RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Here's how Henderson Land can benefit from the acceleration in farmland conversions

It has ~926,000 sq ft of farmland in Kwu Tung North and Fanling North that could be converted.

Henderson Land has a solid track record in executing farmland conversions and analysts believe it will be a key beneficiary of the potential acceleration in farmland conversions in conjunction with government policy support.

Maybank Kim Eng reported that in Dec’15, HDL successfully converted a farmland (YLTL No.527) in Yuen Long into a residential site for ~HKD39m or HKD1,830 per sq ft under the pilot arbitration scheme initiated by the government in 2014. This is the first case of land premium finalisation via the arbitration approach and the conversion premium per sq ft is ~17% lower than the overall HKD2,202 for “The Reach” project in Yuen Long executed during 2010.

Here's more from Maybank Kim Eng:

The land premium finalisation process is now much shorter under the new pilot arbitration scheme. Subsequently in Dec’16, HDL converted another farm land (YLTL No. 524) in Yuen Long for ~HKD298m or HKD1,743 per sq ft. Currently, the company is in talks with the government on the conversion premium for the Wo Shang Wai project in Yuen Long with a site area of ~2.23m sq ft and GFA of ~890,000 sq ft.

Another example that illustrates how fast farmland conversion can be executed with policy support from the government would be the Ma Shi Po site in Fanling. HDL resumed its site in Ma Shi Po for farmland conversion in accordance with the government’s NDAs plan in the North East New Territories in late 2015.

Shortly afterwards in Apr’16 according to HK Economic Times, the Buildings Department approved its project plan to construct five towers of 16 to 21 floors of residential high-rise units and a club house with a total GFA of ~600,000 sq ft, which could provide ~1,200 private homes at the site.

Currently, HDL has ~926,000 sq ft of farmland in Kwu Tung North and Fanling North that are eligible for conversion into residential use (“in-situ land exchange” as the technical term), which could yield ~4.42m of GFA for development.

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