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Property News Weekly Digest
〈Asian Post, April 17, 2021〉Homebuyers are increasingly opting for more expensive properties, as the city’s Covid-19 outbreak is brought under control.

The proportion of transactions involving mid- to high-priced properties rose across the board in March, according to Land Registry data.

Of these, properties worth between HK$10 million and HK$20 million rose the most, climbing 1.4 percentage points month on month to 13 per cent.

"More homebuyers are looking to upgrade to bigger flats in recent months, pushing up demand for mid- to high-priced properties," said Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Properties.

"Additionally, as the pandemic continues to ease, there is fear of greater competition after the border with the mainland reopens", which would lead to more expensive properties later, he added.

An increase in demand for more expensive homes, despite the city’s worst recession on record and rising unemployment, could lead to an upswing in the market and fuel an increase in prices, analysts said.

If the city is spared a fifth wave of the pandemic, home prices could rise further, according to Martin Wong, head of research and consultancy for Greater China at Knight Frank.

〈China Daily, April 16, 2021〉Central’s biggest landlord hopes new features will lure new generation of bankers to its iconic towers

Hongkong Land Holdings, owner of The Landmark and Exchange Square in Central, is poised to upgrade its half-century-old buildings with modern features it hopes will help attract a new generation of millennial bankers and lawyers.

The 132-year-old landlord, which owns some 450,000 square metres of prime office and retail properties in Central, has been experimenting with a more modern aesthetic packed with "Instagram moments" in some of the city’s iconic buildings, where many young hotshots work on initial public offerings and merger deals worth billions of dollars.

International companies have been relocating to Central,where rents are down by a quarter from two years ago, giving firms a chance to get an address in the city’s trophy buildings.

Last summer, Hongkong Land launched a modern food court with nine stalls run by some of the city’s trendiest purveyors of food and drink, including Honbo,Co Thanh and Young Master Brewery, in the basement of Jardine House. And a gallery featuring New York graffiti and street art in a replica carriage of the city’s famous subway has been on display since March in the basement of The Landmark.

〈Business Post, April 15, 2021〉SHUN Tak Holdings' maiden residential development in Singapore, Park Nova, could gain traction with well-heeled buyers - especially from North Asia - as the project readies for launch amid improving sentiment.

Located in prime District 10, the super luxury freehold development at 18 Tomlinson Road has 54 units in the 21-storey residential tower. The units range in size from 1,432 square feet (sq ft) for a two-bedroom plus study to 5,899 sq ft for a penthouse.

The showflat will be open for preview on May 1, and is by appointment only, the developer said.

The Hong Kong-listed conglomerate acquired the site (formerly Park House) via collective sale with an aggressive bid of S$375.5 million, it was reported in mid-2018. This worked out to S$2,910 psf ppr.

Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty, said: "With their maiden residential project, Shun Tak appears to be branding themselves in the super high-end segment, given the location and the size of the units." ERA is one of the marketing agents for the project.

〈The Standard, April 14, 2021〉An apparently "heartless" man vandalized his home when he failed to force her mother to sell it and give him half of the proceeds amounting to HK$3 million.

Photos uploaded to a Facebook group showed a home in disarray with glass and debris scattered on the ground. Furniture, including a standing lamp and a fan, were pushed over in a sitting room.

A drawer had been pulled out of a cabinet, with its contents including stationery and towels dumped on the floor.

The television lay face down on the floor alongside several boards. A bear doll flopped on a sofa.

In a bedroom, a mattress was removed from a bed and a table turned over.

On one of the walls was written: "Mother, I don't think you quite understand. I am not staying outside until June. I want HK$3 million, half of the money after you sold the flat. Then I will live my own life and I won't come back."

Messages were written on another wall, saying "sell the flat" and "what I want is respect, to be treated as an equal with freedom and respect."

〈Asian Post, April 13, 2021〉The West Kowloon Cultural District may be the cultural venue in the limelight in Hong Kong but just 9km to the east, another one is quietly taking shape.

The East Kowloon Cultural Centre (EKCC) lacks the former’s scale and international ambition, but it, too, aims to shake things up in the cultural sphere by turning Hong Kong from a laggard into a front runner in embracing digital technology for the arts.

The EKCC is a sprawling, more than HK$4 billion structure spread over two hectares in a site created after the Lower Ngau Tau Kok public housing estate in Kowloon was knocked down.

The centre, with five theatres and concert halls and three rehearsing rooms, was originally conceived in 2006 as a venue offering high-quality programming to a number of woefully underserved, densely populated, working-class neighbourhoods from Kwun Tong to Wong Tai Sin.