odds-on as prices soar, by Carolyn Cummins Commercial
Property Editor - 29th March 2008
The Sydney Morning Herald)
Macau is fast overtaking its rival
Hong Kong as the fastest-growing area for residential
hotel and retail property prices.
of the largest projects is the $2.3 billion City
of Dreams being built by Leighton Asia, China
State and John Holland, on behalf of the Melco
PBL development company - owned by Lawrence Ho's
Melco gambling company and James Packer's Crown
week Mr Ho is said to be attending a ceremony
celebrating progress on the City of Dreams casino,
hotel and apartment complex on Macau's Cotai strip.
a slow start, work on the project got a serious
kick along after Mr Packer and Mr Ho signed up
Wal King's Leighton Holdings to take on the construction.
that is just one of many projects on the small
island, a 50-minute ferry trip from Hong Kong.
Housing prices on Macau are going through the
roof, spurred by the huge inflow of cash from
gambling revenue and hotel room sales.
Barnett, the project director for City of Dreams,
said Macau used to be a sleepy town which people
visited on the weekend or if they wanted a night
out at a casino.
now that has completely changed. It is like Las
Vegas on steroids. It is absolutely booming,"
Mr Barnett said.
latest report on Macau from Colliers International
shows the openings of the Venetian Macau, MGM
Grand Macau, Grand Lisboa and Crown Macau last
year strengthened the island's position as a world-class
were 27 million visitors by the end of last year,
which was a year-on-year growth rate of 22.8 per
cent. The rising number of visitors as well as
increased spending by residents drove retail sales
up 33.2 per cent last year and there was a 9.4
per cent year-on-year growth for private consumption
expenditure in last year's third quarter.
were 28 casinos in Macau by the end of last year.
report said sustained low interest rates of about
3 per cent and accelerating inflation, together
with strong economic fundamentals, would help
trigger stronger demand for residential properties.
addition, the proposed plan of the first home
buyers loan scheme will add extra impetus to the
sales market," the report said.
on the all-important hotel sector, the report
showed that average hotel occupancy rate was 83
per cent, despite the number of hotel rooms expanding
by 24.4 per cent year-on-year to more than 16,000
to the end of December.
continuous arrival of new resorts and ongoing
development of meetings, incentive tours, conventions
and exhibitions industries remain the key factors
for a positive outlook."
projects in the pipeline include the first stage
of Ponte 16, which started operations last month,
with 420 rooms in the 20-storey hotel and a 25,000
square metre casino.
are also four hotel-casino developments scheduled
to open this year: the Four Seasons, Sheraton
Macau, Shangri-La and the Traders.
enjoyed almost 30 per cent growth in 2007 as a
gaming and entertainment hub," the Colliers
report said. "Gaming revenue increased by
45.7 per cent year on year to more than 24.9 million
pataca [$3.43 million] in the fourth quarter 2007,
fetching a total of 83.8 billion pataca in 2007."
to all that cash rolling in, the average residential
price edged up over 20 per cent, with almost 20,000
transactions. Colliers said the residential projects
coming on line included Harbour Mile by Sun Tak
Property comprising seven towers - five for residential,
one for office and retail and one for serviced
apartments - due for completion by 2010.