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Hong Kong’s property market regains mojo as deals hit 10-month high in May
Overall property transactions jumped 63.8 per cent month-on-month to 7,949 in May, which was also the highest since 9,957 clocked in July 2021
Sales of new homes saw the biggest jump in May, rising nearly fivefold to 1,492 units from the previous month
Hong Kong’s property market picked up momentum in May, with deals hitting a 10-month high, building on the gains of the previous month as homebuyers returned after the fifth wave of Covid-19 was brought under control.
Total transactions, including residential, commercial and industrial properties as well as parking spaces, rose 63.8 per cent month-on-month to 7,949 in May, according to data from the Land Registry. It was also the highest total since 9,957 deals were completed in July 2021.
“As the pandemic continues to stabilise, the government has gradually relaxed social distancing measures, helping to lift property market sentiment,” a property agent said.
The brisk second-hand transactions, coupled with the enthusiastic response of buyers to many new launches, led to a significant increase in the overall number of deals in May, the agent said.
The May figure was more than double the 3,828 transactions in March. The biggest jump was for new homes, sales of which skyrocketed nearly fivefold to 1,492 from the previous month.
The most popular projects included the first phase of Grand Mayfair, which sold 701 flats, and Monaco Marine, which sold 267 homes.
Ricky Wong Kwong-yiu, managing director of Wheelock Properties, expects sales of new homes to remain at around 1,500 in the coming months as developers speed up launches, taking advantage of an improvement in sentiment following the easing of the fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
A 1,206 sq ft flat with a rooftop at K Wah International’s K Summit development in Kai Tak on Thursday sold for HK$48.3 million (US$6.16 million), or HK$40,050 per sq ft. Both figures are the highest for the project.
Chinachem Group sold three duplex flats at the luxury project Bisney Crest in Pok Fu Lam in two days. One of them, measuring 1,640 sq ft, sold for HK$60 million on Wednesday.
Sino Land sold one flat at 133 Portofino in Sai Kung measuring 1,076 sq ft on Sunday for HK$21.8 million.
On the outlook for this month, a property agent said that transactions are likely to drop by as much as 18 per cent to around 6,550.
“In the second-hand residential market transactions are slowing down as owners have become more ambitious [with asking prices] and some have even raised asking prices, narrowing the room for bargaining,” the agent said.
Coupled with new residential launches that are competing for buyers, the number of second-hand transactions may soften by 20 to 30 per cent this month, the agent added.
Another agent expects that the overall sales figure in June to decline by up to 12 per cent to around 7,000 in June.
“Second-hand bargain properties have been purchased, and sales have slowed down,” the agent said. “The primary market is seeing launches with restrained pricing, which has diverted second-hand buying power.”
(South China Morning Post)
Hong Kong homebuyers mark Dragon Boat Festival by buying all flats at Sun Hung Kai’s Silicon Hill project in New Territories
Silicon Hill’s first round is priced 6 per cent lower than the average price of lived-in homes at SHKP’s St Martin development
Young buyers are betting on the future of Pak Shek Kok, a property agent said
Hong Kong homebuyers turned out in droves on the Dragon Boat Festival holiday on Friday and snapped all homes that Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) offered in New Territories, despite an expected hike in interest rates and the city’s weakened economy.
All 170 homes put on the market at Silicon Hill in Pak Shek Kok in the city’s northeastern Tai Po district were sold as of 5pm, agents said. Another 18 homes had been offered through tender and the results of these bids have not been made public yet.
The project comprises three phases and 1,871 homes, and its first round was priced at an average of HK$17,498 (US$2,230) per square foot, 6 per cent lower than the average price of lived-in homes at St Martin, which is a 10-minute walk away from Silicon Hill and was launched by SHKP four years ago.
“Many young buyers, aged around 30, bought their first homes, as the total price was not that high. They were also betting on the future of Pak Shek Kok, where the launch of a new MTR station has been confirmed,” a property agent said.
The city’s home market has been robust in recent months, defying an expected interest rate hike and still weak economic growth. The cost of buying a house locally is rising, with the benchmark one-month Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate (Hibor) expected to rise to 1.5 per cent in the third quarter of this year. It will follow the same upwards trajectory as the higher interest rates set by the US Federal Reserve and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
At the same time, the local jobless rate in the three months ending April rose to 5.4 per cent, its highest level in 12 months, and about 206,100 people were out of work in this period.
At the same time, a price index of lived-in homes compiled by the Hong Kong government edged up 0.4 per cent to 390.8 in April and was about 1.5 per cent shy of the 396.9 recorded in May 2019.
Analysts said they expected the increase in May to amount to 1.5 per cent, which meant the index could break this record. And if the index rose by about 1 per cent in June, it could climb to the unprecedented 400-point mark.
The cheapest unit on offer at Silicon Hill was a 291 sq ft studio priced at HK$4.96 million. About 3,200 bids were received for the first batch, which means about 18 people were vying for every unit on sale.
“It is mainly due to the easing of the Covid-19 outbreak. Homebuyers expect things will bottom out in the second half,” another property agent said. New home sales were expected to rise to 2,000 units this month, as new developments gradually enter the market, the agent added.
(South China Morning Post)