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Hong Kong residential plot sells for higher price than forecast

[HONG KONG] A Hong Kong government land sale of a prime residential plot in Kowloon was sold at a price higher than analysts had expected, easing concerns about a deeper downturn in the property market as Hong Kong's economic growth slows.

The sale comes after a different residential plot sold for less than expected last month and two other government tenders were recently cancelled.

The plot, in the Kowloon neighbourhood of Ho Man Tin, sold for HK$6.4 million (US$823,204) to a company owned by Goldin Financial Holdings Ltd. Three property consultants surveyed by Reuters had expected it to sell for between HK$5.86 billion and HK$5.9 billion.

Secretary for Development Paul Chan said last week that the government was prepared to sell into a falling market and did not have a policy requiring it to obtain high land premiums.

Developers have been reporting sharp profit declines and scaling back forecasts, and analysts are expecting a 10 percent to 15 per cent drop in home prices in Hong Kong this year.

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There were 13 tenders for the Ho Man Tin site, which is located on Sheung Shing Street. It was awarded to Goldin's Gold Topmont Ltd.

The site has an area of 9,074 square metres and is a 50-year land grant.


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