Date
13 December 2017
Cheung Kong's City Point, Sun Hung Kai's The Wings III and New World Development's Double Cove Starview are among the residential projects that have seen strong sales in 2014. Photos: HKEJ
Cheung Kong's City Point, Sun Hung Kai's The Wings III and New World Development's Double Cove Starview are among the residential projects that have seen strong sales in 2014. Photos: HKEJ

What does 2015 hold for HK property market?

As 2014 draws to a close, let’s take a look at the Hong Kong property market. A quick perusal of home transactions data reveals that hegemony returned to the city’s top developers this year. Even if one had the money to spend, there were not a whole lot of choices for homebuyers.

Meanwhile, prices of new units were up almost 20 percent on average, notwithstanding the sector cooling measures from the government or the Occupy Central movement. The price hikes, however, didn’t curb the transactions value in the primary market, which hit a historic high.

Consider some figures generated by EPRC, a databank owned by our friendly rival Economic Times:

Sales of first-hand residential units rose 50 percent to 16,000 units, with nine of the top 10 new sites from New Territories.

That put the total amount of transactions at a record high HK$170 billion, up 68 percent over the previous year. Roughly two thirds of the turnover came after May.

Out of these transactions, Sun Hung Kai Properties topped all developers with HK$30 billion, followed by Cheung Kong Holdings (HK$26 billion) and New World Development (HK$22 billion). New World took the top spot in terms of the number of units sold, as it offloaded 3,700 apartments.

In other words, the top three developers accounted for 45 percent of the total first-hand transaction value. If this is not hegemony, I don’t know what is.

Two of the top three best-selling residential projects were from Cheung Kong, which sold 1,717 units at City Point, Tsuen Wan and 1,071 units of Mont Vert in Tai Po (which has become famous for a HK$1.7 million dollar subdivided 165 square feet unit). Sun Hung Kai, meanwhile, sold 960 units in The Wings 3 development at Tseung Kwan O.

The second-hand market also had a strong year, with Mayfair Garden in Tsing Yi topping all housing estates with a 31 percent price surge, Apple Daily noted, citing the Centa-City Index. A small unit in One Shatin City, whose price surged 22 percent this year, was transacted at HK$3.7 million, or an average price of HK$13,000 per square feet.

Now, what will happen in 2015? As with most other years, no developer will tell you that there is any likelihood of a moderation in prices. Every one basically expects or wants a 10 percent steady increase.

But you do not need a crystal ball to figure out that the transaction volume will go even higher, given that there will be around 30,000 units available for sale.

All eyes will be on the Century Link, a Tung Chung residential project of Sun Hung Kai, which is preparing to sell 300 units — at below HK$4 million per unit — this Saturday. It will mark the first major housing project to come on the market in 2015. The new flats are said to have drawn 27 times over-subscription from 8,300 interested buyers as of yesterday.

For Hong Kong residential, small is always beautiful. This is evident from the government’s goal to meet the housing target by allowing more small units in land tenders such as Lohas Park, as well as the developers’ high clearing rate when it comes to selling small-sized apartments.

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BK/JP/RC

EJ Insight writer

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