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Hong Kong homebuyers snap up all flats in ‘Northern Metropolis’ district in first weekend sales after Carrie Lam’s policy address

Developer Tai Hung Fai Group Holdings sells all 30 flats at Artique development in Sheung Shui, a district that is part of Lam’s proposed Northern Metropolis

Weekend property sales, usually held on Saturdays, were postponed this weekend after the city’s first typhoon signal No. 8 of the year

Hong Kong’s first weekend property sale after Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s policy address was mixed, as homebuyers snapped up all the flats in Sheung Shui, which is part of a new proposed “Northern Metropolis”, but were less enthusiastic about flats in Lohas Park from an earlier project.

Developer Tai Hung Fai Group Holdings had on Sunday evening sold all 30 flats at its six-storey Artique development in Sheung Shui, a district that is part of Lam’s proposed Northern Metropolis. The project received about 850 registrations of intent, or around 28 bids for each available flat, according to agents.

“The new Artique project in Sheung Shui has received a boost from Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s proposal, which has generated some excitement among prospective homebuyers in the area,” property agent.

Weekend property sales, usually held on Saturdays, were postponed this weekend after the city’s first typhoon signal No. 8 of the year was hoisted. All typhoon signal warnings were cancelled on Sunday, as Tropical Storm Lionrock moved away from the city.

Hong Kong’s border area with mainland China will be built into the new Northern Metropolis of 2.5 million people in 20 years, according to a blueprint laid down by Lam in her policy address on Wednesday. It will include a “Silicon Valley” that will closely interact with neighbouring Shenzhen.

Upon the full development of the metropolis, up to 926,000 flats, including the existing 390,000 homes in Yuen Long and North districts, will be available to house a population of about 2.5 million, Lam said.

The metropolis will include Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long, Fanling and Sheung Shui, along with six new development areas under planning or construction.

It will also involve a new cross-border railway linking the city to the Qianhai economic zone in Shenzhen, and an extension of a local northern rail link that is expected to stimulate development across Hong Kong’s hinterland.

“The flats in Sheung Shui are very attractive to prospective homebuyers, as it is very difficult to find new flats for around HK$2 million (US$256,924),” agent said.

The flats range from 138 sq ft to 259 sq ft in size and cost between HK$2.42 million and HK$5.12 million after discounts of up to 12 per cent. Their average price is HK$18,454 per square foot, about 20 to 38 per cent higher than the secondary transaction prices of HK$13,320 to HK$15,340 per square foot in the area.

The strong sales in Sheung Shui came after the city’s development minister said that property developers could be required to build flats of at least 200 sq ft. Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun made the suggestion on Friday as he acknowledged cramped living spaces were a “pain point for society”. While he did not specify what the minimum size would be, he noted recent suggestions of setting the starting point at 200 sq ft or 210 sq ft for the private sector.

Wong also said that new public housing flats could be 10 or 20 per cent bigger than their current size – but only more than a decade later when land supply was more abundant.

Meanwhile, Nan Fung Group and MTR Corporation had sold 44 of the 183 flats on offer at the LP10 project at Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O as of 8pm on Sunday, according to agents. These flats included leftover units from previous sales, agents said.

These flats ranged from two-bedroom units to four-bedroom flats, with sizes ranging from 447 sq ft to 1,526 sq ft and prices starting from HK$8.23 million.

The sales of the LP10 project on Sunday were in line with expectations, as there have already been multiple rounds of property launches at Lohas Park, agent added.

LP10, the 10th phase of a massive development at Lohas Park, comprises 893 flats in total, with the first batch launched in January this year.

The fresh batch of 101 flats at LP10 was priced at an average of HK$18,751 per square foot after a discount of as much as 20 per cent. The latest price was 7.5 per cent higher than the previous launch price of HK$17,436 per square foot last month.

(South China Morning Post)