Property buyers snap up Great Eagle Holdings' flats in Tai Po even as two simultaneous rallies rattle Hong Kong's nerves

Hong Kong investors have snapped up the latest launch of small flats, as the first interest rate cut in more than a decade persuaded buyers to set aside concerns of rising political instability, even as protesters held two opposing rallies simultaneously across the city.
Great Eagle Holdings sold 120 flats, or 96 per cent of 124 flats on offer at its Ontolo complex in Pak Shek Kok of Tai Po as at 7pm, according to sales agents.
Ontolo's prices start at HK$5.83 million (US$744,636) for the smallest flat measuring 357 square feet (33 square metres), or HK$16,330 per square foot. The most recent sale in the neighbourhood " Billion Development's launch in May of Centra Horizon " was at HK$14,857 per sq ft after discounts.
"About 80 per cent of the buyers [today] are owner-occupiers who do not care about market sentiment and really have the need for housing," said Kelvin Cheong, Midland Realty's director of New Territories. "This project is also the last one in the area. There will be very few small flats after this round."
Models of Ontolo development in Tai Po. Photo: Tory Ho
The weekend sell-out would be the high point of a bleak week for the property industry, when a five-month price rally in used homes ended with June's price gauge dropping by 0.8 per cent, according to Rating and Valuation Department data. The Centa-City Leading Index compiled by one of the city's biggest property agent networks fell 0.9 per cent in July.
The bull run in the world's most expensive housing market has faltered, as a deteriorating US-China trade war deterred investors, while two months of unprecedented public unrest forced buyers to rethink their decisions. The total value of July's overall transactions, which reflected June's sentiment, plummeted 45.7 per cent on year to HK$54 billion, according to Land Registry data.
Protesters on opposing sides of a controversial extradition bill held rallies simultaneously at two points across Hong Kong on Saturday, disrupting traffic in the commercial city. Their disquiet coincided with data that showed Hong Kong's economy contracting in the second quarter, compared with the first three months of the year.
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