September property sales sink to lowest level this year

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 October, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 October, 1997, 12:00am

Property activity continued to shrink last month, with registered transactions slipping to the lowest monthly level this year, according to estate agents.

Estimates produced by Centaline Property Agency, Midland Realty and Hong Kong Property Services (Agency) showed that only about 14,000 transactions were recorded by the Land Registry in September.

The figure is about 8 per cent less than August's activity, and 38 per cent down on July's level. Compared with this year's highest monthly activity of 25,572 deals in April, the September figure represented a fall of 45 per cent.

Centaline said the fall reflected the property market's continued consolidation, starting in June.

The agency said it expected to see a further decline in the number of registered deals in October.

The estate agents' estimates were based on information from the Land Registry, which is expected to announce the official figure within the next few days.

Centaline put the September transactions at 13,900, worth $5.7 billion, Midland estimated 14,000 deals worth $6.1 billion, while Hong Kong Property said there were 14,054 registrations with a value of $5.77 billion.

Midland said the fall was caused by fears of possible government intervention which subsequently discouraged buyers from entering the market.

Hong Kong Property said speculative activity slowed further last month with only 8.2 per cent of secondary market transactions involving properties sold by confirmors.

It said the market was now dominated by end-users and long-term investors.

Owing to the normal time lag of about four weeks between transaction and registration, the September figure better reflects the market conditions in August.

The heaviest traded completed housing estate was Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai, with 179 transactions registered, about 15 per cent of which involved confirmors, according to Hong Kong Property.

Centaline said registrations of new private housing units dropped sharply by 32 per cent to about 1,500, as developers reduced the number of releases during the market correction in July and August.

Sales of second-hand flats in the New Territories reported the biggest decrease of 15.58 per cent, followed by a 13 per cent fall in Kowloon and a 9.59 per cent fall on Hong Kong Island.

The average price of second-hand flats was $5,918 per square foot, an increase of 1.89 per cent over the previous month.