Hong Kong government’s vaccine procurement lifts mood in the property market

Successful coronavirus vaccine purchase sends positive wave to the real estate market

Dense apartments in Hong Kong. newroadboy/Shutterstock

Hong Kong’s weekend property sales were jumbled as apartments in Tuen Mun received the cold shoulder treatment while small flats in Sham Shui Po were snapped up by homebuyers just when the government’s successful vaccine purchase lifted sentiment in the property market, the South China Morning Post.

Hong Kong Ferry Holdings, owned by one of the city’s leading property developers Henderson Land Development, and Empire Group sold only five of 123 flats at Starfront Royale in Tuen Mun.

On the other hand, Kaisa Group, mainland Chinese developer sold 39 of 53 units on offer at its Concerto Development located in Sham Shui Po. At least six buyers have been bidding for every flat up for grabs, but enthusiastic buyers have also failed to sign contracts.

Louis Chan Wing-kit, Asia-Pacific vice-chairman and chief executive of the residential division at Centaline Property Agency, said that the government’s coronavirus vaccine procurement “has sent positive signals to the market”.

“More prospective buyers have showed up today after the government announced the vaccine news. Without the announcement of the vaccine, we would have seen fewer people showing up,” Chan added.

15 million shots of COVID-19 vaccines were secured by the Hong Kong government, with the first million presumed to be available in January 2021 for high-risk groups under the city’s free, voluntary vaccination scheme.

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The imminent vaccines drove in customers who were restricted from last weekend’s home sales by the government’s strict social-distancing regulations, which bans public get-togethers of more than two people.

Chan mentioned that Kaisa’s first batch of Concerto flats were all listed under HKD6.2 million (USD800,000), appealing to under-30-homebuyers that made up almost half of the potential buyers.

The Concerto flats included studios and one-bedroom units from 212 to 294 square feet. Prices also started from HKD3.85 million, up to HKD6.17 million with a 15 percent discount.

Chan added, “buyers would be hard-pressed to find other new flats in the urban areas of Kowloon for between HKD3 million and HKD4 million.”

Lifted sentiments led New World Development to sell 30 office units in their commercial real estate project, West Kowloon tower. HKD600 million in sales revenue was reported by the developer within the first hour, Hong Kong’s first commercial property sale after it withdrew double stamp duty on non-residential property in November.