Sales flop at residential project in Tuen Mun - the latest worrying sign of pressure on property market amid protests

By Sandy Li sandy.li@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3026229/sales-flop-residential-project-tuen-mun-latest-worrying-sign-pressure?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | September 11, 2019 11:57 AM SGT
Sales of flats at a new development in Tuen Mun flopped on Sunday, as potential buyers grow cautious amid anti-government protests and fresh data showing prices of lived-in homes have fallen.
Only 22 units, or 19 per cent of 113 flats put up for sale at Wing Tai Properties' Oma Oma development in Tuen Mun, sold on Sunday, according to sources.
"It is the poorest sales outcome in the past two months ," said Sammy Po, chief executive of Midland Realty's residential development. "Buyers are carefully reassessing the outlook of the market as they fear prices will fall further in light of souring sentiment.
"Developers probably need to continue adopting the low price strategy if they want to sell fast," he said.
Buyers are becoming more cautious and picky, analysts say. The Oma Oma project, for example, is not close to an MTR stop, whereas sales were brisk last weekend at the Marini development in Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O, which is located within walking distance of a subway station.
The worrying sign at Oma Oma comes on the heels of The Centa-City Leading Index, which tracks 100 housing estates in Hong Kong, showing on Friday that prices for lived-in homes dropped 1.34 per cent for the week ending September 1.
"It is the sharpest fall in the past 12 weeks," said Centaline Property Agency senior associate research director Wong Leung-sing said.
He attributed the decline mainly to the US-China trade war. It and the protests have weighed heavily on the city's economy and sentiment about where property prices are headed and how people feel about making expensive purchases.
There had been some hope last Wednesday that sentiment could improve.
That is when Chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced she would formally withdraw the highly unpopular bill that would allow extraditions to the mainland. That met one of five demands by protesters, including freer elections. Protesters said her move was too little, too late.
Some individual homeowners raised their asking prices in response to Lam's move, but analysts said they do not expect it to boost sales. In...