Home deals stay low as buyers await measures

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 September, 2010, 12:00am

Home sales in both the primary and secondary markets in Hong Kong remain low as buyers expect further measures to cool rising prices.

Sales of second-hand homes rose a modest 2 per cent to 302 in the week to August 29 from the previous week, according to data compiled by Ricacorp Properties.

In the primary market, home sales rebounded last weekend with 30 units sold, an increase of 42.9 per cent week on week.

But the figure was still low compared with the 102 flats that changed hands over the weekend prior to the announcement of policy-tightening measures on August 13, according to Samsung Securities.

Sellers were refusing to cut prices to speed up sales while buyers continued to wait and see, David Chan Tai-wai, Ricacorp director, said. He said buyers were waiting to see if more measures to cool prices would be announced in the chief executive's policy address on October 13.

According to Centaline Property Agency, home prices last Friday stood at 83.61 per cent of the level in 1997 and were 1.8 per cent higher than a month ago.

Buyers were also looking to the coming land auction results, Chan said. Two sites will be put up for auction on September 29. One is a residential site at the junction of Fan Leng Lau Road, Wo Muk Road and Luen Hing Street in Fanling, and the other plot is on Lin Shing Road in Chai Wan.

Last Friday, a site at 3 and 5 Ede Road was triggered for auction at the guaranteed minimum bid of HK$1.053 billion. The site will go under the hammer on October 12. Kerry Properties acquired 1 Ede Road for HK$1.285 billion, or HK$16,587 per square foot, the most expensive in Kowloon in terms of unit area price.

'The cautious sentiment will continue in the next few weeks and weekly sales in the secondary market will be at the 300 level,' Chan said.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah forecast that 61,000 flats would be supplied over the next three years. According to the Lands Department, 18 residential development projects were pending for pre-sale consent as of August 31 - the highest in 10 months. They involve a total of 8,401 units.

Midland Realty chief analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai said buyers still had choices for new flats as there were still 5,100 unsold primary units in the market as of July 31.

Waiting game

Sellers refuse to cut prices while buyers sit on their hands

The number of secondary homes sold in the week to August 29: 302