First batch of 92 flats at Larvotto snapped up

HONG KONG: Buyers snapped up all 92 units of the first batch of Sun Hung Kai Properties' luxury development Larvotto to go on sale on Saturday, July 17 at an average price of HK$17,288 (RM7,174.43) per square foot.

Market sources said the flats, which went on sale at 9am, were all sold by the late afternoon amid what one agent said was "fierce demand". All are seaview apartments in blocks one and three of the development.

The flats, ranging from 1,968 to 1,998 square feet, are priced between HK$31.11 million to HK$37.94 million, or between HK$15,811 and HK$18,992 per square foot. That compares to asking prices of HK$9,500 to HK$16,000 in Bel-Air Residence, the most expensive large housing complex in Island South.

The development, jointly developed with Paliburg Holdings and Kerry Properties, is in Ap Lei Chau and is the first project to be put on sale since the Hong Kong Monetary Authority instructed banks last October to lower the amount they lend to buyers of luxury homes priced higher than HK$20 million from 70% to 60% of the property's value.

Kerry is controlled by the Kuok Group, which is the controlling shareholder of the SCMP Group which publishes the South China Morning Post.

There are 715 units in nine blocks in total in the development.

Joseph Yuen, a 57-year-old garment manufacturer who said he had purchased one apartment, said he felt the prices were reasonable, but did not disclose how much he paid for the property.

"I think the price is fine for this sort of apartment, it's very rare to have seafront apartments like this," Yuen said.

He said the recent controversy surrounding Hong Kong's luxury property market had not deterred him. "There are two parallel markets in Hong Kong, a mass one and a luxury one, and in terms of the luxury one I think Larvotto is reasonably priced."

Another man, who did not wish to be identified, said he thought the prices were "reasonable" and that he is still considering whether to buy a unit.

One agent said that interest in Larvotto has been spread fairly evenly between local, mainland and foreign buyers for both residential and investment purposes.

"The price is more attractive than other similar luxury developments, while the payment terms make for a good investment opportunity especially in this low-interest rate environment," the agent said.

"Seafront properties are always going to be popular," he added.

Another agent said that those who bought property as an investment still see "great upside potential" in the development. — South China Morning Post
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