Property prices 'have already settled down'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 December, 2009, 12:00am
 

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen believes property prices have stabilised and there is no disorder in the market that requires government action.

'I believe that the current property market, even for luxury flats, their prices have already settled down and I don't see a trend of a drastic increase,' Tsang told TVB yesterday. 'Most importantly, there are measures that we can take - we can fine-tune our land application list system and do more to increase supply.'

But the government had no need to take action, based on existing transaction prices and numbers, he said. There was no disorder in the property market and the government was monitoring the situation, he said.

'Our goal is that, we hope those who want to become property owners can afford to buy a flat,' he said.

In October, when a luxury flat in Mid-Levels sold for a world record HK$439 million, the chief executive repeatedly said mass-market flats were still affordable to the public and that prices were below their 1997 peak.

'I didn't mean that the 1997 price level was reasonable. The 1997 level, I think, was a very strange price beyond the public's affordability,' he explained, after critics said he was comparing current price levels with an unreasonable peak.

He said he used 1997 prices to illustrate there was no bubble in the property market. He said about 75 per cent of residents living in private flats were property owners, and that the government bore the responsibility to ensure prices would not drop suddenly.

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