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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Dec 25, 2020〉The commercial property market has been recording more deals since Hong Kong abolished the double stamp duty on commercial property transactions, yet what appear to be loss-producing sales continue.

In Sai Wan, a 731-square-foot street shop space at 20 Clarence Terrace changed hands for HK$9.8 million, or HK$13,406 per square foot.

The seller, who purchased the premises three years ago for HK$11.72 million, will thus make a loss of HK$1.92 million, excluding other fees.

New World Development (0017) has collected HK$1.3 billion after selling 74 units at its Grade A commercial building at 888 Lai Chi Kok Road in Cheung Sha Wan.

New World earlier released its price list for 888 Lai Chi Kok Road.

The average per square foot price in the second round of 44 units released to the market was HK$13,275, with the cost of each unit ranging from HK$7.34 million to HK$33.73 million.

〈Asian Post, Dec 24, 2020〉The property market has recorded more loss-making deals, with one vendor suffering a loss of over HK$40 million after selling a 5,700-sq-ft luxury house at 28 Barker Road at The Peak for HK$530 million.

The seller purchased the house for HK$542 million five years ago.

In Hung Hom, a 1,259-sq-ft unit at Homantin Hillside changed hands for HK$25.3 million, or HK$20,095 per sq ft, after HK$3.7 million was cut from the asking price, according to Midland Realty. The vendor, who purchased the unit in 2015 for HK$28.8 million, will suffer a paper loss of HK$3.5 million.

In other secondary market transactions, a 451-sq-ft flat at City One Shatin changed hands for HK$7.75 million, or HK$17,184 per sq ft. The vendor will make a paper gain of HK$5.86 million after holding the property for 14 years.

A 723-sq-ft flat at Residence Bel-Air sold for HK$17.5 million, or HK$24,205 per sq ft. The seller will earn a paper gain of HK$8.49 million after holding the property for 15 years.

In the primary market, Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) will offer five units at Mount Regency II in Tuen Mun for sale on Friday.

Meanwhile, a buyer has forfeited a deposit of over HK$220,000 after walking away from the purchase of a 212-sq-ft flat at The Concerto in Cheung Sha Wan that was offered at HK$4.42 million, or HK$20,857 per sq ft.

〈China Daily, Dec 23, 2020〉Wharf has won the tender for a residential site at Mansfield Road on The Peak for HK$12 billion, or HK$46,272 per build able square foot, with the per sq ft price hitting a new high for a residential site in Hong Kong and beating market expectations.

This came despite the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections and with Sino-US tensions continuing to weigh on the property market.

Surveyors had valued the residential site at between HK$7.7 billion to HK$11.1 billion, or HK$30,000 to HK$43,000 per build able sq ft.

The other bidders included CK Asset, Henderson Land Development, Sun Hung Kai Properties, and K Wah International.

The site covers a total area of 134,884 sq ft, with a maximum gross floor area of 259,337 sq ft.

〈Asian Post, Dec 22, 2020〉On the surface, there should be little reason for middle-class investors to be anxious about next year: China will be the only major economy to report positive growth this year, and the recovery is expected to accelerate in 2021.

But discussions with dozens of members in this social group, the biggest winners from China's economic boom and integration into the global economy, reveal many feel the opposite. Many worry the future will not be as prosperous.

In line with a government shift to focus more on the domestic economy, investors are becoming more cautious about overseas business and portfolio investments, especially given the deteriorating external environment.

They are pulling back from more speculative domestic investments in risky start-ups, focusing instead on the stocks of well-run Chinese companies and on real estate in first-tier cities.

Tom Li, a former senior executive with a foreign firm in Shanghai, decided to end his years-long stake in a self-driving start-up project, saying he had lost his way in meeting his financial goals.

〈China Daily, Dec 21, 2020〉Health experts raise alarm at packed malls and seek reduction in opening hours and closure of non-essential stores to slow infection rates

Hong Kong's leading health experts have called for a shutdown of non-essential businesses and reduced opening hours at shopping centres, given the large numbers of people still out and about despite daily warnings that the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic could escalate beyond control at the current rate of infection.

Another 74 cases were confirmed yesterday. All but four were contracted locally and 25 were untraceable, underscoring the alarming spread across the city.

"Even though people have been out and about less between Monday and Friday, from Saturday onwards, there has been heavy traffic and big crowds in malls," Professor David Hui Shu-cheong said. "It shows residents are not very cooperative."

He suggested malls should close six to eight hours earlier. Supermarkets could stay open, but non-essential businesses such as hair salons or clothing stores should be closed.