24 October 2016
Buyers line up at the sales office of My Place housing development on Sunday. Photo: HKEJ
Buyers line up at the sales office of My Place housing development on Sunday. Photo: HKEJ

New flats selling like hot cakes during Labor Day holiday

This year’s Labor Day was not about mainland visitors anymore. It’s been reported that the city’s beaches, camping sites and shopping malls were less crowded during the three-day weekend, compared with the same period in previous years, as a result of the declining number of mainland visitors.

During the public holiday, the property market was also dominated by local buyers.

Sammy Po Siu-ming, chief executive of Midland Realty’s residential department, said mainland buyers accounted for only around 3 percent of the property transactions in the past three days, according to Ming Pao Daily.

Let’s take My Place, a housing project under the Urban Renewal Authority, as an example. All the 164 units in the Ma Tau Kok development were gone four hours after the project was officially launched. That means a flat was taken every one and a half minutes.

My Place offers small units; all of them are one-bedroom or studio flats. The size of all the units in this single private residential building is below 400 square feet.

The price started from HK$3.32 million (US$428,200), which is the cheapest in Kowloon in the past six months. The price per square foot is around HK$13,899.

Because the lump sum of the transactions is not that high, many buyers reportedly bought the flats as investment.

Meanwhile, a total 220 new flats were sold during the long weekend, which is the most in the same period over the past nine years. The sales actually surged over four times if compared with the last Labor Day holiday.

Given the ultra bullish sentiment in the Hong Kong stock market, it is believed that many buyers have cashed out of the stock market and placed the capital in properties.

Also, the tight supply of subsidized flats has pushed buyers to search for alternatives in the private market.

Many people also expected the US Federal Reserve to delay its rate hike plan because of the unexpectedly tepid economic growth in the last quarter.

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