland Realty on Thursday, studios and one-bedroom flats were the most popular categories in the first half of this year, selling 79.2% of the 2,972 flats on offer. And flats priced below HK$15,000 per sq ft accounted for 41.3% of the total units offered, the highest among all price ranges.
On Saturday, Wing Tai will offer 110 flats at the 466-unit Oma Oma in Tuen Mun. Among these, 83 units were for open sale and 27 for tender.
China Overseas Land & Investment was offering 332 flats at The Regent in Tai Po – 184 for open sale and 148 for tender.
Other smaller batches on Saturday include 15 flats at K Wah International’s Solaria, 10 flats at Sun Hung Kai Properties’ Mount Regency phase two and six units at New World Development’s Fleur Pavilia.
Meanwhile, the number of buyers charged double stamp duty plunged 46% to 331 in June, according to figures released by Inland Revenue Department on Wednesday. The tax applies to buyers who already own at least one home.
In the first half of this year, extra stamp duty collected by the government plummeted 43% to HK$21.2 billion.
“Buyers slowed down their purchases or stayed away as the US-China trade war escalated and Hong Kong’s political scene tensed up because of the extradition bill,” said Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Properties.