Hong Kong: A tiny studio flat in Hong Kong’s North Point district has gone on sale for more than HK$10 million (US$1.27 million), thought to be a record for the area, as developer Sun Hung Kai Properties appeared to shrug off new cooling measures introduced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

The 286 square foot flat, on the site of a former public housing estate, was put on the market by SHKP as it released the price list of its Victoria Harbour luxury project. The asking price for the 3rd floor unit of Tower 5A is HK$10.25 million, or HK$35,840 per square foot – and that is after factoring in a discount of as much as 19 per cent.

“I think it will be a record for a studio flat in North Point,” said Sammy Po, chief executive at Midland Realty’s residential department.

The developer said one of the reasons for the high price of the studio flat is because of its relatively larger size.

A 181 sq ft studio flat at Novum Point, also in North Point, last month changed hands for HK5.87 million.

SHKP won the waterfront site, formerly occupied by North Point Estates, in 2012 for HK$6.91 billion, or HK$9,347 per sq ft.

SHKP, the city’s largest holder of unsold flats with about 1,000 units on hand, released the price list for the first batch of 71 homes, worth HK$1.2 billion, at Victoria Harbour on Friday. Among the 71, all 16 studio flats had an asking price of more than HK$10 million each.

The average price of the 71 units is HK$36,738 per sq ft after discounts – the highest among new projects in North Point.

Units at Fleur Pavilia had an asking price of HK$28,032 per sq ft in May, while CK Asset’s Harbour Glory sought HK$29,251 per sq ft initially and Henderson Land Development’s Novum Point HK$27,263.

One flat of 524 sq ft at Victoria Harbour had an asking price of HK$27 million, or HK$51,526 per sq ft.

Agents said the project was expensive for a reason.

“The development enjoys a sea view, which other nearby new projects such as [Henderson Land Development’s] Novum Point lack,” said Danny Ho, a sales director of Centaline Property Agency. “It also comes with more amenities than other developments, such as a shopping centre and hotel.”

So far just 23 large units at Victoria Harbour have been sold since the project, which is close to completion, was launched in November. All of them were sold through tender, one or two at a time, achieving selling prices as high as HK$65,000 per sq ft.

But the developer has changed its strategy, releasing 71 flats – 20 per cent of the total – for sale to the public after the government’s new housing regulations took effect.

Hong Kong developers rush to sell flats on concerns new government measures could cool demand

Lam unveiled a series of measures including a tax on vacant units and making developers sell at least 20 per cent of units at the launch of any project with newly approved pre-sale consent.

This came after Financial Secretary Paul Chan expressed concern in late February over developers’ practice to put homes on tender instead of releasing price lists, citing a “recent” residential project with “about 300 units” as an example.

Victor Lui, deputy managing director at SHKP, denied the recent sales were related to the vacancy tax.

“We will have projects on sale every week,” said Lui. “But it is not related to the vacancy tax. Victoria Harbour has not obtained its occupation permit yet.”

Despite SHKP’s new price list covering 71 relatively small homes, the developer insisted on only putting larger homes up for tender in future.

The project will start receiving registrations of interest on Saturday, along with the developer’s St Martin development.

The city will see 55 flats for sale on Saturday, 45 from New World Development’s Fleur Pavilia and 10 from CK Asset’s Seanorama.

Hong Kong now has 3,467 unsold homes available that will be completed in a year, of which SHKP has about 40 per cent or 1,412.