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Old April 12th, 2017, 04:09 PM   #2141
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Cheung Kong’s Harbour Glory almost sold out as buyers shrug aside stamp duty move
One family snapped up three units for a combined shopping bill of HK$132 million after a 34 per cent discount.
South China Morning Post Excerpt
April 12, 2017

Cheung Kong Property Holdings, the first Hong Kong developer to put an apartment project on the market after a tightening in the government’s tax policy, said buyers had shrugged aside concerns of a higher levy to snap up nearly every one of the 152 units of its Harbour Glory complex.

Four hours after making them available for sale, Cheung Kong had sold 148 units of Harbour Glory at North Point, for up to HK$43,900 per square foot, a record for the Island East district. One family snapped up three apartments for a total bill of HK$132 million after discounts, agents said.

Property buyers “prefer to hold fixed assets, rather than cash, because banks’ savings rates are close to zero and the stock market is volatile,” said Midland Realty’s chief executive Sammy Po.

Hong Kong’s government yesterday announced a new policy, whereby any buyer with multiple number of units must now pay a 15 per cent stamp duty for each, finally closing a legal loophole left open since November.
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Old April 13th, 2017, 05:44 AM   #2142
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Cautious approach applied to property measures, Hong Kong housing minister says after stamp duty gap fix
Critics say move to finally stop exploitation of legal loophole in tax is overdue
April 12, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong’s housing minister has said that the government took a very cautious approach in designing cooling measures for the property market, as he explained the late decision on Tuesday night to finally plug a legal loophole open to exploitation by speculators.

The new cooling measure, which came into effect at midnight, means those buying several flats for the first time with just one sales and purchase agreement will now also have to pay 15 per cent stamp duty for each of the properties. Previously, such buyers were exempted from the levy.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung was asked on an RTHK radio program Wednesday morning if the move came too late – half a year after the 15 per cent stamp duty rate for non first-time buyers was introduced last November. Cheung said it was a matter of interpretation.

“When we introduced the [first] 15 per cent stamp duty, we hoped to keep other exemption arrangements the same. But later on we realised that some people tried to purchase several flats under one legal document to evade the tax,” he said.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, together with Cheung and financial secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, announced the move to plug the loophole on Tuesday night.
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Old April 23rd, 2017, 05:45 PM   #2143
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Foggy Morning, Rambler Channel(Tsuen Wan) HK by kc ma, on Flickr
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Old April 29th, 2017, 07:34 AM   #2144
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Record housing boost ‘unlikely to ease price surge’
April 28, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A record 96,000 units will be added to Hong Kong’s supply of private housing over the next three to four years, according to the Transport & Housing Bureau’s latest quarterly data, an increase of 2 per cent from the previous projection.

The modest increase, which reflects the Hong Kong government’s determination to accelerate land sales to bolster flat supply, will do little to reverse the surge in housing prices that’s made the city the world’s most expensive urban centre, some analysts said.

Hong Kong’s home price index, which tracks prices in the secondary market, rose for the 12th consecutive month in March, advancing 2.2 per cent to a record 319.8, according to data by the Rating & Valuation Department.

“Home prices are unlikely to see a significant drop, unless there are unexpected external factors that adversely affect Hong Kong’s economy,” said Knight Frank’s senior director Thomas Lam. “Prices will be supported by strong demand from end users but growth pace may slow down.”

The price surge and additional supply underscore the challenges facing incoming Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in addressing what’s been labelled as the biggest public concern among the electorate. In the last 12 months, median home prices in Hong Kong have surged beyond the affordability of many new wage earners and school leavers, while the sizes of newly launched properties have shrunk.

The average size of newly built apartments has shrunk 40 per cent to 600 square feet in 2016, from 1,000 sq ft in 2013, according to the Building Authority’s data.

“Developers are building smaller flats, because these sizes are more affordable” to new buyers, said JLL’s regional director of valuation Cliff Tse.

More : http://www.scmp.com/property/article...unaway-housing
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Old May 3rd, 2017, 06:39 PM   #2145
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Shared facilities eyed for space-starved Hong Kong residents in redevelopment projects
Urban Renewal Authority is examining feasibility of providing community storage spaces and laundry rooms so residents can enjoy more space at home
April 30, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The Urban Renewal Authority is studying the feasibility of installing more shared facilities in buildings it redevelops as a way to free up space in small flats.

The facilities include “community storage spaces” on podiums and in basements to keep items that are not frequently used, and laundry rooms so residents do not need washing machines, the authority’s managing director, Wai Chi-sing, wrote in his online blog on Sunday.

Micro-flats are becoming more popular in the city. The number of private units under 215 sq ft rose 154 per cent to 206 last year from 2013.

“Given the reality that living spaces are becoming smaller, my team and I have been thinking about how to utilise the limited space with innovative designs and to add new elements to our redevelopment projects,” Wai wrote.

He said some sites acquired by the authority were not big enough for large-scale development, with restrictive plot ratios at some allowing the construction of only a single block.

Shrinking household sizes – currently an average of 2.8 people – had also boosted demand for tiny flats, he added.

The number of households with just one or two people increased from 900,000 to 1.13 million between 2006 and 2016, according to official figures.

Wai said “community spaces” would allow residents to store seasonal items, such as heaters, dehumidifiers and quilts without occupying home space. They could also save money on renting mini-storage units.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 09:25 PM   #2146
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Hong Kong to get HK$28 billion in record land sales haul
The tender for the two plots worth up to HK$28 billion in Central and Kai Tak will close on Friday. The sales would be a record haul for the coffers on a single day
May 9, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The Hong Kong government may get up to HK$28 billion from selling two sites next week, a record haul for the city’s coffers on a single day.

The two plots in Central and the Kai Tak area to be sold by government tender are worth up to HK$28 billion and likely to land a single day land sale revenue record, say industry experts.

They believe that the commercial site on Murray Road will fetch as much as HK$22 billion, while some HK$6.3 billion will be earned for the residential site, Area 1K Site 1, in Kai Tak – Hong Kong’s second core business centre.
The tender for the two lots will close on Friday noon, and the Lands Department will likely announce the outcome as early as next week.

“The market attention will definitely focus on the Murray Road site. But what concerns us most is who is the winner, instead of the selling price. Everyone expect it to be sold at sky-high prices,” said Victor Lai Kin-fai, the chief executive of property consultancy Centaline Professionals.

The site, expected to yield a total gross floor area of 450,996 square feet, could generate bids of between HK$35,000 and HK$48,000 per square foot, the equivalent of HK$15.7 billion to HK$22 billion.

More : http://www.scmp.com/property/hong-ko...ay-sale-record
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Old May 10th, 2017, 10:06 PM   #2147
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i want to visit this city someday
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Old May 10th, 2017, 10:08 PM   #2148
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where can i go shopping in hk?
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Old May 12th, 2017, 07:40 PM   #2149
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Hong Kong homebuilders to face tougher limits on bank borrowing
May 12, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong’s property developers will face tougher restrictions on the amount of money they can borrow from banks under new measures to be introduced next month in a bid to protect lenders from risk.

From June 1, all banks will be required to lower their caps on the amount they lend to developers for construction financing, according to a circular issued by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the city’s de facto central bank, on Friday.

The HKMA says it is concerned about the risk the city’s banks are exposing themselves to by lending large amounts to homebuilders, some of whom have been funding their land purchases entirely through borrowing.

Under the new measures, the maximum limit on bank loans used by the developer to buy a plot of land will be cut to 40 per cent of the value of the site, down from 50 per cent now.

The cap on loans for the construction costs will come down to 80 per cent from the current level of 100 per cent. And the overall cap on bank financing for the whole project will be reduced to 50 per cent of the expected value of the completed properties, from the 60 per cent at the moment.

Analysts said the move will increase homebuilders’ overall development costs and particularly hit those who rely heavily on financing for their projects.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 09:47 AM   #2150
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Hong Kong to get HK$28 billion in record land sales haul
The tender for the two plots worth up to HK$28 billion in Central and Kai Tak will close on Friday. The sales would be a record haul for the coffers on a single day
May 9, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The Hong Kong government may get up to HK$28 billion from selling two sites next week, a record haul for the city’s coffers on a single day.

The two plots in Central and the Kai Tak area to be sold by government tender are worth up to HK$28 billion and likely to land a single day land sale revenue record, say industry experts.

They believe that the commercial site on Murray Road will fetch as much as HK$22 billion, while some HK$6.3 billion will be earned for the residential site, Area 1K Site 1, in Kai Tak – Hong Kong’s second core business centre.
The tender for the two lots will close on Friday noon, and the Lands Department will likely announce the outcome as early as next week.

“The market attention will definitely focus on the Murray Road site. But what concerns us most is who is the winner, instead of the selling price. Everyone expect it to be sold at sky-high prices,” said Victor Lai Kin-fai, the chief executive of property consultancy Centaline Professionals.

The site, expected to yield a total gross floor area of 450,996 square feet, could generate bids of between HK$35,000 and HK$48,000 per square foot, the equivalent of HK$15.7 billion to HK$22 billion.

More : http://www.scmp.com/property/hong-ko...ay-sale-record
Central site sells for record HK$23b
The Standard Excerpt
May 17, 2017



Henderson Land has beaten eight rivals to snap up a highly coveted commercial site on Murray Road in Central for HK$23.3 billion, or HK$50,065 per square foot.

That makes it the most expensive property ever sold by the government - and one of the world's most expensive commercial sites.

The price was about 4 percent above the upper range of market valuation. The market had valued the site at about HK$14 billion to HK$22.3 billion, or HK$30,000 to HK$48,000 per sq ft.

The site takes up an area of about 31,000 sq ft, with maximum gross floor area of 465,005 sq ft. Height limit for the site is 190 meters, and a commercial building of some 40 stories can be built.

"We are delighted to have captured this site in Central, and we plan to develop the project into another landmark commercial building following the International Financial Centre," said Henderson Land vice chairman Martin Lee Ka-shing.

Henderson Land, chaired by tycoon Lee Shau-kee, was part of the consortium that developed the commercial site at Hong Kong Station into the iconic IFC.

Henderson Land expects to invest about HK$26 billion on the Murray Road project, and to complete it in 2022.

As the site was previously a multi-story carpark, the developer winning the tender will have to provide more than 100 parking spaces for public use. The area used for carparks will have to be calculated as part of the gross floor area, but if the parking spots are set up in the basement, the developer can apply for the area taken up not to be counted in the gross floor area.
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Old May 18th, 2017, 04:56 PM   #2151
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New push for country park housing
The Standard Excerpt
May 18, 2017

The Hong Kong Housing Society will study the feasibility of building public housing and elderly homes on 40 hectares of land on the fringes of Tai Lam and Ma On Shan country parks.

The two sites will be studied for their ecological value, recreational potential and development potential.

The land in Tai Lam is located near the Tai Lam toll tunnel while at Ma On Shan the site is next to Shui Chuen O Estate.

The Housing Society will be using its own resources to conduct the HK$10 million study while the government will provide technical data and information.

"The purpose of this study is to provide objective analyses and enable rational deliberations by the community," a government spokesman said.

He said it should not be seen as a preemptive move on developing country parks, but "further discussions" with the Housing Society will follow should there be a decision to develop these sites.

Society chief executive Wong Kit- loong said the two parcels of land were deemed appropriate for the study after considering transportation networks and nearby infrastructure.

But he did not reply to questions why the study was announced less than two months before Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying steps down.

What Wong did say was that the study should help the new administration to set policy.
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Old May 24th, 2017, 06:09 PM   #2152
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Pop-up Hong Kong mall near border with mainland China could open in August
Lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong says construction work at New Territories site could be completed in late July
11 May 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A proposed pop-up shopping centre near the border could open in August now that the project has been approved by the Buildings Department.

Import and export sector lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong told the Post that construction work at the site in San Tin, New Territories is up and running and could be completed in late July.

The mall was meant to draw mainland visitors, but as local retail figures have been declining, Wong hopes that it will attract local shoppers too.

“I wouldn’t do it if I could not figure out a solution,” Wong said. “The rent will be really cheap, just HK$67 to HK$100 per square foot, which is a tenth of what it costs downtown.”

A bus company will run 50 cross-border round trips a day from a major train station in Futian, Shenzhen to the shopping centre, he added, while Hong Kong residents will be able to reach the mall via public buses or minibuses.

The proposed complex, which would run for at least two years, is expected to feature 208 stores selling goods ranging from electronic appliances to apparel. Wong anticipates some 9,000 to 10,000 daily visitors on weekdays and 12,000 on weekends.

The mall had been touted as a way to relieve pressure on the northern New Territories, which in recent years had been facing a massive influx of mainland shoppers and traders buying goods for resale across the border.
Hong Kong border shopping complex set to open in July – two years behind schedule
Pop-up centre aimed at easing anger against parallel traders will mainly target Hong Kong customers instead of mainland tourists amid decline in visitor arrivals
May 23, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A pop-up shopping complex near the border with Shenzhen is finally set to open in July after a two-year delay, mainly luring Hongkongers instead of mainland Chinese tourists as originally planned amid uncertainty about visitor arrivals.

Originally touted as a complex to draw mainland tourists away from North District, it is now targeting 45 per cent of patrons from Hong Kong, 30 per cent from the mainland and the rest tourists from other countries.

Some residents of Sheung Shui in North District were angry about the presence of mainland tourists and parallel traders in their town.

The change of tactics aside, another unresolved issue is the land lease. The plot, which houses the complex called The Boxes, has been leased to the mall owner by Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development only until September next year. But the mall wants interested tenants to sign contracts for two years, up to 2019.

“Initially, we were naive to think that it would be like putting up tents there as if organising a food festival at the harbourfront in Central. This was not the case,” said import and export sector lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong, the mastermind of the project.

“Many unforeseen issues have arisen ... For example, we had to build a power facility to generate electricity.”

Wong came up with the idea several years ago to capitalise on the massive influx of mainland shoppers and traders who bought baby formula and other goods in Hong Kong and sold them across the border for a profit.

Then in 2015, the mainland authorities announced that they would not allow Shenzhen permanent residents to make unlimited trips to Hong Kong any more, capping visits to once a week to deter parallel-goods traders.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 03:32 PM   #2153
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Swire Properties gets Hong Kong government’s support to build new pedestrian bridge for Pacific Place complex
City authorities grant land premium waiver to developer for project which will link complex to MTR station, Legislative Council Building
May 24, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt


Government Press Release

Hong Kong’s Pacific Place complex will get a new pedestrian bridge, linking it to nearby Admiralty MTR station and the Legislative Council Building, after the government’s approval of a land premium waiver for its developer.

It is not known how much Swire Properties will save, with the project likely to cost HK$100 million.

Planning professionals welcomed an additional pedestrian bridge in the area, but a district lawmaker said he was surprised he was not told about the project.

In a press release on Wednesday, the Chief Executive in Council confirmed it had approved a bid by Swire Properties to get a waiver on premium payable for modifying a lease in allowing the construction of the bridge.

An inquiry to the Development Bureau about the exact amount of the waiver was not answered by press time.

The statement also said the proposal was in line with a pilot scheme announced in the 2016 Policy Address, which encouraged land owners in Kowloon East to construct pedestrian links by waiving premiums.

Plans which improve walkability and connectivity in other districts would also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Spanning roughly 100m across Queensway, the proposed bridge will allow pedestrians direct access from Pacific Place to Rodney Street, where they can find an exit – yet to be opened – for the MTR’s South Island Line and the future Sha Tin to Central link.

It will also be joined to an existing footbridge network to the central government offices and the Legislative Council.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 08:38 PM   #2154
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The Murray Road project should be a new landmark in Central
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 08:45 AM   #2155
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Cheung Kong’s Harbour Glory almost sold out as buyers shrug aside stamp duty move
One family snapped up three units for a combined shopping bill of HK$132 million after a 34 per cent discount.
South China Morning Post Excerpt
April 12, 2017

Cheung Kong Property Holdings, the first Hong Kong developer to put an apartment project on the market after a tightening in the government’s tax policy, said buyers had shrugged aside concerns of a higher levy to snap up nearly every one of the 152 units of its Harbour Glory complex.

Four hours after making them available for sale, Cheung Kong had sold 148 units of Harbour Glory at North Point, for up to HK$43,900 per square foot, a record for the Island East district. One family snapped up three apartments for a total bill of HK$132 million after discounts, agents said.

Property buyers “prefer to hold fixed assets, rather than cash, because banks’ savings rates are close to zero and the stock market is volatile,” said Midland Realty’s chief executive Sammy Po.

Hong Kong’s government yesterday announced a new policy, whereby any buyer with multiple number of units must now pay a 15 per cent stamp duty for each, finally closing a legal loophole left open since November.
5/30



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Old June 7th, 2017, 01:16 PM   #2156
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Surprise plan approved to tear down Excelsior
18 April 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt











Four-star hotel The Excelsior may be torn down to make way for a commercial development after 42 years as a Causeway Bay landmark.

Excelsior Hotel (BVI), a wholly owned subsidiary of luxury hotel operator Mandarin Oriental International, has secured approval to build a 26-storey commercial building over the four-storey basement at 281 Gloucester Road, the Building Department’s February monthly digest released yesterday stated.

The plan would yield a total gross floor area of 684,005 square feet if Mandarin Oriental goes ahead with the redevelopment.

Alvin Lam Tsz-pun, a director at Midland Surveyors, said the proposed redevelopment would definitely enhance the commercial value of the site.

“The plan is a bit of a surprise to the market,” he said. “But the property is in a great location and commands an excellent sea view. Both hotel and commercial development will be sought after.”

With an estimated construction cost of at least HK$5,000 per square foot, he said the redevelopment project could involve an investment of HK$3.4 billion.

The approval comes in the wake of a decline in mainland tourists that has prompted more than 10,000 shops, restaurants and tourist attractions to launch a month-long campaign to revive the ailing tourism industry.

“Mainland China represents 15 per cent of room nights in 2014 – the second largest source of business,” Mandarin Oriental said in its 2014 results.

Due to the Occupy Central protests, revenue per available room at the 884-room Excelsior fell 4 per cent last year to US$180 (HK$1,404). The hotel’s average occupancy rate fell four percentage points to 85 per cent, according to Singapore-listed Mandarin Oriental International’s annual results announcement.
Legendary hotel faces end of road
June 6, 2017
The Standard Excerpt

Mandarin Oriental International said yesterday that it plans to test market interest in the possible sale of the legendary Excelsior hotel in Causeway Bay.

The international hotel chain and member of the Jardine Matheson Group is reviewing its long-term strategic options in light of recent strong commercial property valuations in Hong Kong.

Surveyors estimate the valuation of the property, depending on how the sale is structured, could go above HK$34.2 billion.

The company obtained approval in 2015 to redevelop the hotel into a commercial building with a gross floor area of 683,508 square feet.

Leo Cheung Sing-din, Icon City head of business valuation, said the project enjoys a full harbor view and the retail portion of the property could be very valuable. He estimated that the price per square foot of the project could reach HK$40,000 to HK$50,000.

Factoring in the potential gross floor area of the project, valuation of the project would be between HK$27.3 billion and HK$34.2 billion.

"This project is a special case as it has earlier acquired approval to be redeveloped into a commercial building," said Knight Frank senior director Thomas Lam Ho-man. "The valuation will depend on how the owner plans to sell it.
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Old June 9th, 2017, 07:54 AM   #2157
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Anyone know what is coming up next to the Harbour Grand on Oil Street?

(52) by Shireeen, on Flickr
5/30









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Old June 12th, 2017, 04:24 AM   #2158
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Hong Kong developers use wads of cash to skirt mortgage rules and salvage sales
Homebuilders have stepped in to provide mortgage funding as banks tightened lending to rein in skyrocketing prices
June 10, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Cooling measures? What cooling measures?! If there were any, the property markets in Hong Kong and China do not seem to have noticed them.

Developers in Hong Kong either have the financial strength not to be bothered by the lending restrictions or have the means to support home buyers with funding.

On Monday, Vanke Property (Overseas) surprised the market when it announced that it would use the funds it had set aside to buy land to provide mortgages to home buyers of its first project in Hong Kong. The company is the Hong Kong-listed arm of the mainland’s second-largest developer by sales, China Vanke.

The change not only underscores the easy credit available, but also how difficult it is for Hong Kong regulators to restrict lending to developers as a way of reining in skyrocketing prices, which are already the world’s highest.

“Vanke’s sudden change in the usage of the funds gives an impression that these buyers need additional financing provided by the developer. Otherwise, they may encounter difficulties in pushing through the purchases. The alarm is ringing loudly as home prices have risen to a risky level,” said Alvin Cheung Chi-wai, associate director of Prudential Brokerage.

Cheung said Vanke’s move indicated its quick response to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s tightened controls to prevent developers from offering generous mortgages to buyers.

Vanke said it would use HK$350 million, nearly half of the remaining proceeds raised from a 2016 rights issue, to provide first and second mortgages to buyers of Pavilia Bay, a joint venture project with New World Development in Tsuen Wan.

More : http://www.scmp.com/business/article...nd-boost-sales
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Old June 14th, 2017, 07:15 AM   #2159
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Henderson Land buys 53-year-old Kowloon residential block for US$216m
Bought under the Land Compulsory Sales for Redevelopment Ordinance scheme, Hoi Hing Building will be flattened to make way for new flats
June 13, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt





Henderson Land Development, chaired by property tycoon Lee Shau-kee, has paid the reserve price of HK$1.689 billion (US$216.56 million) for a 53-year-old residential block in Tai Kok Tsui, an area west of Mong Kok in Kowloon, which it aims to redevelop.

With government land sales remaining scarce, the Hoi Hing Building was bought under Hong Kong’s “Land Compulsory Sales for Redevelopment Ordinance”, under which developers are able to force a compulsory auction to buy the remaining stake in a building, in which it already it owns 80 per cent.

The auction was completed by JLL.

Augustin Wong, Henderson Land’s executive director, said the building – which has 238 units – will be demolished to make way for a new residential project comprising 460 units of 330 square feet each, and cover a total 180,000 square feet gross floor area.

The total investment, including land costs, will be HK$2.6 billion, a price tag which represents HK$9,383 per square foot.
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Old June 14th, 2017, 05:03 PM   #2160
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Tsuen Wan West

way to Tsim Sha Tsui via Sham Shui Po by Cityflyer A20 by tomosang, on Flickr
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