Wheelock Properties sold the most expensive flat at its Koko Hills project in Hong Kong’s Lam Tin neighbourhood through a bidding process on Sunday. The flat was offered separately from a batch of 34 units available for sale on the day. Of these, only one found a buyer.
The 2,024 sq ft flat was sold for HK$62.74 million (US$8.1 million), and its sale suggests that strong buying interest for high-priced residential units remains intact in the world’s priciest residential property market despite a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
On July 11, Wheelock sold 85 flats, or 53 per cent, of the 160 units offered as part of a second batch of flats at Koko Hills. The project’s average price of HK$19,995 per square foot is about 15 per cent higher than the most recent new launch in the neighbourhood.
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“Luxury homes sold at lofty prices are the top beneficiaries of quantitative easing measures around the globe, as fresh capital flows into Hong Kong,” said Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Property. “Pent-up demand among super-rich buyers has been released recently, and they have rushed to buy much-coveted premium properties regardless of a rise in coronavirus infections and escalating US-China tensions.”
Sunday’s sales at Koko Hills follow in the foot steps of a strong response to new homes offered by Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) in the city’s New Territories a day earlier. SHKP, Hong Kong’s biggest developer by market value, sold 105 flats, or about 97 per cent, of the 108 units on offer at its Regency Bay project by 4pm on Saturday. More than 1,700 people, or about 16 people for each available flat, submitted bids at the launch.
The response to Regency Bay itself is believed to be a knock-on effect of the success of Sea to Sky, a development launched by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s CK Asset Holdings in Lohas Park. Half of the units at Sea to Sky were sold this month despite being priced at a premium of 20 per cent over comparable projects in the neighbourhood. As many as 28 bidders vied for every available unit at the CK Asset development.
Besides the pandemic and tensions between Washington and Beijing, Hong Kong’s property market has also been hit by rising unemployment, which jumped to 6.2 per cent in the three months ending in June, its highest level in 15 years.
The recent strong response in the premium segment has not been enough to stem a slide in the city’s overall market. A Centaline Property Agency research note said that the total number of transactions involving homes, car parks and retail stalls, will drop 6.7 per cent from a month ago to 7,700 in July. “The property market has recorded remarkable price gains recently, [but] worries about social unrest are still weighing on local residents,” the report said.
Additional reporting by Pearl Liu
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This article Hong Kong developer Wheelock sells most expensive unit at its Koko Hills development for US$8.1 million first appeared on South China Morning Post