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Property News Weekly Digest
2020/10/31
〈China Daily, Oct 31, 2020〉The tender for the 13th and final phase of Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O attracted just nine bids yesterday, compared to 35 expressions of interest received in September.

The site, which could potentially accommodate 2,550 flats, is valued at HK$8.51 billion to HK$15.47 billion, or HK$5,500 to HK$10,000 per buildable square foot.

Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016), CK Asset (1113), Henderson Land Development (0012), Wheelock Properties and Nan Fung are among the developers that have submitted bids.

Meanwhile, MTR Corporation (0066) will open the second phase of The Lohas - the first shopping mall at Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O - on Sunday.

Hong Kong's property market sentiment remains volatile due to the pandemic, but about 10 percent of Hongkongers - among the highest levels on recorded over the past nine years - consider it a good time to purchase property, according to a survey by Citi Hong Kong.

〈Taipei Times, Oct.30, 2020〉Office block said to have received a HK$10 billion offer as developer speeds up asset disposal after parent posts first interim loss in half a century

Swire Properties, one of the city's largest owners of offices and shopping centres, said it is in talks to sell Cityplaza One in Taikoo Shing as it picked up the pace on an asset disposal programme after its parent posted the first interim loss in half a century.

The firm said it was in discussions to sell the 21-storey office building, but "no agreement for the disposal has been reached", according to its statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Trading in the shares of Swire Properties and parent company Swire Pacific was halted yesterday morning for the announcement.

Swire Properties reported interim core profit slumped 80 per cent to HK$3.75 billion, as rental income from offices, stores and restaurants at shopping centres, as well as hotel occupancy at its Pacific Place mixed-use complex in Admiralty, plunged amid dwindling business and leisure visitor numbers.

〈Asian Post, Oct 29, 2020〉New World Development priced the second phase of its latest residential project atop Tai Wai MTR station 4.8 per cent higher than the first, which had sold out in under two weeks.

The first batch of 337 flats at phase two of The Pavilia Farm, measuring 264 to 753 sq ft, will be offered at HK$17,250 to HK$26,737 per square foot. The average price works out to HK$19,838 per square foot, up from HK$18,921 in phase one.

The flats start from HK$5.73 million, and the most expensive one, a 669 sq ft unit, has a price tag of HK$14.09 million, according to New World.

The Pavilia Farm has seen brisk take-up since it first launched on October 17. After two rounds of weekend sales, all 767 units offered in the first phase were snapped up for a total of HK$8.4 billion.

The developer received 22,763 registrations of interest for the roughly 390 units when it debuted, equating to 58 buyers competing for each unit - the highest ratio since 1997.

〈The Standard, Oct 28, 2020〉A company related to mainland developer Agile's (3383) Chan family won the tender for a residential site in Tai Po for HK$451 million, or HK$4,478 per buildable square foot, falling short of market expectations and hitting a four-year low for the district.

David Chan Sze-yuen, the son of mainland developer Agile's vice chairman Chan Cheuk-yin, is director of Ideal Repute Developments, which won the bid, according to the Company Registry.

Market surveyors had valued the residential site at HK$500 million to HK$600 million.

Other bidders included Sino Land (0083) and Country Garden Properties (Hong Kong).

The plot covers a total of 67,146 sq ft, and the maximum gross floor area is 100,718 sq ft.

It is reasonable that the bid price was slightly below market valuation, as the plot has an irregular shape and nearby transport facilities are not well-developed, said Centaline Surveyors executive director James Cheung King-tat.

〈Taipei Times, Oct 27, 2020〉Connie Leung, vice president of Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants Association (third left) wears a mask while speaking to reporters at the Cathay City, the headquarters of Cathay Pacific, in Hong Kong, on Wednesday.

The massive job cuts at Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's flagship carrier, are likely to further drag down the city's flagging property market, with districts close to the airport potentially facing steep cuts in home prices and rents, according to analysts.

The embattled airline's announcement on Tuesday that 5,900 jobs would be axed, including cabin crew and pilots, will further increase the number of jobless residents in Hong Kong, which rose to a near 16-year high of 6.4% in the third quarter as the city reels from the impact of the coronavirus.

The unemployment rate climbed 0.3 percentage points in the three months to September, bringing the total number of people out of work to 259,800. According to research carried out by Knight Frank, there is a strong inverse correlation between unemployment and house prices in Hong Kong. A spike in the jobless rate typically leads to a fall in home prices one or two months later, said Martin Wong, associate director, research and consultancy, Greater China, at Knight Frank.