Strong growth in Macau market to continue, consultant says

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 February, 2011, 12:00am

Demand for homes in Macau will remain robust this year, with strong economic and employment growth anticipated and interest rates still low, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

The international property consultant said in a recent report that the residential market in Macau performed well last year, with sales of new and pre-occupied homes rising.

In the first 11 months of last year, 16,035 sale and purchase agreements were made, exceeding the full-year totals for both 2008 and 2009.

In the luxury market, home prices rose 9.6 per cent from a year earlier, and gained as much as 6.2 per cent in the first six months alone. In the mass- and medium-residential market the gains were even bigger, with full-year growth of 17.8 per cent year on year.

On the leasing side, rents for high-end homes rose an average of 4.8 per cent year on year in 2010, while those in the mass- and medium market rose by 10.9 per cent.

Jones Lang LaSalle also highlighted a change in the buyer demographic for homes.

'Local end-users have replaced overseas investors as the major source of demand for Macau's residential properties after the global financial crisis,' it said.

Jeff Wong, Jones Lang LaSalle's head of residential in Macau said that before 2008, about one-third of the demand for homes was from foreign investors, but in the past two years that figure had dropped to no more than 10 per cent.

Wong said several new projects were scheduled for completion this year, comprising 2,486 homes.

Last year 3,423 homes were completed.

Notable projects include One Grantai, The Riviera Macau, and Lake View Tower.

Wong said that while the costs of holding property were expected to remain low, providing a favourable environment for residential investment, a drop in the supply of new flats this year and in 2012 would give developers more power to determine prices.

On the leasing side, the property consultant expects that expatriate demand will rebound with the resumption of some construction projects and the opening of new casino resorts.