Property transactions fall 7.2pc

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 August, 2007, 12:00am

Total property transactions in Hong Kong fell 7.16 per cent last month to 11,121 deals from June because of fewer purchases of second-hand homes and slower transaction activity in the commercial and industrial markets.

The figure was 67 per cent higher than that in the same month last year, according to the Land Registry, highlighting the general improvement in sentiment this year.

Total transaction value fell 3.46 per cent HK$38 billion from HK$39.36 billion in June but 84.11 per cent higher than last July's HK$20.64 billion.

'Despite the modest decline, the overall market sentiment is not bad,' said Buggle Lau Ka-fai, chief analyst at Midland Realty.

This is the fourth straight month that the market saw total transaction volume over 10,000 deals this year, according to Centaline Property Agency. Last year, it was only in September that monthly transactions totalled more than 10,000 deals.

'[July's] performance is better both in the primary and secondary markets [compared with the same month last year] as a lot of buyers are interested in properties valued at below HK$2 million,' said Mr Lau.

That segment gained attraction after the government earlier this year raised to HK$2 million from HK$1 million, the value of a property transaction that would be charged only a minimal fixed stamp duty, instead of a heftier percentage of the price.

Figures at the registry normally reflect transactions conducted in the previous four weeks.

Home purchases, including new and second-hand units, fell 4.8 per cent to 9,188 deals - a smaller degree of decline compared with the overall market performance.

While transaction volume of second-hand properties fell 7.5 per cent to 8,800 deals, more buyers sought new flats, with transactions in this sector growing 18 per cent to 1,200 deals, said Mr Lau.

Commercial and industrial properties fell 17 per cent over last month, he said.

Property agents said the secondary luxury residential market slowed in July after a robust performance in the past few months.

Meanwhile, Bank of China (Hong Kong) beat its rivals in the mortgage loan market for the 11th consecutive month last month, according to mortgage brokers Centaline Mortgage Broker and mReferral.

The bank had an 18 per cent market share in July, followed by HSBC Holdings with 11.9 per cent and Hang Seng Bank, 10 per cent, the brokers said.

Good volume

Total property transactions declined last month to 11,121

Figure still higher than number of deals in the same month last year by 67%