Hong Kong's homebuyers snap up every flat on offer during sales launch after banks cut rates for the first time in 11 years

Property buyers lining up for The Grand Marine project at the sales office in Railway Plaza, Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Edmond So
Hong Kong's homebuyers are back, as hundreds of customers packed a sales office to snap up the very first property launch after the city's banks cut their lending rates for the first time in 11 years.
Buyers bought all 375 flats on offer at The Grand Marine in Tsing Yi as of 8:15pm yesterday, according to sales agents, after the developer Grand Ming Group, priced them at discounts of between 15 and 20 per cent to comparable projects in the neighbourhood.
The first batch of the flats were priced at an average of HK$14,813 (US$1,890) per square foot, cheaper than nearby developments such as Tierra Verde and Villa Esplanada, according to Centaline Property Agency.
"The market is active in the first round of sale at this project," said Centaline's vice-chairman for Asia-Pacific and chief executive of residential division Louis Chan, who has clients evaluating two purchases worth HK$13 million.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has lowered its base lending rates three times this year to support the economy: File photo
The Tsing Yi project in the New Territories is the first to be offered after the city's biggest lenders agreed this week to cut their prime rates to help revive a city economy that has slipped into a technical recession. HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of China (Hong Kong), the city's three currency-issuing banks, cut their best lending rates for the first time since the aftermath of global financial crisis in 2008.
Response to The Grand Marine can be attributed to low pricing, this week's reduction in lending rates among local banks and the government's move last month to ease mortgage financing rules. These are among the measures taken to rejuvenate the housing market, where declines in prices have accelerated in four months through September amid anti-government protests. The economy shrank more than expected last quarter and into its first technical recession in a decade.