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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hong Kong property deals may dip in April as used home sales fall: Ricacorp

Hong Kong property deals may dip in April as used home sales fall: Ricacorp

The number of property deals in Hong Kong is likely to dip slightly this month after a three-month rally pushed transactions to a 20-month high in March, according to one of the city’s major agencies.
The number of property deals in Hong Kong is likely to dip slightly this month after a three-month rally pushed transactions to a 20-month high in March, according to one of the city’s major agencies.

The number of properties changing hands, including residential, commercial and industrial units as well as parking spaces, came in at 8,599 in March, up 44 per cent month-on-month, according to data from the Land Registry on Tuesday.

“In April, the overall number of property transactions is expected to fall within 5 per cent because of a slowdown of the second-hand market, to about 8,250,” said Derek Chan, head of research at the real estate agency.

The transaction volume in the second quarter is expected to remain at a high level, Chan said, as developers launch new projects at a clip.

The second-hand market, however, will see its market share fall as buyers are drawn to new projects priced competitively by developers eager to stimulate demand after a difficult period.

The corresponding transaction value in March jumped 57 per cent to a seven-month high of HK$68.88 billion (US$8.78 billion), according to the Land Registry.

Hong Kong’s pre-owned home prices rose 2.22 per cent in February, the most in almost three year, as demand recovered on expectations of slower interest rate increases and an improvement in economic ­sentiment following the ­reopening of the city’s borders.

The home price index stood at 345.9, the highest in four months, according to data from the Rating and Valuation Department.

The biggest rebound was for new homes, which saw sales almost triple from 643 in February to 1,779 in March, a 16-month high, according to Land Registry data.

In the three months to March, the overall number of transactions surged 62.2 per cent to 19,006, the highest in three quarters.

Thanks to the higher transaction volume, the number of mortgages for completed homes climbed by almost a third to a seven-month high of 7,525, according to mReferral Mortgage Brokerage Services.

Because of the market downturn last year and the longer time required for new home sales to reach completion, the number of mortgages for homes still under construction fell significantly in the first quarter, according to Centaline Mortgage. The broker, however, expects the number of mortgages to surge in the second quarter after stamp duties for local first-time buyers were relaxed in February.

While the border reopening after Covid-19 boosted the economy and the housing market, it did not, as expected, bolster demand from people from outside Hong Kong, according to a report on Monday by property services provider Pruden Group.

Pruden attributed this to the extra stamp duties as well as tighter mortgage requirements for non-local buyers and a smaller difference in the mortgage rates between Hong Kong and mainland China.

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