SKHP Tops Sales in Hong Kong’s Troubled Market

The nation’s most valuable developer accounted for the sale of 3,200 out of the 11,011 units that changed hands in 2023, according to recent data
Staff Reporter | Hong Kong | Brokerage

Hong Kong’s most valuable developer Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) topped the city’s sales tables in 2023, accounting for over a quarter of the deal volume at a time when shrinking home prices and a 33-year trough for real estate transactions are weighing on one of the world’s most expensive property markets. SHKP accounted for the sale of 3,200 out of the 11,011 units that changed hands in 2023, according to data from Dataelements, a data provider that tracks new residential properties in Hong Kong.

Dataelements estimated SHKP’s contracted sales of residential flats for 2023 at HK$20.13 billion (US$2.6 billion), representing nearly 16% of the city’s aggregate. Most of the developer’s sales were in the first phase of Yoho West, a large-scale new project in Tin Shui Wai, Novo Land phase 2 in Tuen Mun and University Hill phase 2 in Tai Po.

Hong Kong’s leading real estate agency, Centaline Property reported citywide sales transactions of 10,681 primary flats last year for an aggregate sales value of HK$131 billion. The number of deals and their value rose 4.1% and 14.9%, respectively from 2022, the second lowest in the past decade, according to Centaline.

A Drop in 2023

The property agency estimates transactions in Hong Kong dropped in 2023 to the lowest level in 33 years as sentiment among potential homebuyers was battered by weak economic data and soaring interest rates.

SHKP ranked ahead of Chinachem Group and MTR Corp, which sold 494 units at In One, a high-end residential project in Ho Man Tin, for an estimated contracted price of HK$8 billion, according to Dataelements. Wheelock Properties logged contracted sales of about HK$5.57 billion through the sale of units at its Koko Hills project in Yau Tong.

“SHKP achieved strong sales from the Yoho West launch during December 2023,” Ken Yeung, a property analyst at Citi said in a research report, which described SHKP as “a survivor in a long winter”. The first phase of Yoho West launched in December, saw 508 units snapped up by buyers for a total value of HK$2.67 billion, according to Centaline.

Citi expects SHKP to maintain a steady performance in terms of contracted sales despite a sluggish market outlook. It attributed this resilience to SHKP’s ability to offer a better product mix, which enhances the appeal of its offerings to potential buyers. Home prices in Hong Kong have declined 20% from their peak in September 2021, and Citi predicts home prices will fall another 10% in 2024.

Looking ahead to the financial year of 2024, which ends on June 30, SHKP has plans to launch six new projects, according to Citi. These projects include Novo Land phase 3A and 3B, Yoho Hub phase 2, Yoho West phase 1, 233 Prince Edward Road West, and two Kai Tak projects – Cullinan Sky and Cullinan Harbour phase 1. According to Citi, these projects have a combined gross floor area of 3 million square feet.

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