THE MTR Corp (MTRC, 港鐵) started taking bids on Monday for the fifth phase of Lohas Park (日出康城) in Tseung Kwan O (將軍澳), at a land premium reported to be the lowest of similar projects since 2004.
It was the second site put for tender by the rail operator in a month, after New World Development (新世界發展) won the bid to develop the Tai Wai (大圍) MTR station project a few weeks ago.
“Inevitably, MTRC will have to auction more sites to enable the government to meet its annual housing supply target,” Centaline Surveyors (中原測量師行 ) director James Cheung King-tat (張競達) said.
Land premium was said to be HK$2.06 billion or HK$1,874 per square foot, around 18 percent short of an earlier estimate at HK$2,300. That would also be 9 percent lower than the HK$2,059 of the fourth phase, although the latest plot is located closer to Lohas Park MTR station. “It may not seem a bargain [for developers],” Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho (張翹楚), director at Cushman & Wakefield (高緯環球 ), said. Key project terms-profit-sharing, possible upfront payments and the cost of building a public transport interchange have to be disclosed.
The MTRC would allegedly take at least 10 percent of proceeds from the development, compared to the requirement of 15 percent at Tai Wai. The project received 22 expressions of interest, as of last Friday.
The site will provide 1,600 units from a buildable gross floor area of 1.1 million sq ft. Completion of the site is slated for 2020.
A non-residential plot in Kwai Chung (葵涌 ) will also be open to bidding from 28 November to 9 January.
With an area of around 29,934 sq ft, the site will provide a gross floor area of between 136,820 sq ft and 228,033 sq ft.
Separately, a local property price index compiled by the Rating and Valuation Department (差餉物業估價署) rose to a peak of 150.80 in August, a Hong Kong Monetary Authority (香港金融管理局) document submitted to the Legislative Council (立法會) said. Flats of all sizes saw their prices rise in that month.
The loan-to-value ratio in August this year dipped to 56 percent from the previous month.
(The Standard, Adam Xu, 28 October, 2014)