Hong Kong’s Red-Hot Housing Market Shows No Signs of Cooling

By Frederik Balfour | Bloomberg

  • All 750 units offered in Kowloon project sold at the opening weekend

  • Chairman says additional 160 flats went on sale the following weekend

Demand in Hong Kong’s red-hot housing market shows no signs of abating, with Wheelock & Co. selling all 750 apartments offered at its new Kowloon project over the weekend.

Based on buyers’ enthusiasm for the project, where 9,800 applications were made for the 750 units, Wheelock is likely to announce the launch of a further 300 to 400 apartments on Tuesday, said Ken Lee, senior principal regional sales director at Centaline Property Agency Ltd. Wheelock realized about HK$8.1 billion ($1.03 billion) in sales, he said.

Prices for the next batch of units may rise 5 percent to 8 percent, to as much as HK$15,500 per square foot, Lee said. Wheelock Chairman Douglas Woo said during a press conference Monday that the firm will release 160 additional flats for sale this week, after “favorable response from customers.”

Wheelock last week agreed to buy a plot of land near the former Kai Tak airport from embattled conglomerate HNA Group Co. for HK$6.36 billion. The chairman said Monday that the firm is interested in bidding for the final site from HNA if it’s priced at market rate.

Secondary house prices in Hong Kong, the world’s least affordable city, have climbed 4 percent this year, according to Centaline, and have surged more than 300 percent since their 2003 trough.

The units at Wheelock’s Malibu development in Lohas Park are part of a mass residential development built on land bought from MTR Corp. located about 30 minutes to the city’s financial district.

Wheelock shares rose 0.9 percent to HK$59.85 in Hong Kong, and have gained 3.8 percent in the past three trading days.