Hong Kong property: Henderson to launch 7,100 new homes this year, saying market has ‘bottomed out’ and ‘stabilised’

Hong Kong property: Henderson to launch 7,100 new homes this year, saying market has ‘bottomed out’ and ‘stabilised’

Hong Kong property: Henderson to launch 7,100 new homes this year, saying market has ‘bottomed out’ and ‘stabilised’

Henderson Land Development, one of Hong Kong’s biggest developers, said it will launch some 7,100 new residential units this year, 7 per cent fewer than last year, after reporting flat annual profit.

The developer, founded by Hong Kong’s second-wealthiest man, Lee Shau-kee, is confident the city’s property market is on the mend following the removal of all property cooling measures last month, according to a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday.

Underlying profit attributable to shareholders grew by a marginal 0.8 per cent to HK$9.7 billion (US$1.2 billion) in 2023.

Hong Kong’s property market has “bottomed out” and “stabilised”, boosting transaction volumes in the past three weeks, chairmen Lee Ka Kit and Lee Ka Shing said in the statement.

Potential home buyers queue up for Henderson Land’s Belgravia Place residential project at the sales office on March 3. Photo: Yik Yeung-man

“If the US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates in the second half of this year as expected, it will boost Hong Kong’s economy,” the statement said.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po scrapped all cooling measures restricting property transactions in his budget on February 28 with the aim of restoring the city’s flagging fiscal health, and addressing mounting calls from the property and business sectors to ditch the decade-old measures.

The scrapped measures include the Buyer’s Stamp Duty that targeted non-permanent residents and a New Residential Stamp Duty for second-time purchasers. Homeowners also no longer need to pay a Special Stamp Duty if they sell their homes within two years.

The Hong Kong Mortgage Authority followed suit with its own easing measures. Homes valued at less than HK$30 million are now eligible for 70 per cent mortgage financing, compared with the previous cap of 60 per cent for flats valued between HK$15 million and HK$30 million.

“Both initiatives were conducive to the purchase of new and replacement homes for local residents and encouraged mainland talent and professionals to work and buy their own homes in Hong Kong,” the chairmen said.

Henderson’s bullish outlook bucks the largely gloomy picture painted by many developers, which have warned continued uncertainty will impact the city’s property market.
The Henderson commercial building was completed in January. Photo: Bloomberg

In the three weeks after the curbs were lifted, the developer has sold 946 homes worth a total of about HK$5.9 billion.

Henderson’s Belgravia Place, the first major residential project to go on sale on March 3 after the government removed the property curbs, was an instant hit with buyers. The developer sold all 138 units available in the first round of sales within four hours. The second batch of 208 flats launched on March 7 was also a sell-out.

Besides Belgravia Place in Cheung Sha Wan, the group plans to launch 12 other residential projects this year or 3.1 million square feet of gross floor area, comprising about 7,100 units. Last year, Henderson sought to sell 7,655 homes.

In January, the developer completed The Henderson, a 465,000 sq ft prime office building in Central. More than 50 per cent of the space in the tower has been leased, according to the filing.

Henderson has proposed a dividend of HK$1.30 per share.

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