Sunday, 12 March 2017

Over-the-Top Housing Prices

A prospective buyer looking at Alto flats located in Tseung Kwan O
Hong Kong developers are getting even greedier.

They think there is an endless supply of customers willing to shell out almost HK$20,000 per square foot for a new flat.

On Saturday flats were for sale at Alto Residences in Tseung Kwan O. The prices were 57 percent higher than the first phase which turned off buyers. Only four were purchased in the project that is a joint venture Lai Sun Development and former Sun Hung Kai Properties chairman Walter Kwok Ping-sheung.

In October last year, the prices for the first phase were at HK$14,000 per square foot, and units sold briskly. But at a 57 percent mark-up to HK$21,980, that's too much for customers to swallow.

A showroom flat for K City in the former Kai Tak site
Today K Wah International managed to sell 23 of 42 units offered at its K City project located in the former Kai Tak airport site.

It was the sixth batch of sales, with price increases each time Last week its fifth batch sold units priced between HK$17,401 to HK$23,694 per square foot. The average price increased 11 percent compared to the first batch a month ago.

According to a K Wah spokeswoman, 584 out of 598 units in the first four batches were sold by March 7. No comment on how sales went for the fifth and sixth batches.

Alto's poor sales reflects people's sentiment -- you want me to pay how much? -- and they are not taking any of it. It's Tseung Kwan O, not Wan Chai!

In a way that's the beauty of capitalism, but the fact that these developers think they can gouge more out of consumers is just evil.

The ability to afford a home at a decent price should be a right, not a privilege.

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