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Property News Weekly Digest
〈Asian Post, Apr 16, 2022〉The first large new residential project to be launched in Hong Kong since a ferocious fifth wave of the coronavirus struck has been priced more than 10 per cent lower than a development that went on sale in the same area last summer.

This comes as developers prepare to unleash thousands of flats in the coming months that will test market demand amid a flagging economy and rising unemployment.

Wheelock Properties priced the first batch of 112 flats at Monaco Marine in Kai Tak, the site of the city’s former airport, at an average of HK$24,833 per square foot after factoring in a discount of up to 12 per cent.

The price, unveiled yesterday, is about 12 per cent lower than the average launch price of HK$28,200 per square foot at Henley III, a project in the same area, last August.

"Developers will take a more conservative approach to pricing to test the market response. Hong Kong's[economy] has not yet recovered from a serious illness," said Louis Chan Wing-kit, Centaline Property Agency’s vice-chairman and chief executive, residential, for Asia-Pacific.

〈The Standard, Apr 15, 2022〉 Prices at Monaco Marine in Kai Tak - Hong Kong's first residential launch since January - were unveiled yesterday with the cheapest flat costing nearly HK$8 million after discounts.

This came as home viewings and prices in the secondary market rose ahead of the long Easter weekend.

The 112 flats in the first price list of Monaco Marine range from 326 to 713 square feet and are priced between HK$7.96 million and HK$18.95 million after discounts, the developer Wheelock Properties said.

The discounted average price is HK$24,833 per sq ft, about 6 percent higher than Monaco One, which is located in the same area and was launched last November.

Managing director Ricky Wong Kwong-yiu said Monaco Marine has its advantages such as better landscaping and an advantageous location, and its prices were set in line with other new developments in the area.

〈The Standard, Apr 14, 2022〉MTR Corporation (0066) said it has received nine tenders for its Pak Shing Kok Ventilation Building property development in Tseung Kwan O, with market valuations ranging from HK$1.5 billion to HK$2.3 billion, or about HK$5,000 to HK$8,000 per square foot.

Sino Land (0083), Wheelock Properties, K. Wah International (0173), and K&K Property are said to be among the ones bidding for the project.

The residential development will provide a maximum gross floor area of 27,006 square meters.

It is expected the land premium of the site to be above HK$1.1 billion, equivalent to about HK$3,789 per sq ft, which could become a new record in Tseung Kwan O.

James Cheung, executive director at Centaline Surveyors said the overall investment amount is not large and medium-sized developers can afford the premium, adding that the pandemic and the economic downturn might not have much impact on the developers' bid.

〈Asian Post, Apr 13, 2022〉Link between local interest rates and investment returns historically weak, while strong demand for city’s commercial property will buoy prices

The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates in March and hinted it could do so six more times in 2022, and although the Hong kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) also increased rates in tandem, it does not necessarily follow that local commercial banks will match the pace and frequency of future US moves.

Commercial Property investors in Hong Kong closely watch for any Fed pronouncements on the direction of interest rates as they are acutely aware of how its decisions could affect their investment returns. The local currency peg to the US dollar makes any US interest rate movements particularly relevant to the HKMA.

The Fed on March 16 raised its key interest rate by a quarter point and suggested it could do so six more times, adding up to a total of 100 basis points, before the year is out, as it tries to fulfil its mandate of full employment and keeping the annual inflation rate at about 2 per cent.

〈Asian Post, Apr 12, 2022〉Buyers from the SAR have consistently proved keen investors property in the UK capital, and new research shows that in many areas they now hold the biggest share of internationally owned residences, writes Peta Tomlinson

Hongkongers have long been keen on owning a second home in the UK and the latest market analysis suggests they are buying up properties in record numbers, with certain boroughs of London seeing especially high demand.

The research real estate company Benham and Reeves, shows that Hong Kong buyers currently have the biggest international footprint within the London market, accounting for the highest proportion of homes registered to foreign addresses in a total of 17 boroughs.