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Hong Kong’s homebuyers pile into Kai Tak’s first harbourfront flats after a tepid start, betting on property bull market to continue

China Overseas Land sold 364 flats, or 91 per cent of the first batch of 400 units on offer, at One Victoria in Kai Tak on Saturday

The development is priced for more than 10 per cent lower than nearby The Henley unveiled by Henderson Land in May

Hong Kong’s homebuyers snapped up the first harbourfront flats built on Hong Kong’s former airport runway in Kai Tak despite a slow start, as generous discounts lured investors to double down on their bets of the continuing property bull market.

China Overseas Land and Investment sold 364 flats, or 91 per cent of the first batch of 400 units on offer at the One Victoria project in Kai Tak on Saturday, according to real-estate agents.

The first batch on offer was priced at an average of HK$22,977 per square foot, about 13 per cent cheaper than Henderson Land Development’s The Henley project in the same area, 70 per cent sold as of May, helped by its location closer to the Kai Tak subway station.

One Victoria is priced about 5 per cent lower than second-hand property in the Kai Tak area, and is 15 per cent cheaper than the leftover property from new projects in the neighbourhood, which could attract buyers who are looking for upsides in their investments, property agent said. The sales campaign will last until 11pm, giving agents more time to find buyers and close deals, the agent said.

The weekend’s sales got off to a slow start, with fewer than half being sold in the first few hours. The current batch of the One Victoria flats range from 329 square feet to 643 square feet, with prices starting from HK$6.56 million (US$844,700) after discounts. The whole project will comprise a total of 1,059 apartments when it is completed around March 2023.

The sale result came amid a boom on the city’s housing market, the world’s costliest, as cheap money unleashed by global central banks prompts investors to seek investments that can preserve values.

One Victoria is about a 45-minute walk from the Kai Tak Station. It is also likely to be surrounded by construction sites.

With the opening of the Tuen Ma Line, which connects the West Rail Line and the Tuen Ma Line Phase 1 and includes the Kai Tak Station, the Kai Tak district will “officially enter the harvest season” and mature in terms of community development, another property agent said. As the first waterfront project on the runway, One Victoria will offer good views, the agent added.

Hong Kong’s economy has been rebounding, snapping several quarters of recession caused by the social unrest and the coronavirus pandemic.

First-quarter growth accelerated to 7.9 per cent, the most in 11 years, while new home sales increased at the fastest pace in two years.

Hong Kong’s residential property transactions surged by about 35 per cent in the first half, the highest level since the second half of 2012, to more than 38,500 deals, according to a property agency. Transaction volumes also jumped by about half to about HK$366 billion, the highest level since the first half of 1997.

An increase in housing supply has so far failed to cool down the fervour. New home supply is expected to increase 14 per cent from a year ago to 36,919 units in 2021, according to another property agency.

(South China Morning Post)