Hong Kong developer Sino Land has outbid dozens of rivals to win a residential land site in the New Territories for HK$1.38 billion ($176.7 million), setting a new price record for Hong Kong’s Ma On Shan area in Sha Tin.
The Hong Kong-listed developer will be adding the 49,729 square foot (4,620 square metre) waterfront site to its collection of oceanside properties in Hong Kong’s outer districts as it bets on the continuing growth of the city’s red-hot property sector. The site is located in the Whitehead waterfront area overlooking Tolo Harbour, about 30 kilometres northeast of Central.
Sino Land’s successful bid for the site breaks a pattern whereby deep-pocketed mainland developers have scooped up all residential parcels auctioned in Hong Kong’s superheated housing market so far this year.
Thirty Hong Kong, Mainland Rivals Vie for Prime Site
The city’s Lands Department last week announced the awarding of the site, Sha Tin Town Lot No. 611, to Sino Land subsidiary Pacific Asia Limited, on a 50-year land grant.
The plot is earmarked for private residential use and will yield a maximum gross floor area of 119,000 square feet (11,088 square metres). Sino Land’s payment of HK$11,588 per square foot for the parcel is 80 percent higher than the previous record price for the same area, set by local developer Citic Pacific in 2015.
The developer is expected to build a project consisting of luxury mid-rise condos and houses that will sell for HK$20,000 ($2,560) per square foot and up, according to an analyst cited by the South China Morning Post.
Sino Land fended off 29 competitors for the site, mostly Hong Kong heavyweights such as Cheung Kong Property and Sun Hung Kai. Notably, however, several mainland developers also joined the fray, including Vanke, Minmetals Land, and China Resources Land.
The fierce competition for the site stems from its premium location, as a rare waterfront parcel that is close to the Sai Kung Country Park and the Wu Kai Sha MTR station, offering a one-hour connection to Central.
The area has a diverse housing mix ranging from tiny affordable apartments to more upscale projects developed by Henderson Land and – coming later this year and in 2018 – developments from Sun Hung Kai and CK Property. Hong Kong’s Paliburg and Regal Hotels are also building a 160,000 square foot shopping centre in the area, due to open by the end of this year.
Sino Land Likes Sha Tin
Sino Land, which has developed around 200 commercial and residential projects across Hong Kong, mainland China and Singapore, has been eyeing the Whitehead waterfront for a while. In March 2014, the developer was among ten losing bidders for a nearby residential site, which was snapped up by Sun Hung Kai for HK$1.8 billion. Sino already owns a pair of retail projects in the Ma On Shan area, including the 59,000 square foot Waterside Shopping Mall near the Ma On Shan metro station.
This past May, Sino Land teamed up with two other Hong Kong builders to win the development rights for phase one of an apartment project at Kam Sheung Road station in Yuen Long, in the northwest of the New Territories. The consortium of Sino Land, China Overseas Land & Investment and K. Wah International paid HK$8.33 billion (US$1 billion) for the site up front.
Sino Land is part of Sino Group, the property conglomerate owned by Singapore’s Ng family. The group’s portfolio also includes seaside residential properties in Sai Kung, Tseung Kwan O, and Pak Shek Kok in the New Territories, as well as in Mui Wo on Lantau Island.