What you see is not what you get
8 June 2009
A green group has called on property giants to be more honest when pushing sales of their latest developments.
Green Sense said sales brochures are often misleading, depicting a cluster of towers standing among green hills and a sparkling shore, such as the Lake Silver development in the New Territories by MTR Corp and Sino Land.
``The brochures give a false impression of the surrounding area,'' Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong said.
``The fact is the green belt shown circling a development may be replaced with a ring of taller developments or may lay barren,'' he said.
Tam slammed Sino Land sales tactics at the Lake Silver development, above Wu Kai Sha MTR station, and the railway company's joint development of the LOHAS park in Tseung Kwan O with Cheung Kong, claiming they have failed to mention that today's sea views would be blocked by future phases.
He said it is common practice for developers to start selling flats furthest away from the shoreline, telling buyers they would have a sea view.
``Citizens when buying flats, should really scrutinize the information, while the government should put restrictions on sales brochures for developments and developers should have tighter control on their selling procedures,'' said Tam, adding a sea view may cost an extra HK$370,000.
Civic Party lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit said sales brochures should be written in a concise and simple manner in both English and Chinese, along with information on amenities within a 200-meter radius.
Leong also reiterated calls for the government to legislate against misrepresentations and omissions in sales literature.
``People who are making one of the biggest investments in their life should not be misled about the saleable area and neighboring facilities and should get what they are paying for.''
He also said planning perimeters such as plot ratio, building height and site coverage need to be written into outline zoning plans and land grant conditions to eliminate gray areas which developers may exploit. ``Up to this date, developers have demonstrated self-regulation is ineffective.''
Le Prestige show flats attract 20,000
6 July 2009
Le Prestige, a residential project developed by Cheung Kong (0001) and MTR Corp (0066), attracted about 20,000 visitors to show flats at the weekend and developers are expected to release the price list this week.
Three show flats in Tsim Sha Tsui _ with gross floor area of 960 square feet, 1,070 sq ft and 1,308 sq ft respectively _ opened on Saturday and attracted about 10,000 visitors a day, said Francis Wong See-chung, director of Cheung Kong Real Estate.
About half of those aimed to buy flats for long-term investment owing to the low mortgage rate and inflation risk, he said. ``We do not accept reservations in the meantime and will give more time for potential buyers to visit the show flats,'' said Wong. He said a price list is ``very likely'' to be released this week.
Le Prestige has four blocks, totaling 4,272 homes.
The developers will launch 100 to 120 four-bedroom homes in the first batch at prices starting from HK$7.3 million, or about HK$5,600 psf.
The residential project _ located on the top of Lohas Park Station in Tseung Kwan O, which MTR Corp said will open on July 26 _ is the second phase of the Lohas Park project. The first phase, The Capitol, launched last year. Homes in the secondary market in the same district sell for HK$4,600 to HK$5,300 psf, according to Centaline Property Agency.
New flats launched in the first half amounted to 8,137, nearly triple the 2,795 units a year earlier, said Midland Realty chief analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai. He expects developers to continue to launch new projects actively in the second half.
``The higher supply of new flats did not cause pressure for home inventories, as 75.2 percent of the flats launched in the first half were sold,'' Lau said. Hong Kong developers launched 8,694 units in the primary home market last year.
Meanwhile, demand in the secondary home market was weakened at the weekend by the new Tseung Kwan O project and the rain, property agencies said.
Le Prestige faces competition
Developers to cash in on market rebound by offering 1,688 flats
8 July 2009
South China Morning Post
Banking on the rebound under way in Hong Kong's property market, the developers of the Tseung Kwan O residential project Le Prestige are expected to kick off sales in the next few weeks.
The project is being jointly developed by MTR Corp, Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Nan Fung Development and consists of four blocks offering 1,688 units that range in size from 900 to 1,300 square feet.
Asking prices for three-bedroom units were expected to average HK$5,500 per square foot, while the cheapest of the four-bedroom flats would cost about HK$7.3 million or an average of HK$6,100 per square foot, said Cheung Kong Real Estate director Francis Wong See-chung.
At HK$5,500 per square foot, the average asking price at Le Prestige will be on par with or at a premium of about 10 per cent to the selling prices of HK$5,094 to HK$5,569 per square foot recorded in projects in the same district such as Metro Town, Residence Oasis and Park Central for units sized at 1,000 sq ft or above, according to Land Registry data.
It is about 30 per cent higher than prices fetched on the secondary market by units in the Capitol, which are smaller - ranging from 683 to 1,115 sq ft.
Le Prestige is the second phase of the massive residential project Lohas Park, which is scheduled for completion by the middle of next year. The Capitol represents phase one of the project.
In February last year, when the market was still enjoying a bull run, the developers sold all 2,096 flats in the Capitol in less than 36 hours at an average price of about HK$5,200 per square foot, reaping about HK$10 billion from the sales.
Sixteen months on, in a market that is recovering from the impact of the global financial crisis, units in the Capitol are selling on the secondary market at prices ranging between HK$3,452 and HK$5,938 per square foot, data from the Land Registry shows.
Data also shows that 85 of the 89 secondary sales at the Capitol recorded in the last three months left sellers with losses ranging from six to 33 per cent.
"I doubt the developers will be able to sell all the units in one go, because they are not priced at a discount to the secondary market and transaction volumes have been slowing in the last few weeks," said an analyst.
Also, developers faced the challenge of marketing the flats at a time when Tseung Kwan O was swamped with projects that were built in the last five to eight years and more than 20,000 new flats were in the pipeline.
By comparison, a lower supply of new units in Wu Kai Sha helped Sino Land achieve a quick sale of flats in Lake Silver in May, but this did not indicate a similar outcome for Le Prestige, the analyst added.
Also, speculators at the Capitol might cut their asking prices to offload their flats before completing the deals, and this could force asking prices at Le Prestige lower, the analyst said.
The Lohas Park project is located in Wan Po Road, north of the Tseung Kwan O industrial district and Southeast New Territories Landfill.
It will eventually comprise 50 towers of 46 to 59 floors each, offering a total of 21,500 flats - twice the number in City One Shatin - with a gross floor residential area of 17.36 million sq ft. When the project is completed by 2019, it will accommodate 58,000 residents.
Le Prestige flats to go for $5,000-$6,000 psf
15 July 2009
The first batch of apartments to go on sale shortly at Tseung Kwan O residential project Le Prestige will include not less than 20 homes, said developer Cheung Kong (Holdings) (0001).
Executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung said Cheung Kong has presented the preliminary price list to co-developers Nan Fung Development and MTR Corp (0066) for Le Prestige, the second phase of the massive Lohas Park project.
The developers will launch seaview flats first, at prices from HK$5,000 to HK$6,000 per square foot, Cheung Kong Real Estate director Francis Wong See-chung said.
Wong also revealed that flats with hill views will be launched within this month for between HK$5,200 and HK$5,300 psf. Prices will start from nearly HK$4 million a flat.
``The price difference between seaview units and hill-view ones is 10 percent,'' Wong said.
Separately, Wing Tai Asia plans to launch its 9 Seymour Road project in September, Karen Li Fung-ling, director of corporate development, said yesterday.
The Mid-Levels luxury residential development offers a total of 82 homes, with sizes between 2,000 and 2,400 sq ft.
The developer expects to complete construction in the third quarter of 2011.
Prices will be set in reference to Mid-Levels projects such as The Albany and The Harbourview, where unit prices stand at more than HK$20,000 psf, Centaline Property Agency said.
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