The government has postponed a high-profile tender for a residential site in Kowloon estimated to fetch up to HK$14.3 billion because of the street protests that choked the city center, a sign of how political tensions are spilling into the property market.
The government cited blocked access to government offices as the reason.
“It’s probably because of the trade war and recent social movements, so the government may be worried about the impact on bidder numbers, bid amounts and government revenue,” said Thomas Lam, an executive director at property agency Knight Frank.
Anemic bidding could have hurt broader property market sentiment, he said.
Evidence that some developers are getting cold feet emerged on Tuesday, when Goldin Financial pulled out of a successful bid for a HK$11.2 billion land parcel, citing “recent social contradiction and economic instability.”
However, chairman Pan Sutong disagreed with the board’s decision, saying protests in Hong Kong would not impact the property market.
Emperor International (0163) executive director Cheung Ping-keung said he was confident about the market and that Goldin Financial’s pullout and forfeiture of its HK$25 million deposit for the commercial plot at Kai Tak would not change the group’s sales operations, asset deployment and acquisition campaigns.
The collection box for submissions for the postponed tender is situated in the central government offices complex in Admiralty.
Those offices were closed yesterday and will remain closed today because of the protests over the extradition bill amendments.
The tender was scheduled to close today.
Meanwhile, Pacific Place had been closed from Wednesday afternoon to yesterday morning, as protesters gathered.
The mall announced on its website that it progressively resumed operations yesterday afternoon as protesters dispersed.
However, most shops in the mall and Queensway Plaza did not reopen.
Bank of East Asia, Standard Chartered Hong Kong, Bank of China (Hong Kong) and OCBC Wing Hang Bank suspended service in Admiralty branches.