Sellers push values up in secondary market

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 September, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 September, 2000, 12:00am

Sellers of homes in the secondary market are asking higher prices, but most prospective buyers remain hesitant.

Property agents said transaction volume last weekend was much the same as the previous week, despite stronger sentiment boosted by last week's auction result.

Home owners were standing firm on asking prices, prolonging negotiations with buyers, who were holding out for discounts.

Agents said it would be more difficult to settle sale and purchase agreements.

Transactions mainly focused on small units priced between HK$1.5 million and HK$2.5 million, indicating people wishing to upgrade were still taking a cautious approach to the market.

Centaline Property Agency managing director Shih Wing-ching said there was no significant increase in transaction volume over the weekend, despite improving market sentiment.

He said sales in the primary market also slowed, especially those in Yuen Long, after developers raised prices for remaining units.

He said home prices would not fall further, and that there would be 3 per cent to 5 per cent growth by the end of the year.

'The price growth probably will sustain as the market is improving gradually,' he said.

Fortune Realty managing director James Tin Kwok-keung said the positive land auction result confirmed the market was turning around.

Transactions were still dominated by small units with home sales mainly focused on units in the HK$1.5 million to HK$2.5 million price range.

He said people looking to upgrade probably would turn to the primary market, considering most new developments ready for pre-sale were large units.

Mr Tin said prices would increase steadily, predicting 5 per cent, particularly for major housing estates.

Midland Realty executive director Victor Cheung said the difference between transacted and asking prices would narrow to 5 per cent from 10 per cent.

The company had concluded 250 transactions in the past three days, the same as the previous week.

Mr Cheung said the positive outlook had brought investors and tenants back into the market and he expected about 10,000 property transactions this month.