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Property News Weekly Digest
〈Asian Post , January 24,2020〉
Hong Kong property prices could bounce back by 5 per cent in the second quarter from their lowest point last year, as buyers take advantage of low interest rates and a gradual easing of the social unrest, according to Centaline Surveyors.

"Home prices went on a roller-coaster ride last year," said Louis Chan Wing-kit, vice-chairman for Asia-Pacific at Centaline, noting the net price gain in Hong Kong was 4 per cent in 2019.

Residential prices fell 6 per cent in the second half as demand weakened because of the violent anti-government protests, after rising more than 10 per cent in the first six months of last year.

Chan said that so far in January, 1,130 transactions had been concluded, mostly because of strong sales at Sun Hung Kai Properties' Wetland Seasons Park development.

The number of deals is nearly 70 per cent more than the 675 signed in December, but far short of the 2,197 a year earlier.

〈The Standard ,January 23,2020〉
The potential buyers of three units at L'aquatique in Tsing Lung Tau, developed by Metallurgical Corporation of China (1618), have forfeited a total of HK$1.94 million in deposits, or 10 percent of the total purchase price, so far this week.

The project has seen buyers of nine out of 80 sold units forfeit deposits since it opened for sale in 2018.

Elsewhere, Henderson Land Development (0012) sold all of its first batch of 30 units at The Richmond in Mid-Levels for a total of HK$240 million. The company plans to launch a second batch after the Lunar New Year holiday.

In Wan Chai, Chinachem Group rented over 20,000 square feet of space of its One Hennessy to fitness group Pure Fitness. The developer said 70 percent of the office building has been leased out.

Secondary transactions in Tseung Kwan O doubled from a month ago to 133 so far this month, with major project Metro City recording 11 deals at an average price of HK$16,638 per sq ft.

Louis Chan Wing-kit, vice-chairman for Asia-Pacific at Centaline Property Agency, said the outbreak of the new virus has less of an impact on Hong Kong home prices compared to during SARS and projected a 5-10 percent decrease.

〈Asian Post , January 22 2020〉
Analysts say exposure to mainland retail market could hurt the developer if shoppers stay away, while Hong Kong's unrest eats into its 2019 profit

Hang Lung Properties is keeping a close eye on its development project in Wuhan, the mainland city at the centre of a deadly virus outbreak, as analysts warned the company could take a hit if the illness spread and kept shoppers away from malls.

The project, Heartland 66, is a 460,000 square metre complex costing an estimated 12 billion yuan (HK$13.5 billion), with a shopping centre, a 61-storey office tower and serviced flats.

While it was too early to assess its impact, analysts said the virus could affect Hong Kong developers' crucial mainland business operations.

"Hang Lung may be at the greatest risk among Hong Kong landlords due to its sizeable exposure to China retail leasing, as it anticipates opening a new mall in Wuhan in mid-2020," said Patrick Wong, senior research analyst of Asia real estate at Bloomberg Intelligence.

〈The Standard, January22 2020〉
Sales event feels heat but home prices hold for now
About a fifth of potential homebuyers did not attend the sales event of The Richmond, Henderson Land's new project at Mid-Levels, amid worries over the new coronavirus.

But market experts predicted the situation would not be as bad as 17 years ago during the SARS crisis.

Amid the uncertainties, L'aquatique in Tsing Lung Tau, developed by Metallurgical Corp of China, reported a homebuyer forfeiting their deposit and losing about HK$600,000.

Sammy Po Siu-ming, chief executive of Midland Realty's residential division, said the sector remains stable at the moment and that market panic or price cuts have not occurred.

Homeowners are still selling flats at their ideal prices and developers have not changed strategies to sell new projects yet, Po added

〈China Daily,January 20,2020〉
The property sector is the most confident industry when it comes to growth prospects in the Greater Bay Area, as most companies have formulated a strategy and earmarked more than HK$500 million each to realise their plans, according to a survey by accounting firm KPMG.

The bay area initiative, which aims to link Hong Kong, Macau and nine cities in Guangdong province into an economic and business powerhouse, offers a "total solution" for companies looking for technology expertise, capital, talent, research and development and manufacturing bases to grow their businesses, according to Maggie Lee, partner for audit and head of capital markets development for Hong Kong at KPMG China.

The poll of 747 executives in different sectors across the bay area and other mainland cities found up to 96 per cent were confident the initiative would help them gain significant revenue growth.

The property sector was the most confident in the region. Of the 50 real estate companies polled, 34 per cent plan to invest more than HK$500 million and 70 per cent said they already have a strategy in place for the bat area.

Overall, some 56 per cent of firms expect a 20 per cent uptick in revenue growth over the next three years, while another 23 per cent anticipate this could exceed 30 per cent.