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141,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
K Wah pays HK$358m for rest of Hang Hin
2 March 2007
South China Morning Post

K Wah International, a mid-tier Hong Kong developer, paid HK$358 million in an auction yesterday to buy the remaining units at Hang Hin Mansion in Mid-Levels, 26 per cent higher than the floor price.

The firm, which owns 92 per cent of the complex, paid HK$7,088 per square foot for the remaining units to fend off aggressive bids from Chinese Estates Holdings. K Wah spokesman Alex Lui Yiu-wah had expected other developers to bid, as supply of residential sites in high-end districts was limited. The price was reasonable, he said.

Hang Hin Mansion, at 6 Shiu Fai Terrace, has a site area of 16,000 sq ft that can be developed into a four-storey residential block with a 50,509 sq ft gross floor area.

K Wah may also pay a land premium to the government to relax restrictions so it can develop a 12-storey building with a gross floor area of 68,256 sq ft.

The lack of luxury sites has prompted Henderson Land Development to bid for about 90 per cent of Merry Terrace, also in Mid-Levels, whose majority owners put it up for tender last year for HK$4.2 billion. Wheelock Properties is also bidding, according to a source.

肇輝臺6號售價 冀成港島指標
30 June 2009






141,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Out with the old
The modernisation-versus-preservation debate has cast doubt on the role of the Urban Renewal Authority

26 March 2007
South China Morning Post

Battle lines are being drawn across some of the city's fading precincts. Opposed to the growing presence of the Urban Renewal Authority, distinctive communities in older areas such as Wan Chai, Central, Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po are finding themselves at odds with the push for modernisation being spearheaded by the authority's managing director, Billy Lam Chun-lun.

The authority's plans in Wan Chai include tearing down Lee Tung Street, nicknamed Wedding Card Street, and the Bauhaus-style Wan Chai Market. The authority refused Wedding Card Street landlords' demand to stay. It also rejected a proposal by Chinese Estate Holdings to scrap plans to demolish the market building if the authority - which is its joint-venture partner in the redevelopment - offered the developer another parcel of land.

In Central, the authority plans to pull down part of the 140-year-old outdoor market in Peel, Graham and Gage streets to make way for hotels, offices and residential towers, and an old shop street. Central and Western District Councillors have complained that if they confront the authority over the redevelopment, they would be accused of obstructing residents eager to move out.

A few blocks away in Staunton Street, residents are still waiting for the authority to buy them out. A redevelopment plan there was put on hold for two years because the authority's plan clashed with a Henderson Land redevelopment project. The property giant took the Town Planning Board to court on the grounds that the board was biased towards the authority's interests.

Across the harbour, the authority's determination to redevelop part of Sai Yee, Nelson and Fa Yuen streets in Mong Kok, known as Sneaker Street for its profusion of sports shoe shops, is also highly controversial. The project divided a community: two pressure groups were formed to push the opposing causes - renovation versus redevelopment - placing the street's business community, who occupies the ground floor, at odds with the residents who live on upper floors.

Shop owners are teaming up with architecture students and professionals to prepare a counter proposal, in which they will suggest that the authority buys the properties of those who want to move out, before renovating the buildings and turning the regenerated ones into commercial properties.

Further west in Sham Shui Po, the authority has nine redevelopment projects in the pipeline. According to social workers, the authority is wrangling with 40 landlords in four projects. Another one, the Kweilin Street redevelopment, has the potential to erupt into another heritage row after the authority has repeatedly refused to renovate and preserve an old building which in the 1950s housed the residence and classrooms of neo-Confucianism.

Public outcry against the demolition of the Peel, Graham and Gage streets is evidence of the unpopularity of the authority. Since news emerged that the body plans to demolish part of the outdoor market which runs through the area, the South China Morning Post has received an influx of letters and e-mails expressing dismay at the plan. Many outraged readers have also called the Post to voice their disgruntlement.

Such a backlash illustrates mounting public concern over the apparent destruction of the city's heritage and the strategy adopted by the Urban Renewal Authority.

When Wan Chai district council chairwoman Ada Wong Ying-kay took up the campaign to save Wedding Card Street in late 2003, she was backed by shopkeepers, residents, social workers, architects, surveyors and town planners who disputed the authority's redevelopment strategy.

The Wedding Card Street campaign represented a break-through in the evolution of the city's urban renewal. In the past, the struggle was largely confined to the authority and the individuals affected, with arguments often centring on the amount of compensation being offered and the branding of the unco-operative as "greedy".

Ms Wong and her allies were criticised as a small group of well-off elites and professionals who romanticised the area's dilapidated streets and tired-looking buildings despite the appalling conditions.

But the recent backlash expressed by Post readers underlines the growing public discontent at the authority's redevelopment model, one that involves buying run-down properties in prime districts, demolishing the buildings, and then selling the projects to developers to construct upmarket residential blocks, office towers, shopping centres and hotels. In Wedding Card Street and the Central outdoor market area, the authority plans replica buildings to replace genuine tenement houses.

Mr Lam defends the redevelopment model as essential for Hong Kong. He has always said the most controversial projects were left to the authority by its predecessor, the Land Development Corporation. "The redevelopment plans were announced in 1998," he said. "People living in the redevelopment zones expect us to buy their properties so they can move somewhere else. It is our duty to meet their expectations."

Mr Lam also argued that as the government had invested only HK$10 billion in the authority, it had to make profits in redevelopments so as to finance other, non-profit-making, activities such as heritage conservation and removing old buildings. Mr Lam said that not every redevelopment project made a profit. He expects that redeveloping Kwun Tong will end up being a money-losing project. Its joint venture with Sino Land in Tsuen Wan - Vision City - also is likely to lose money.

He said the authority had studied the law and found they risked facing legal action if they did not pull down old buildings after purchase. "Redevelopment has an implication of pulling down and rebuilding," he added.

But critics of the strategy brushed aside his arguments. Ms Wong said the authority should reconsider whether it should continue to maximise profits from redevelopment projects or play the role of a middle man for property developers.

"It is a government agent, stressing people-oriented. It shouldn't bother whether its projects are going to make a profit," she said. "As a matter of fact, it doesn't have to; developers are happy to buy old buildings in prime areas and redevelop themselves. They identify sites with potential and purchase gradually. The process, although slower, is smooth."

Earlier this month, mid-tier developer K Wah International paid millions in an auction to buy the remaining units at Hang Hin Mansion in Mid-Levels. The firm already owned 92 per cent of the complex before the auction. Private redevelopments are active, but there are hardly any reports of residents being angry with the redevelopments.

Ms Wong said the reason for the low rate of disputes lay with the laws backing up the authority. Once a cluster of streets and buildings became redevelopment zones, affected landlords could only negotiate on the amount of compensation, with a price cap equal to a seven-year-old property in the same district. Landlords cannot bargain on whether they can stay.

Ms Wong's colleague at the district council, Maryann King Pui-wai, said the Belcher's in Kennedy Town was a classic example of the different treatment landlords received from private redevelopments compared with those of the authority.

Ms King said the upmarket residential development was owned by Shun Tak Holdings and Sun Hung Kai Properties. The plot used to be a civil servants' co-operative housing estate.

She said the consortium rebuilt the estate; each family, in return, received millions of cash compensation and a same-sized flat in the Belcher's. If the original flat was bigger than a standard-sized unit in the Belcher's, then the firm compensated the family for the difference. The families could either sell it back to the developers for extra cash, or buy more floor space and own two flats in the new development. Both sides agreed on a price before they signed the contract, so the families were obliged to buy at the agreed price regardless of the property market's fluctuations.

Developers tend to pay better than the authority because they do not have the backup of the Land Resumption Ordinance. Private redevelopments have to acquire at least 90 per cent of the properties to evoke an auction to purchase the rest.

The ordinance is a major weapon against unco-operative landlords. It is a normal procedure, under the ordinance, to take landlords to court if they refuse to move out. The Lands Department announced in August 2005 that Wedding Card Street would become government land in three months. The announcement was made when 80 per cent of the street's property rights were in the authority's hands.

In March 2004, two tenants in Sham Shui Po were forcibly removed from their shops in Fuk Wing Street after the court ordered their removal under the Lands Resumption Ordinance.

In December last year, two brothers living in Shau Kei Wan were removed from the home they inherited from their mother. They held a picture of her when court officials removed them. The authority teamed with the Housing Society to redevelop the area.

Another major criticism of the authority is that it has the power to take over streets, including those leading to its redevelopment plot, which means it can create a bigger site area. Hence the authority's redevelopment projects tend to be larger than those of developers, given that they have the same plot ratio. One example is the Staunton Street redevelopment. In theory, the Henderson Land proportion has a higher development density. But as the property giant cannot build on streets the authority has a bigger site area.

Patsy Cheng Man-wah, of sustainable development advocacy group See Network, said the resulting density would be similar to that of Henderson Land.

A property market source said demolition should be the last resort for the authority. "I don't see any reason why they cannot renovate the tenement buildings," the source said. "It will improve the living conditions without making many disturbances to the neighbourhood."

141,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
K Wah wins order for Mid-Levels auction
Lands Tribunal gives go-ahead for forced sale of Hang Hin Mansion flats

5 January 2007
South China Morning Post

K Wah International, a mid-tier developer run by gaming tycoon Lui Che-woo, has won government approval to force the remaining owners of flats at Hang Hin Mansion in Mid-Levels East to sell their units.

The developer acquired 92 per cent of Hang Hin Mansion's ownership for HK$281 million in February last year, a level at which it could force the sale of the remaining units through an auction under the acquisition rules.

K Wah filed the compulsory order after failing to reach sales agreements with the rest of the owners and its application was approved by the Lands Tribunal on Wednesday.

The Lands Tribunal appointed a trustee who in turn will hire a property agency or survey firm to handle the public auction. The auction will be held next month, based on the standard procedure.

"We have received the order from the Lands Tribunal," said Quinly Wan Tsz-mei, a property manager of K Wah Real Estates, a subsidiary of K Wah International. "We hope the auction will be held as soon as possible."

Hang Hin Mansion has a site area of 16,000 square feet, which could provide a total gross floor area of 57,000 square feet.

The site will be developed into a low-density residential project as the Planning Department has imposed a height restriction of 12 storeys.

It will become K Wah's only development site once it buys all units in the auction.

K Wah has to boost its land bank after having sold most of J Residence in Wan Chai and the Great Hill in Sha Tin last year.

The developer triggered the auctions for two sites in Ma On Shan and Kowloon Tong in the previous quarter but they were sold to Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Sino Land, respectively.

Hang Hin Mansion is worth HK$456 million, or HK$8,000 per square foot, according to an estimate by surveyor Albert So Chun-hin.

He said the average flat price for the residential project could exceed HK$10,000 per square foot when the development is completed.

141,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
January launches to show prices up 30pc on year
28 December 2009
The Standard

Property projects put on the market next month are expected to be 30 percent dearer than those in January this year.

Kerry Properties (0683) is launching Island Crest in Sai Ying Pun, while Sun Hung Kai Properties' (0016) 1,890-unit YOHO Midtown in Yuen Long and Soundwill Holdings' (0878) Warrenwoods in Tai Hang will hit the market in January at the earliest.

Hong Kong Property Services chief executive Richard Lee Chi-shing said both prices and volumes are ``sure to be higher'' than January this year.

Midland Realty director Andy Ho Ming-pui said some developers are waiting for sales consents and today's land auction results while others will launch projects after the Lunar New Year.

Developers were conservative at the beginning of 2009 because of the financial crisis and launched only smaller-scale single-building projects, such as Vista in Sham Shui Po.

Amazing Properties Company director Douglas Yeung Kin-man said that around March people gradually felt the crisis did not directly hit Hong Kong. Low interest rates also made property a better investment.

Lee said sales picked up from May after banks loosened mortgage policies. Centaline sales director Raymond Li attributed the recovery to the flow of funds from the mainland.

There was a conspicuous boom when the large-scale Lake Silver in Wu Kai Sha and Le Prestige in Tseung Kwan O turned in satisfactory results, Lee noted.

Sino Land (0083) unloaded more than 1,600 homes within five days in late May while buyers snapped up all 1,688 units at Le Prestige from Cheung Kong (Holding) (0001) within three weeks. In September, a flat at The Masterpiece, developed by New World Development (0017), fetched HK$30,025 per square foot, a Hong Kong record for a new one- bedroom unit.

Henderson Land (0012) sold a duplex apartment at 39 Conduit Road in October for a split-floor world record of HK$88,000 psf in salable area.

``No one had expected these records,'' said Yeung, adding luxury projects such as Hopewell Holdings' (0054) Broadwood Twelve in Happy Valley, Sino Land's Serenade in Tai Hang and KWah's Shiu Fai Terrace project in Mid-Levels East are some of the highlights next year.

Li and Ho both believe SHKP's Larvotto in Ap Lei Chau will be able to command high prices. Yeung and Lee say both the New Territories and Hong Kong Island will see more projects next year. Li noted that there will be a higher supply, especially of low-rise developments, in Tai Po and Sha Tin in the next two years because of earlier auctions.

141,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Source :

Situated on Mid-level East, No. 6 Shiu Fai Terrace is another signature luxury residential project of KWIH. Featuring the exquisiteness of French architecture, the project enjoys the privilege of being the only new development in the district that provides low rise apartments of over 3,000sq ft. No. 6 Shiu Fai Terrace offers a 15-storey building with 24 units, including 4 special units with a private garden and a swimming pool, which will definitely stand out in the luxury market upon its launch in 2010.


141,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
KWah to build 1,481 flats despite drop in sales
25 August 2010
The Standard

First-half net profit at K Wah International (0173) stayed flat at HK$155 million as property sales almost halved due to limited new launches.

Total revenue slipped 43.3 percent to HK$617 million, as property sales fell 49 percent to HK$458.4 million. Excluding property revaluation gain, core profit shrank to HK$133.8 million, down 40.8 percent year-on-year.

K Wah declared an interim dividend of 1 HK cent, the same as last year.

The developer will launch at least 1,481 homes in the second half, including a Shiu Fai Terrace project at The Peak, a Welfare Road project in Aberdeen and two phases of Shanghai Westwood. Recent property curbs in Hong Kong or the mainland will not delay the launches.

K Wah executive director Alexander Lui Yiu-wah also noted recent property speculation in SAR focused more on inexpensive homes.

Lui believes the SAR's cooling measures will have only a small impact on K Wah home sales.

``The proportion of speculators is very low for us, since the cost is extremely high as stamp duty and commission amount to 5 percent [of home prices].''
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