In late August this year the much anticipated, long-awaited sale opened of Shun Tak’s brand new residential tower on Hengqin Island.

426 apartments were up for grabs.  A mix of studios, 1 & 2 bedrooms ranging in size from 475 square feet to 1,345 square feet, gross.  Nice.  Perfect for a single, just married or starter family.

And guess how long it took for them apartments to be sold?

Twenty seconds!

How, you may ask?  And why are they so incredibly popular?

To answer your first question, the logistics of the sale went something like this.  Interested buyers had to pre-register in person, in Shun Tak’s Hengqin offices, within an assigned period in August.  This so that their identity could be verified.  And so that at the same time they could put down a RBM50,000 (HKD56,500) deposit.

In spite of the Covid-19 challenges of traveling, economic downturn and concerns about job security, the queues went out the door and down the corridor.

These eager buyers were given a purchase order with which they could then register on line.  Every registered account that enrolled was able to apply for up to three apartments, in order of priority.

Saturday 29 August, 1pm came and buying was opened on line.  Units were sold in 3 sections.  The first section was for the lowest floors, and these all went in 5 seconds.  Then the next highest section went, then the next.  All gone in less than half a minute!  Blink and you’d have missed it.

I bet the developers were kicking themselves; they could have easily sold at a higher price given such enthusiasm and pent up demand for a piece of Macau’s new front door – especially as the Shun Tak property is literally sitting at this so called front door – the newly opened lotus bridge border gate between Macau and Hengqin.  There again,  perhaps they thought to err on caution, given Covid, and besides, the sale price of RMB4,650 psf (HKD5,260 psf) was a good 15-20% above average sale prices across other Hengqin residential developments.

But when compared with Macau prices, Shun Tak’s Hengqin apartments are still substantially cheaper.  Our One Oasis, for example for a 2-bedroom unit is HKD7,200 psf and Nova Grand is going for around HKD10,000 psf, the latter being another Shun Tak developed project but in Macau.

In spite of being higher in price than other residential properties on Hengqin, the ‘Why Buy?’ answer is that these proud new owners of a Shun Tak Hengqin apartment are strong believers in the Hengqin Story.  Hengqin will eventually integrate with Macau giving Macau the space it needs to diversify its economy and become the ultimate family playground.  It will be like adding an Asian Orlando to Asia’s Las Vegas, creating Asia’s entertainment capital.   Critically, this entertainment capital has the added benefit of holding a monopoly on Chinese casino gambling.

Hengqin is to serve as a transportation hub for the western Pearl River Delta. National highways, bridges, rail lines, and airport links will all converge in Hengqin.  The border that Shun Tak’s property sits is sized to accommodate up to 80 million travelers.

Among Macau buyers the tremendous popularity of this particular sale – and we expect with other similar sales down the line – was that we now have 3 banks, BNU, ICBC and BOC that will give mortgage loans of up to 70% of the price of the property and importantly offer the extra service of transferring funds from Macau to the Hengqin developers’ bank accounts in Hengqin.

So these Shun Tak apartments should all in all turn out to be a good buy, even though services and infrastructure to the property are still in their infancy.  The building in which the apartments were sold is made up of a 230 room hotel from GF-18F,  a clubhouse on the 19/F, residences from 21-51/F and a 3 level shopping mall with car parks below.  The apartments are due to be ready for handover in Q3, 2021.

And as for the “Open Sale” process,  I can’t see it being limited to Shun Tak’s property.   Its success will likely mean it setting a new trend for the future, an enrolling system that will enhance transparency and convenience, providing a platform of fairness to potential buyers of new developments.