Monday, April 20, 2009

Glimmer Of Recovery In HK Property Market

HK and Singapore properties went down sharply at the beginning of the crisis. Singapore is still nursing a down trending market. However things are looking up in HK. Recent property launches have attract a lot of buyers. Of course the pricing of these new developments were a bit more attractive, and we should remember that many of the buyers were from mainland China. Developers reported vigorous weekend sales as Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) sold 400 apartments at The Latitude while Cheung Kong (0001) said all flats at Central Park Towers II were sold on Saturday.

SHKP raised prices by 3 to 5 percent after the first batch of 50 homes at The Latitude, a San Po Kong residential project, were sold on Saturday. The average price was 2 percent higher than the original price of HK$7,255 per square foot.

The developer reaped more than HK$3 billion from flat sales at The Latitude, at an average price of HK$7,400 psf. Prices ranged between HK$5,300 and HK$15,000 psf. Flats were sold at between HK$3.6 million and HK$18.5 million. A special 1,712 sq ft flat, "Sky Latitude" with a 1,294 sq ft "sky garden" was sold for HK$26.5 million. The project has five residential towers totaling 1,159 homes.

Meanwhile, Cheung Kong executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung said the 1,068 flats at the Tin Shui Wai project Central Parks Tower II were all sold in three days since the launch on Thursday. Chiu earlier estimated the sales to generate about HK$2 billion.

The secondary home market is expected to be fueled by the good sales in the primary market, said Centaline Property research associate director Wong Leung-sing. "Home transactions in the secondary market may jump 9.1 percent and 11.1 percent by volume and value, respectively, this month, to 6,000 deals and HK$17 billion, when compared with March," Wong said.

The value of home sales in Hong Kong soared 86.8 percent month on month to HK$25.4 billion in March to hit a nine-month high, while the number of deals rose 58.3 percent to 7,102, according to data from the Land Registry.

"Earlier-than-expected signs of stabilization of major economies lead us to believe that various governments' stimulus measures could help restore homebuyers' confidence and bring forward the inflection point of price stabilization," Goldman Sachs analyst Anthony Wu said. The research house forecast prices in the primary market will fall 5 percent and that of the secondary market will be flat this year.

UBS analyst Eric Wong also upgraded home price forecasts "as credit conditions continues to normalize, mortgage competition returns, good stock markets boost confidence, and global quantitative easing raises awareness of the need to hold real assets instead of fiat money." Wong also believes the Hong Kong homes market will rebound earlier and faster than most property markets.

p/'s photos: Priyanka Chopra

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