Residential sales fall in Hong Kong but prices holding up, latest research shows

Taylor Scott International News

Residential sales in Hong Kong fell almost 30% in one month as weak demand hit the property market but prices are still going up, the latest data shows. Figures from the Land Registry shows a 27.8% drop in transactions in August from the previous month and according to international real estate firm Knight Frank this was due to weakened demand caused by the slump in both the Mainland and local stock markets. However, home prices still recorded minor growth, due to strong end user demand and Knight Frank expects prices to remain firm for the rest of the year. Indeed the firm is predicting that at the top end luxury property prices are likely to grow between 2% and 5% this year while the rest of the market could see price growth of 5% to 8%. Residential land prices also remained firm, with the asking land premium for Lohas Park phase eight in Tseung Kwan O hitting a record high for a residential project in the area at HK$2.955 billion, or an accommodation value of HK$2,830 per square foot. The latest analysis report from Knight Frank suggest that the primary sector remained the market focus, with developers active in launching new flats and offering beneficial packages, including discounts and second mortgages. For example, discounts of 10% to 20% were offered for the latest batch of units at High Park Grand in Mong Kok. In Aspen Crest in Diamond Hill, meanwhile, second mortgages worth 30% of the total purchase price were offered, meaning homebuyers only needed to pay a 10% down payment. A breakdown of the figures in the Knight Frank report show that in the prime property market prices have held up but rents have fallen in some locations. In The Peak district prices were flat month on month but are 5.2% higher than August 2014. Prices were also flat in Island South month on month but up 2.6% year on year. Mid-Levels saw month on month price growth of 0.3% and year on year of 8.1%, Jardine’s Lookout/Happy Valley also saw month on month growth of 0.3% and annual growth of 9.8% while Pokfulam recorded monthly price growth of 0.1% and year on year growth of 9.5%. In the prime rental market there has been little growth. In The Peak rents fell 0.2% compared to July and are flat compared to August 2014, while in Island South rents are also flat compared to a year ago and down 0.3% month on month. Mid-Levels has seen growth of 0.5% year on year but rental prices were flat month on month, Jardine’s Lookout/Happy Valley has seen rents fall 0.2% month on month but up 0.2% year on year and in Pokfulam rents are flat month on month and up 0.5% year on year. Taylor Scott International

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