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Old January 24th, 2009, 10:25 PM   #581
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Old January 25th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #582
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Old January 26th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #583
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Residential construction at lowest level since 1997
Flats being built drop to 8,000 as economic crisis takes toll

24 January 2009
South China Morning Post

Construction and completion of private residential units in Hong Kong last year slumped to the lowest since records began in 1997, underscoring the severe impact the global economic decline is having on the property market.

The latest figures from the Transport and Housing Bureau show only 8,000 units were being built by the end of last year, 38 per cent fewer than the 12,900 units a year earlier. About 8,800 private project units were completed last year, down 16 per cent from 10,500 units in 2007.

However, the gloomy conditions may have a silver lining, with analysts saying the property market will benefit from the tight supply. In the meantime, prices are expected to continue to drop as the economy flounders.

Alnwick Chan Chi-hing, an executive director at Knight Frank, said people were hesitant about buying property, given that unemployment was rising and the economic outlook remained uncertain.

"But thanks to the tight supply, developers are under no pressure to put their units on sale," Mr Chan said. "A crash in property prices or a lot of flat owners falling into negative equity as we saw after the Asian financial crisis are unlikely to happen again."

He expects property prices will stabilise in the third quarter of the year, but said the market remained unpredictable in the short term.

Wong Leung-shing, an associate director for research at Centaline, said prices dropped 60 per cent in a year after the start of the Asian financial crisis in 1997.

However, property prices had dropped only 20 per cent after the current global financial crisis which started in full force in September last year. "This shows that the tight residential supply has helped stabilise property prices and offset the impact of the crisis," Mr Wong said.

About 22,000 units were under construction in 1997 and 35,300 in 1998. He expects property prices will decline a further 5 to 10 per cent if the unemployment rate continues to increase.

Simon Lo Wing-fai, a director at Colliers International's research and advisory division, expects property prices will drop 20 per cent this year even with the market benefiting from limited supply.

Centaline expects the building of private residential units will fall to 6,000 this year as the government sold only one site last year and MTR Corp has suspended the tender for housing projects this year.

By the end of last year, inventory of completed units reached 10,000 units, up 25 per cent from the 8,000 units at the end of the third quarter. But Mr Wong said inventory was still at the lowest level in eight years.

Charles Chan Chiu-kwok, an executive director at Savills Valuation and Professional Services, said tight supply was the result of developers becoming more conservative in land acquisitions after property prices jumped sharply in 2007. "They worried the property market would enter a down cycle."

Mr Chan expects tight supply in the residential market to continue this year.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #584
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Old January 26th, 2009, 05:49 PM   #585
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掹地盤春節利是迎客
牛年擬推1500伙 可套180位

24/01/2009

發展商乘新春長假爭推應節優惠吸客,掹地的荔枝角道百匯軒、佐敦德成軒、土瓜灣翔龍灣及北角御皇臺尚餘共約110伙,新春期間將繼續營業,今起至正月十五的買家可獲贈新春置業大利是優惠,其中兩房與三戶的利是價值分別4.88萬元與6.88萬元。另該集團部署今年開售10至11個全新盤,涉及約1,500 伙,總值約180億元。

掹地營業部高級副總經理林達民稱,今年樓市表現料將理想,去年一手市場僅消化約9,000伙,受樓價回落至合理水平及本地供樓負擔僅佔家庭收入約30%比例等刺激,估計不少購買力於今年釋放,料上半年樓價可升約15%,全年升幅料約20%,當中以中價物業最受惠。

美華僑掃百匯軒全層
他指出,配合新春來臨,旗下4個市區新盤將於長假期間繼續營業,並向買家贈送利是,其中已售逾40%單位的百匯軒,尚餘約60伙待售,該盤剛獲美國華僑以約2,000萬元購入21樓全層單位,共涉面積3,007方呎,而僅餘少於10伙的德成軒,亦剛售出頂層全層特色戶,面積1,779方呎,成交價 1,800萬元,呎價約1.012萬元,創同區單幢物業新高。

翔龍40特色戶待售
至於翔龍灣現餘約40個特色戶待售,平均呎價約10,000元;御皇臺則僅餘4伙待售,全屬1,700多方呎複式戶,平均呎價逾10,000元。

林氏稱,集團今年將開售約1,500伙,數量較去年多,上、下半年料各推一半,總值約180億元,當中包括大角咀亮賢居、沙田539地段項目及大埔比華利山別墅3期等,亮賢居料率先於農曆新年後開售,定價參考百匯軒。

華懋怡庭春節推20伙
另他透露,同系長沙灣星匯居已售逾80%單位,下月初將出信予業主通知收樓,初步料收樓反應理想,買家可獲提供一、二按合共樓價80%的貸款,大年初二將於現樓舉行準業主迎新會。而該盤尚餘約60伙待售,當中約半數為面積1,000餘至2,000多方呎特色戶,意向呎價近10,000元,其他標準戶的平均呎價約6,500元,預計將於三月重售。

中原指出,華懋的青龍頭傲庭峰「怡庭」春節期間推出20伙,平均意向呎價2,868元,發展商並安排在現樓現場派發10元粥券。
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Old January 27th, 2009, 06:19 PM   #586
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City to become 'high-rise capital of the world' with new developments
Leading architect says building skyscrapers is crucial and ICC Tower sets the tone for the future of Hong Kong

23 January 2009
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong is set to become the "high-rise capital of the world", according to Paul Katz, president of Kohn Pederson Fox, an international architectural firm.

Speaking at Wednesday's launch of The Cullinan - Your Jewel in the Crown, a book about the luxury Kowloon station project which developers have dubbed "the new landmark of Hong Kong", Mr Katz said each city needed tall buildings that related to the history and organic growth of that city.

Kohn Pederson Fox is managing principal of the 118-storey International Commerce Centre (ICC), situated next to the twin Cullinan towers on the Kowloon station waterfront.

Hailing from New York, Mr Katz lauded the United States city as the "capital of the world", but emphasised that the ICC had set the tone for the future.

"The insertion of tall buildings in a city is crucial. This is part of the standard of living in the 21st century," he said at the W Hong Kong hotel.

He also stressed the importance of small gardens and greenery integrated into the streetscape of Hong Kong, adding that the ICC served as a "model for the future, especially in China".

Mixed-use developments, such as the ICC Tower which incorporates the ICC office floors, The Ritz-Carlton hotel, W Hong Kong, Elements shopping mall, luxury residences at The Cullinan, and The HarbourView Place serviced apartments, have recently become essential to the affluent demographic, in that they create a platform where people can congregate and socialise. "These tall buildings bring people together, bring cultures together," he said. "This is what we architects do."

Speaking at the book launch at W Hong Kong, Andrea Zavadszky, editor of the special reports section of the South China Morning Post, which produced the book, stressed the worldwide trend towards mixed-use developments in cities such as New York, Toronto and Dubai, where buildings were "changing modern urban lifestyles and promoting environmental awareness".

She emphasised that there were many people in Hong Kong who shared an international outlook and a lifestyle that was influenced by both eastern and western cultures.

While the concept of luxury may mean different things to different people, Ms Zavadszky said, as "citizens of the world", they would know where to find refinement, quality and excellent workmanship, and that they were those who knew what it took to live "a truly fulfilling life".

"We wanted to speak to people [through the book] who have both the means and status to perfect what we have called the 'art of living'," Ms Zavadszky said.

The Cullinan - Your Jewel in the Crown covers trends in collecting modern and traditional Chinese art, jewellery, watches and wine, and investing in second or holiday homes and other kinds of real estate.

Victor Lui, executive director of Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency, said he had received numerous queries about the Kowloon project which had been developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties. "Many people have asked me 'what is the edge of developments at the Kowloon station?'

"Ultimately, it is the world's third-tallest tower, and it is one of the most remarkable integrated developments in town," he said.

The location can't hurt either, with its magnificent views of Victoria Harbour and convenient transport links.

"The 21st-century skyscraper offers panoramic views plus everything you need in terms of shopping, transport and entertainment, all within easy reach," Ms Zavadszky said.

"We are looking for new frontiers of experience," Mr Lui added. "Urban living is a state of art and lifestyle that is affluent, cultured, connected and balanced."
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Old January 28th, 2009, 05:55 PM   #587
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Old January 29th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #588
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HK$64m scheme to help owners refurbish old homes URA plan aims to help people revamp their buildings
29 January 2009
South China Morning Post

The Urban Renewal Authority is to spend HK$64 million on helping owners of old buildings to refurbish their buildings and make them more environmentally friendly.

The move follows a recent government announcement that it would create more construction work to combat rising unemployment as the economy contracts in response to the global financial crisis.

"Starting in April, more buildings will become eligible for our maintenance loans and free repair materials," authority director of works and contracts Stephen Lam Wai-nam said last week.

Two authority schemes, one providing interest-free loans and the other free materials, have aided 518 residential buildings which are more than 20 years old since the schemes' introduction in 2003.

The loan scheme, with an upper limit of HK$100,000 per building, is open not just to resident owners, but also to non-profit organisations.

"Trade unions and religious bodies often take up a large proportion of old buildings," Mr Lam said. "Without their participation, owners' corporations often cannot afford the costs."

But he said the free materials scheme would be extended to include about 150 commercial buildings with at least 75 per cent resident occupiers. "In Central and Western district, many old commercial properties are actually flats instead of offices, but residents were unable to seek aid because of the zoning."

While paint, drains and re-roofing materials have been on offer, the authority will also include energy-saving bulbs, waste recycling facilities, potted plants and fire safety doors.

Solar energy units and roof gardens might be added to the list, Mr Lam said.

Previously, owners received materials by way of subsidy to the value of up to 20 per cent of the total renovation costs, or HK$150,000, whichever was lower. The authority would raise that limit to 30 per cent for small-sized buildings.

In Tai Kok Tsui, where most residential building owners have received refurbishment help, the authority would repave streets, replace old street lamps and drains, and put in plants to enhance streetscapes.

However, Yau Tsim Mong district councillor Henry Chan Man-yu said Tai Kok Tsui was hard to transform because half of the area north of Tai Kok Tsui Road was occupied by old factories which were vacant or had been converted into offices and flats.

"It is difficult to revitalise unless the urban renewal policy covers not just residential, but industrial zones," he said.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 03:27 AM   #589
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Converging lines Architect Rocco Yim says officials must work more closely with his profession to inspire creativity in public design
30 January 2009
South China Morning Post

What makes beautiful architecture? To begin with, this is the wrong question to ask, according to leading Hong Kong architect Rocco Yim Sen-kee. Calling a building beautiful immediately marks you as uninitiated. As he says, "Of course, architecture is about aesthetics, but it's aesthetics built on many things. Is there good use of light, material and space? What does the building do to your state of mind? And can it unlock your imagination about a culture or a particular feeling?"

The softly spoken architect is not pontificating: he is recalling the ideals of architecture learned at college three decades ago. Over the years, this intellectual foundation, coupled with Yim's talent, has given rise to some of Hong Kong's most prominent creations, including the Peninsula Hotel extension, the Park Lane Shopping Boulevard, Citibank Plaza and IFC2 (a collaboration with celebrated Argentinian architect Cesar Pelli). This year at least three of his projects will be completed in Hong Kong and on the mainland.

Yim is known for his ability to weave modernism into densely populated urban spaces. Now in his 50s, he won an international competition late last year to build the 500 million yuan (HK$568 million) new Yunnan Provincial Museum, adding another accolade to his long list of achievements.

It is "entirely contemporary" in its construction, he says of the glass-clad building, the form of which alludes to Yunnan's natural landscape, in particular the famous Shilin "rock forest" outside Kunming.

Having built a solid portfolio of commercial buildings, Yim is preoccupied these days with public and cultural architecture, evidenced by the clutch of buildings he and his 110-strong company are working on. These include a teaching hotel at the Polytechnic University, which features glass atria designed to be integrated with the surroundings. There is also the much publicised "Door" in Tamar, an arched complex that will become the Hong Kong government's new headquarters in 2011. Across the border in Guangdong, he is building a multipurpose cultural centre in Shenzhen and the Museum of Guangdong. The latter is in the shape of a Chinese treasure box and is his favourite project to date.

Yim is not dodging commercialism - the redevelopment of the former Hyatt Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui which he is close to completing is purely commercial, he says - but now, well into the "third stage" of his career, he is trying to focus on non-commercial projects.

"When I first started in architecture it was a period of taking up small projects and joining design competitions. As the company grew, big commercial projects started rolling in," he says. "I think it all began with the Bamboo Pavilion [for the Hong Kong/Berlin Festival in 2000]."

His new bond with public and cultural architecture has marked Yim's position in Hong Kong's architectural world, which provides most architects with few options beyond private property projects. Yet the change is also a return to the ideals that Yim embraced in his formative years.

"In the perfect situation, you don't worry about commercial constraints, artistic value is attached with great importance and the building serves not only a small group of people but the general public," he says. "Every architect wants to achieve that. That's a value we learned at college."

His career focus may have evolved, but Yim's passionate belief in the strong ties between architecture and city life has changed little. "I always believe no building survives alone; it coexists with the city. Its worth is judged by how it interacts and forms a relationship with the surroundings."

This fundamental idea helped propel Yim to fame in his late 20s. In 1983, a few years after Yim had read architecture at the University of Hong Kong, the mainland was in talks with Britain about the future of colonial Hong Kong. The city's economy was in the doldrums and Yim had few jobs in hand. Being young and energetic, he looked abroad and entered the Opera Bastille design competition in Paris. He came up with a scheme that featured a street leading from the Bastille Plaza, allowing it to "interact with the opera and enable all kinds of human activities to flourish".

Competing against 744 contestants from 50 countries, the inexperienced Yim did not expect to be named one of three first-prize winners. The judges commended his design for being a "strongly marked architectural gesture" and for its "lyrical vocation".

In the end, the work of Canadian co-winner Carlos Ott was adopted, but Yim's interaction-oriented approach lives on; the new Hong Kong government headquarters serves as a recent example.

"A lot of people think it's going to be an iconic piece of architecture," he says of the Tamar project. "But it's not - it's going to be an iconic place. We want it to refine the quality of Hong Kong's public space. The green lawns, green roof and the open space on the ground level will serve to connect with the surroundings."

As with many of his peers, Yim ventured across the border in the late 1990s. The mainland's constant thirst for new ideas has seen his projects multiply in recent years. "Compared with Hong Kong, the mainland is more receptive to new ideas," he says. "The entrepreneurs are younger, in their 30s or 40s. They're more flexible, less conservative. They hire an architect for his creativity."

However, these projects are not without difficulties.

For Yim, the biggest problem is the lack of sophistication of some mainland cities, which makes it difficult for his creations to do what he wants them to: interact. A case in point is the HK$400 million Guangdong Museum project, a lacquered box-like structure in Guangzhou with features such as alcoves and layered spaces.

"The site where the museum is located is bleak and empty. The whole area simply hasn't taken shape. We know [British-Iraqi architect] Zaha Hadid is building an opera house there and there's a river nearby, but that's it. There's no other reference point to guide or inspire us. We have to rely on the museum to shape the area."

Hong Kong has a different set of issues, Yim says: the crux of the problem being a lack of creativity. "There's not enough initiative to encourage creativity. We have almost no public design competitions for new buildings, whereas on the mainland even a small community would try to get the best design through public competitions," he says.

"This stagnancy is an inevitable part of development. Every city will gradually become more conservative after years of growth. Hong Kong is right at this stage. Just as we thought we still had an edge, we were taken aback by the Water Cube [National Aquatics Centre] and the Bird's Nest [National Stadium in Beijing]. All we have is the Hong Kong Stadium."

To move things forward, the government should start with the basics, says Yim. "Run design competitions. It should take the lead in being the patron of local design - everything from logos, business cards of officials and public trash bins," he says. "It's a really big issue: Hong Kong needs to map out a new city blueprint for the 21st century."

So is there still reason to be optimistic about Hong Kong's architectural future?

"In the short term, I'm pessimistic," he says. "Our political system is not going to allow dramatic changes. And if I may put it boldly, our legislators don't know enough about architecture.

"But in the long run, I am optimistic. The concentration [of facilities and infrastructure] in Hong Kong gives us a very good foundation to make improvements. We have yet to wake up, but we will one day."
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Old January 30th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #590
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University plans to get students walking
28 January 2009
South China Morning Post

Scenes of shuttle buses carrying students around the sprawling Chinese University campus in Sha Tin will be consigned to history under an ambitious plan to build a network of express lifts and covered walkways to encourage a culture of walking among students.

The plan to shrink the fleet is among measures proposed by Edward Cullinan, architect of the university's campus master plan, who has come to Hong Kong to collect opinions from students, staff and alumni about his design. Edward Cullinan Architects and Aedas were chosen from four teams in February last year to design the plan for the 134-hectare Ma Liu Shui campus.

The plan, which will guide campus development until 2021, involves a series of moves to transform the remote campus into a sustainable and pedestrian-friendly university.

The proposal to build more than 10 covered walkways and express lifts to connect the four existing and five soon-to-be-built colleges would drastically shorten the time taken to get around the campus.

Professor Cullinan said a walk from University station to Shaw College would take about 20 minutes. "The number of shuttle buses will be diminished {hellip} to probably next to nothing," he said.

Other measures to achieve a carbon-neutral campus include construction of "lock-up cycle racks", energy-efficient buildings using more sturdy insulation materials, natural lighting and roof gardens.

Professor Cullinan said a culture of cycling should be nurtured on campus, adding: "Walking not too fast from one place to another is lovely {hellip} the brain works very well when the body is in light activity."

Other proposed changes include rezoning the campus into various hubs of learning, and construction of more facilities to accommodate an extra 10,000 students over the next 15 years, up from the current 18,000.

The faculty of business administration will be moved from the central campus to near Chung Chi College. The buildings that now house the faculty will be set aside for arts and humanities disciplines.

The 5.3-hectare Area 39, which adjoins the Hong Kong Science Park near Tolo Harbour, will be used to expand research facilities.

Pro-vice-chancellor Ching Pak-chung, who co-chaired the campus development steering committee with architecture professor Essy Baniassad, said they planned to strengthen research capabilities.

Professor Ching said it was impossible to gauge the cost of the master plan at this stage.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 07:56 AM   #591
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Tai Koo hotel project first posted in the HK forum :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Car L View Post






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Artistic decorations inside and outside of the buildings
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Old January 31st, 2009, 06:55 PM   #592
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重建北角邨 從城市設計出發
31 January 2009
星島日報

北角邨在一九五五年建成,是早期的廉租屋邨。屋邨樓高十層,地面是商鋪,樓宇之間有種滿樹木的花園。單位有獨立廁所,還有環保露台,更屬當年罕見。建築群由甘洺(Eric Cumine)建築師設計,是香港公營房屋的設計典範。

北角邨臨近維港海濱,附近是北角渡輪碼頭和巴士站。從前的海濱近在咫尺,市民容易到達。買賣海鮮、閒坐乘涼、釣魚玩樂,各適其適。這些公共空間,沒有刻意的設計,沒有過分的管理。活潑的海濱,就是如此。

時移勢易,隨着城市發展,交通愈來愈發達,北角區由城市邊緣變成市中心地帶。全海景廉租屋?太浪費了。終於難逃被清拆的厄運,二○○二年自城中消失,只留下幾株孤獨的老樹,甘洺亦於同年在英國逝世。

土地一直丟空,至今用作停車場。從前活潑的海濱,因為人流稀疏,都變得冷清了。臨海土地沒有及早變賣重建,亦未嘗不是好事。不然,在過去以錢為本的城市規劃,把土地當作搖錢樹的土地政策下,密不透風的屏風豪宅拔地而起實在難免。

停車場必須建在地庫

橫跨三個街區的地段,分作兩個地盤。書局街以西作酒店,東面則作商住發展。地積比率分別為四點五四倍和二點九四倍,高度限制為不超過水平基準以上八十米。總共佔地一萬零五百平方米的公共交通總站和旅遊車停泊處都要計入建築面積,不能獲得豁免。

規劃大綱亦限制了平台的覆蓋率在百分之六十五,地面不再被平台百分百覆蓋,確保地面有公共空間讓空氣流通。至於過去經常佔用平台面積而令平台過大的停車場,則必須建在地庫。

海旁不建高樓,不以高密度發展,建築用地自海濱後退二十米作海濱長廊供市民享用,合乎《海港規劃指引》。

土地作混合式發展,令用途更多元化,也可增加海濱區的活力。

除了高度、密度和土地用途外,與舊區街道脈絡的連接也是重要的考慮。為確保內陸與海濱的連繫和視覺上的通透感,與海岸綫垂直的街道(包括書局街、琴行街、糖水道和電照街)可直通海濱不受遮擋,且可作為通風走廊,確保城市通風。海景,更不再是臨海住宅的專利。

保存街鋪的逛街體驗

臨街的商鋪也是舊區特色,一街之隔的馬寶道更是著名售賣廉價貨品的市集,市民逛街購物成為習慣。故此筆者認為,在舊區發展,商場可建,但街鋪不能少。此舉既可保存舊區活潑豐富的街道特色,也可讓逛街的體驗一直伸延至海濱。

過去的規劃,往往只粗疏的訂出發展密度,鮮有細緻地作城市設計的考慮,令密度過高阻礙通風等問題叢生。發展商高價買地,在商言商,必然會在政府容許的框架內賺到盡。平衡市民利益,也不是發展商的責任。

因此進步的做法,就是在賣地前先作詳細的城市設計研究,因地制宜訂定發展參數和設計要求,成為賣地條款,以確保日後發展讓發展商賺錢之餘,亦讓公眾得益,成就更富吸引力的社區。

吳永順
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Old February 1st, 2009, 08:28 AM   #593
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灣仔活道重建項目 強制億元拍賣
1月29日 星期四 05:10

【明報專訊】麗新發展(0488)與美國國際集團(AIG)合作併購近3年的灣仔活道16至34號重建項目(職業訓練局大樓對面),地產界消息指出,地盤內未能收購的業權剛獲法院頒令強制拍賣。整個項目底價1 億元。由於項目已獲建築圖則及毋須補地價,所以拍賣後即可動工興建。

拍賣完成可立即重建

地盤內原先尚餘未被發展商收購的一伙,由利嘉閣 地產高級經理邱景賢及另一親友代表持有。邱接受查詢時表示,單位原由已故祖母持有,祖母於60年代以數萬元購入,家族一直持有至今。

邱表示,已完成遺產繼承,家族一致同意可出售單位。他表示,單位實用面積約1200方呎,發展商方面07年起多次派員向家人接洽,最後出價為700餘萬元,而家人的共識要求約為900萬元。邱表示,以1億元拍賣底價計算,家族持有單位將分得980萬元。

麗新與AIG Global Real Estate Investment(Asia)成立合營公司,於06年下半年向中介人購入活道20號至34號,雙方各佔一半權益,總代價為5.95億元。及後,麗新繼續併購旁邊的舊樓,07年底以劃一價610萬元,洽購16及18號10個住宅,即呎價約5000元,是該批舊樓市值的1至2倍,其中9伙出售,只餘下其中一伙。根據既定做法,拍賣底價要估算未能收購單位所連繫的地段市值。

高51層 景觀可及九龍

項目已獲批建1幢51層高住宅連商舖,可建住宅13.78萬方呎、商舖5048方呎。地產界人士表示,該地皮可建達51層高,較前方灣仔舊樓高出不少,高層景觀可及九龍。
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Old February 1st, 2009, 05:38 PM   #594
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im curious what the top of the building will look likem cus it seems as if it will have few windows.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 06:14 PM   #595
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'Worst is yet to come' for property
Hong Kong Standard
Monday, February 02, 2009

The worst has yet to come for the property market as asset prices face a downside in at least the next 12 months, a veteran property analyst warns.

"I think the world is facing the worst recession that it has seen in 60 years and this recession is not going to be over quickly," Peter Churchouse, a director of LIM Advisors and chairman of Portwood Capital, told The Standard.

The former Morgan Stanley advisory director said office rents and prices, particularly in prime Central, are going to come down by 50 to 60 percent from their peak at the middle of last year to the end of this year as the office market is "in a huge bubble." The supply of office space is limited but banks and accounting firms are having a difficult time for business, he said. "I wouldn't be buying right now for office. No way."

Churchouse expects residential prices to fall by 15 to 20 percent, with the luxury market particularly hit. He predicts revenue from land auctions will remain thin this year. "In the first few months of the year ... [developers] will be reluctant to put their hands up for properties through the land auction," he said, adding the sector would gain more interest in the second half if the global economy gets a little better.

Last year only a small site in Pak Sha Wan, Sai Kung, was triggered for land auction in Hong Kong, by HK$16.5 million, at an accommodation value of HK$13,350 per square foot. Churchouse believes the government is not tightening its land policy, but that developers are not bidding for land sites as they have been more keen to invest in the mainland.

Meanwhile, he expects lenders to keep mortgage rates at a low level and that banks are unlikely to go to prime plus, a premium to the best lending rate, in the next six to 12 months at least, as people are reluctant to borrow.

Churchouse said he is adopting a "stop-gap measure" for stock investment as "there's no chance of a new major bull market in the short term."

He added: "In the short term, I am not fully invested. My portfolio is only like 40 percent invested or less than that." He prefers high dividend-producing real estate investment trusts, corporate debt and gold.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 05:34 PM   #596
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Land revenue misses target by 63pc, says Lam
Hong Kong Standard
Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Hong Kong government's land revenue, one of its main income sources, for the first nine months of this fiscal year will be almost 65 percent less than expected, Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said.

For the nine months ended December last year, the total land revenue, including income from land sales and land premiums, only amounted to HK$15.8 billion, 63.3 percent less than the government's projected HK$43.1 billion in 2008-09.

The government recorded a land revenue of about HK$60 billion in the previous year.

Lam said she is not surprised by the decline as developers have moved back during the financial crisis.

"The income, not more than 40 percent estimated in the budget, has reflected the market situation and the property market," she told television station TVB in an interview broadcast yesterday. "So it's not about people not being able to buy land as they wished, it's because they do not have the desire."

Only one small site in Pak Sha Wan, Sai Kung, was triggered through the application list system last year, fetching HK$16.5 million, at an accommodation value of HK$13,350 per square foot.

Lam said the government will not cut prices for better sales as land revenue is its main source of income, echoing what Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam- kuen said in his policy address in October that the government will not indiscriminately supply residential or commercial land.

A source said that revenue for the next year will remain unsatisfactory.

The government expects to continue to put sites on the application list in the next fiscal year.

Last year the government put 10 sites on the list for hotel business, however, none of them has been triggered.

Lam said the plan for tourism needs to be reviewed.

"We are considering if the trial plan needs to be continued for one more year," she said.

"If the market can develop hotels for tourism without the supply from us, then we should not regulate."

The government is drafting the application list for land auction for the coming fiscal year.

Stewart Leung Chi-kin, vice chairman of the executive committee of the Real Estate Developers' Association of Hong Kong, expects developers to remain cautious over land purchases.

Local developers are keen to purchase land sites in the mainland instead of buying land in the SAR as they target long-term development in the country, veteran property analyst Peter Churchouse said previously.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 04:53 AM   #597
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Mega projects could hurt coffers, claims lawmaker
Hong Kong Standard
Friday, February 06, 2009

The government has been warned that its decision to go ahead with a mechanism allowing contract price adjustment during the economic downturn may prove costly, with 10 major infrastructure projects in the pipeline.

This is because payments to contractors may be adjusted upward or downward as raw materials and labor costs fluctuate.

Lawmaker Wong Kwok-hing of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions said yesterday that with tender bids lower during an economic downturn, some unscrupulous contractors may underbid and then try to apply for contingency increases.

Since the duration of these mega projects means they may last well into an economic recovery in a few years, they will put more stress on the public purse as more money is spent to subsidize rising costs, Wong said.

However, Permanent Secretary for Development Mak Chai-kwong said the vigorous verification checks and documentation required for contingency raises would keep contractors honest.

He said the government has extended its risk- sharing system to all public works project contracts to "help the small- and medium-sized contractors cope better with financial difficulties resulting from unpredictable inflation of construction costs."

A Development Bureau spokeswoman said 66 percent of public works contracts with a duration of 21 months or less awarded from 2003 to 2007 were given to small- and medium-sized contractors.

A Hong Kong Construction Association spokesman said it is a good and timely move given the enormous upswing and fall of oil prices last year.

Architecture surveying and planning lawmaker Patrick Lau Sau-shing said the system is much more equitable, as it allows for partnerships between the government and contractors to better shoulder price changes. He said the arrangement also means contractors will not have to take on as much risk.

"This way the government gets what it pays for and it is better for the public," he said.

Between January 2007 and March 2008, the cost of steel reinforcements rose 114 percent, followed by a 70 percent spike in light structural steelwork and a 40 percent rise in the cost of sand.

Diesel rose 28 percent and bitumen prices rose 40 percent, according to the Development Bureau.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 05:05 AM   #598
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掹地兩盤批預售 上半年推
06/02/2009

經濟前景未明並無減弱發展商推盤意欲,掹地剛獲批預售文件的上水清曉路8號及西半山干德道39號,將於上半年內相繼開售。發展商強調,干德道39號與沙田富健街項目以超級豪宅定位,每方呎建築費均創集團新高,日後開盤勢創區內新高呎價,另美資基金TPG早前以約8.4億元購入旗下土瓜灣翔龍灣及長沙灣星匯居共119伙,剛已上會完成交易。

掹地營業部高級副總經理林達民稱,清曉路8號料會較先登場,該盤提供362伙。干德道39號與富健街項目每方呎建築費均創集團新高。

五盤申預售涉1956伙
而地政總署上月共批出4份住宅預售樓花同意書,除掹地兩盤外,亦包括新地的元朗逸林首府及市建局等的西營盤第一及第二街項目。新地代理執行董事周國賢稱,逸林首府已售10座洋房,套現逾1億元。中原陳忠浩稱,元朗YOHO Town2座頂層D室特色戶,面積1,041方呎,成交價480萬元,呎價4,611元,創屋苑半年新高。

地政總署資料顯示,上月5個新盤入紙申請預售,共涉1,956伙,創金融海嘯後新高,當中以信置的奧運站海泓道及海庭道交界項目提供852伙最多。其次為新地提供718伙的東九龍峻弦。
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Old February 8th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #599
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亮賢居 by bextra from skyscrapers.cn :





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Old February 10th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The Dynasty by bextra from skyscrapers.cn :





What part of Hong Kong is this?
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