Latest batch of flats at The Aurora in Tsuen Wan snapped up as interest-rate cut attracts first-time buyers

By Louise Moon / | September 26, 2019 10:38 AM SGT
Well over three quarters of new flats that went on sale in Tsuen Wan on Sunday were snapped up, as an interest-rate cut bolstered demand in Hong Kong's downbeat property market.
Billion Development & Project Management sold 145 of the 172 apartments in the third batch at The Aurora project, on the western side of the New Territories.
It marked a third weekend of successful sales at the development, after some steep discounts saw all units sold out in the first two batches in August.
Flats in the latest tranche were being offered at an average of HK$19,794 per square foot, bringing them roughly back in line with prices of comparable flats in the neighbourhood. The price is about the same, if not slightly lower, than second-hand flats on the market at Vision City and Chelsea Court, both located in Tsuen Wan.
Studio apartments and one-bedroom flats were most in demand, according to Sammy Po Siu-ming, chief executive of real estate brokerage Midland Realty's residential division.
He said that indicated a strong demand from first-home buyers.
Last week's interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve helped boost buyers' confidence in the project, according to Ringo Leung, sales director for Tsuen Wan at Midland Realty.
For some, the possibility of lower mortgage payments has made buying more attractive than renting a property.
"The interest rate cut worldwide is quite decisive for the housing market's direction," said Leung. "If the flats' prices are near what buyers want, they will consider buying them, as rents [elsewhere] will be more or less the same as [mortgage payments]."
Leung said developers would be increasingly inclined to offer sweeteners such as more flexible payment terms and "less ambitious" pricing to sell flats in the current market.
Housing sentiment has taken a hammering from more than three months of civil unrest that has rattled Hong Kong, deterring visitors and damaging the city's international reputation.
On Wednesday the Fed announced it would cut interest rates by 25 basis points. Hong Kong's monetary...