Paying price for land

| Siu Sai-wo 16 May 2019

Henderson Land Development's general manager of sales, Mark Hahn Ka-fai, and his colleagues visited the Sing Tao group headquarters in Tseung Kwan O.

Hahn last visited us when our office was still in Shau Kei Wan.

It has been a few years since and he didn't seem to have aged much, which is an envy even for ladies who are savvy with looking after their appearance.

Hahn is a real-estate veteran and a surveyor, so I took the opportunity to ask his views on the market.

The recent focus for everyone is the sale of prime sites at Kai Tak at successive record-high prices.

The latest one on the old runway fetched more than HK$19,000 a square foot, or an estimated HK$40,000 per sf for the finished product. Hahn noted that Henderson Land has five projects in the district.

Two of these are being developed on its own on adjoining sites neighboring the Kai Tak Sports Park purchased from Hainan Airlines. The other three are joint ventures.

He said the projects have their own strengths.

The one near the sports park is close to the MTR line while the residences being developed on the old runway have a unique sea view.

Urban sites are hard to come by these days. In Tseung Kwan O, the only remaining development is Lohas Park Phase 3.

There is one other station-top development at the Aberdeen MTR Station.

Any future developments on the MTR line would have to come from the New Territories and, in the longer term, land reclamation under the Lantau Tomorrow Vision.

Kai Tak, the only remaining sizable seafront site in Kowloon, will be developed into a luxury residential area like West Kowloon.

As no other similar urban sites will be available, developers didn't mind making humongous bids for the precious East Kowloon plots.

Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily

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