Citic launches new project in Ma On Shan at 20 per cent below rivals as home sales halve since protests began

By Sandy Li and Cheryl / | September 11, 2019 11:57 AM SGT
Citic has become the latest Hong Kong developer forced into selling new flats at huge discounts to attract buyers amid a property market battered by months of civil unrest.
The latest official figures released on Tuesday show that home sales have halved since the start of protests that have rocked the city.
Citic launched its residential project in Ma On Shan at up to 20 per cent below the price of similar properties in the same area. On Tuesday, the builder released the first 50 units at The Entrance at an average price of HK$15,999 per square foot after factoring in a discount of up to 7 per cent.
In the same area, flats at St Barths, a project built by Sun Hung Kai Properties, were being offered at around HK$20,000 per square foot, according to Louis Chan, vice-chairman of Asia-Pacific residential division at Centaline Property Agency.
The discounted prices were announced as the Land Registry released data showing home sales " for both new and used properties " had dropped to 4,084 in August, the lowest of the year.
That is roughly half the 8,208 sales in May, before the start of pro-democracy protests that have gone on to hit retail sales and visitor numbers. The prolonged trade dispute between Washington and Beijing has also dampened appetite.
"Homes sales plunged significantly in August as buying desire hit by the widespread social movement and escalated US-China trade war dampened buying interest," said Chan.
In a bid to woo buyers, other developers have been forced to offer their projects at lower prices.
Last Friday, Wheelock Properties managed to shift 88 per cent of units at its Marini development in Lohas Park, Tseung Kwan O, on the first day of sales. The strong performance came after Wheelock priced Marini at 8 per cent below properties sold in the area just two months ago.
Billion Development & Project Management sold 570 units at The Aurora in Tsuen Wan over two weekends in late August, after pricing them 10 per cent lower...