Secondary-market home sales fall to 18-week low

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 June, 2012, 12:00am


Sales of homes on the secondary market fell to an 18-week low for the week ended June 3, data from estate agency Ricacorp Properties show.

Transactions in the 50 largest private housing estates monitored by Ricacorp were down 10 per cent on the previous week to just 150, from 167 the previous week. There were no sales at eight estates, including Grand Promenade in Sai Wan Ho and Laguna City in Kwun Tong.

The sharpest fall was recorded in the New Territories, where just 72 deals were done in the 21 major estates in the area. Ricacorp director David Chan said sales in the New Territories and Kowloon were affected by the anticipated launch of several new projects in the area, and fell by 18 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.

On Hong Kong Island there were 25 sales on the nine monitored estates versus 24 the previous week.

'Many new projects are scheduled for release,' Chan said. 'And since asking prices of new projects launched recently are only slightly higher than secondary-market prices, this lured many home seekers away from the secondary market.'

The volatile stock market may also have dented sentiment, Chan said, and the result was that in City One in Sha Tin - one of the area's most popular housing estates - just six flats changed hands during the week, down from 12 a week earlier.

With sales of several new projects to start this week, buyers' and agents' attention would be diverted from the secondary market, Chan said, and secondary flat sales could drop below 130 this week, with falling demand likely to see prices easing as well.

A report by securities and investment banking group Jefferies noted abundant liquidity would probably support prices in the short term, but cautioned that in the longer term an increase in supply could affect prices. It expects prices to fall by 5 to 10 per cent in the next six to 12 months.