MTR draws 11 bids for the priciest land plot in Lohas Park as the return of Hong Kong's property market bull run lifts confidence

By Zheng Yangpeng / | April 30, 2019 4:15 PM SGT
Lohas Park has drawn 11 bids for the latest phase of its residential development in the New Territories, as developers vie for the land parcel near the sole shopping centre in Hong Kong's largest residential community.
Eleven bids were submitted for the plot, which can accommodate up to 1,850 homes on 950,000 square feet (88,200 square metres) of gross floor area. That translates into more than one fifth of the 8,800 private flats expected to be built on the 15 private residential sites to be sold by the government in the coming planning period.
The bidders made up the Who's Who of Hong Kong's property industry, including CK Asset Holdings, Henderson Land Development , Wheelock, New World Development, Kerry Properties and China Overseas Land & Investment, according to the Mingpao newspaper.
MTR, the city's subway operator and the main developer of Lohas Park, drew the most number of bids in this latest phase since the very first portion in the project was opened for tender in 2005 in Tseung Kwan O.
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The strong response underscores the recovery in Hong Kong's residential property market, following a five-month correction between August 2018 and January this year. Prices of both new and lived-in homes resumed their upwards tick in the city, as a dovish monetary policy by the de facto central bank eased concerns of rising mortgage rates, while an expected end to the US-China trade war improved confidence.
"The property market has recovered from the downturn in the last [few] months of 2018, and now the sentiment is strong," said Charles Chan Chiu-kwok, managing director of Savills Valuation and Professional Services.
The entire Lohas Park will be home to an estimated 58,000 residents in 21,500 flats when it is completed in 2025, making it Hong Kong's largest single residential community. The word "Lohas" is an abbreviation for Life of Health and Sustainability.
The site in Wednesday's tender is valued at between HK$5.2 billion and HK$8.6 billion (US$1.1 billion), or between HK$5,500 and HK$9,000 per square foot. It is also the most costly land plot in the entire development, with a land premium of HK$3.54 billion that needs to be paid, 56 per cent higher than the previous phase sold in 2016.
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