Seesaw struggle marks home sales

Business | Kevin Xu 3 Jun 2019

Secondary sales in 10 major housing estates slumped by 50 percent at the weekend from a week earlier, hitting a 23-week low blamed on the Sino-US trade dispute worsening.

Midland Realty recorded only three transactions at the estates after six a week before.

The chief executive of Midland's residential division, Sammy Po Siu-ming, said the market was in a wait-and-see mode with the Hang Seng Index falling below 27,000 points amid global economic turmoil and a trade war unlikely to be resolved soon.

He added that homeowners remain "tough" in on asking prices and are "in a seesaw struggle" with buyers, which led to falls in transaction volumes.

Purchasing power at play in the secondary market was also being affected by newly launched projects and applications for the latest batch of about 4,800 new flats under the Home Ownership Scheme, said Louis Chan Wing-kit, Centaline Property Asia-Pacific's residential chief executive.

Chan believes it unlikely the deal volume in the secondary market will see an increase for a while.

Amid the strains, some homeowners were willing to cut asking prices.

A 630-square-foot flat at Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai changed hands for HK$6.1 million, or HK$9,682 per sq ft, after HK$700,000 was slashed from the first asking price in January.

A 516-sq-ft flat at La Costa in Ma On Shan sold for HK$8.28 million, or HK$16,047 per sq ft. That was HK$620,000 less than the original asking price. Still, the selling price was 26 percent higher than what the vendor paid when he bought the flat four years ago.

And a 664-sq-ft flat at Ocean Shores in Tseung Kwan O fetched HK$12 million, or HK$18,072 per sq ft, after HK$800,000 was trimmed from the first asking price.

In the primary market, a 2,659-sq-ft penthouse at Mount Regalia on Kau To Shan fetched HK$112 million, or HK$42,121 per sq ft. Both figures setting new high marks in the estate. On a broader front, Mount Regalia in Sha Tin, developed by Paliburg (0617) and Regal Hotels (0078), took HK$330 million in two days with the sales of four units.

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