Secondary transactions equal 12-month low in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2008, 12:00am

Sales in Hong Kong's secondary property market equalled a 12-month low last week, with only 240 deals concluded.

The 240 transactions in the 50 key housing estates monitored by Ricacorp Property was the lowest since the week of August 13 to 19 last year, when the same number of units changed hands.

This means sales are even lower than the week of February 4 to 10 - during the Lunar New Year holiday - when 255 transactions were recorded.

Average transaction prices dropped 1 per cent from a week earlier, posting a seventh consecutive weekly decline.

'Housing prices have now dropped 5.5 per cent compared with the peak at the end of March,' said David Chan, a Ricacorp director. 'But home seekers are still looking for deeper discounts and while they are unwilling to move unless their price demands are met, owners are staying firm on their asking price, thus resulting in a stagnant market.'

Separately, property agents said transactions in the primary market continued to languish at record lows with just three units sold, the same number as the previous week.

'No new project launches and a lack of promotional campaigns to attract buyers remain the chief reasons for the stagnant market,' said Vincent Chan Kwan-hing, chief executive of Midland Realty.

He said the Olympics had also had an effect on activity since potential buyers were watching the Games rather than going house-hunting - a situation that was similar to the soccer World Cup in 2006. He expects transactions to rebound after the Games close and more new projects are launched for sale.

Market watchers generally expect Seasons Monarch, a residential project developed by Cheung Kong (Holdings) in Kam Tin, and Le Bleu Deux by HKR International in Tung Chung will be launched for pre-sale within the fortnight. The two projects are scheduled for completion in the second quarter of next year.