Unrest puts paid to sale numbers

Money Glitz | Kevin Xu 19 Sep 2019

T he number of rental agreements outpaced sale transactions in 12 major housing estates in the first half of August by about two times.Many home owners chose to rent out their houses rather than sell amid the peak season of the housing rental market and the ongoing wait-and-see atmosphere.

The 12 big estates recorded 159 rental deals but only 47 secondary sales during the period.

30 rental deals were seen at Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai in the first half of August. The number of sales was 14.

Many Wells Property Agent said there had been a slowdown in sales at Kingswood Villas over the past two months as buyers were holding back to see what would happen next and preferred to rent rather than buy. There were about 50 homes available for lease at the project in mid-August, the property agency said.

Both Metro City in Tseung Kwan O and Taikoo Shing in Quarry Bay recorded 20 leasing deals during the period, with an average per-square-foot rent of HK$44 in Metro City and HK$45.4 in Taikoo.

However, Metro City saw only one secondary sale and Taikoo only four.

About 130 units were available for rent at Taikoo Shing as of mid-August, and some vendors stopped putting the units on the market for sale and opted to let, said Hong Kong Property Services (Agency).

City One Shatin recorded 12 leasing deals in the first half of August, compared with only seven sales.

Mei Foo Sun Chuen in Lai Chi Kok had 10 rental deals, with an average rent of HK$37 per sq ft, while only three secondary transactions were seen.

The number of new lettings surged as the social unrest showed no sign of ending and owners preferred to rent out their homes rather than sell, said Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, managing director of Vincorn Consulting and Appraisal.

Amid the uncertainties, the secondary market is recording transactions below market price, with price cuts of between 5 percent and 12 percent in mid-August. Home owners have gradually softened and are expanding bargaining space, and buyers are taking the opportunity to enter the market.

New projects in Tsuen Wan sold like hot cakes, which proves that purchasing power is accumulating in the market, said Lawrance Wong Dun-king, president of Many Wells Property Agent.

Centaline Property Agency recorded 10 transactions over the weekend in the 10 major housing estates, down by one transaction or 9.1 percent compared with a week before.

A month prior, a 358-sq-ft flat at Wai Wah Centre in Sha Tin changed hands for HK$5.55 million, or HK$15,503 per sq ft, 10 percent lower than the market price, after HK$1.05 million was slashed from the original asking price, said Midland Realty.

Meanwhile, a 334-sq-ft unit at Lucky Plaza in Sha Tin sold for HK$5.43 million, or HK$16,257 per sq ft, 8 percent lower than the market price, after HK$870,000 was cut from the original asking price.

kevin.xu@singtaonewscorp.com

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