Hong Kong residential property prices reached record high in May

Taylor Scott International News

Residential property prices in Hong Kong reached a record high in May, increasing more than 20% compared with the same month last year. The growth in values continues despite the government’s series of property market cooling measures. The transaction volume of new homes reached over 8,700 for the first half of 2015, the data from the Rating and Valuation Department shows. According to an analysis by international real estate firm Knight Frank it is a result of strong housing demand, ample liquidity partly attributable to the previous rally in the Mainland and Hong Kong stock markets and the continual return of wealthy Mainland investors to the city’s residential sector. Amid positive market sentiment, property developers have been actively acquiring residential sites this year, in line with the government’s target to boost housing supply. In early July, a large residential site in So Kwun Wat in Tuen Mun, estimated to require an investment of up to HK$8 billion, was sold for HK$3.82202 billion, representing the second highest ever accommodation value in the area. During the third quarter of this year the Hong Kong government will release three residential sites for sale. It has indicated that additional land may be launched by the end of September, depending on the market situation and progress of preparatory work. ‘The annual private housing supply target of 19,000 flats is considered achievable this year. Despite the rising supply, we expect home prices to continue rising this year, as it will take time for the new sites to be developed into flats,’ the Knight Frank report concludes. Meanwhile in Greater China the Grade-A office market remained active in June, driven by continual expansion demand from Chinese financial institutions, most notably fund and asset management companies. Knight Frank believes that Grade-A office rents in Central will continue rising steadily in the second half of 2015. Last month, with rents in prime retail districts softening, mid-range retailers gained opportunities to enter high profile streets at lower rents. Retail sales are not expected to recover in the near term. Knight Frank says that prime retail rents will continue to come under downward pressure for the remainder of the year. Taylor Scott International

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