Secondary market rebounds after break

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, 12:00am

Home sales in the secondary market rebounded after the Lunar New Year holiday but Ricacorp Properties expects the number of transactions will decline in the coming week as sellers refuse to lower asking prices.

As prices continued to rise, some analysts expect the government to announce more supply-side measures to cool the market.

Secondary prices rose further on the back of strong demand and limited supply, sending the Centa-City Leading Index to 91.45, its highest since November 2, 1997.

Lee Wee Liat, the head of regional research at Samsung Securities (Asia), said: 'We expect the financial secretary to announce more supply-side measures in his budget speech on February 23 in order to rein in runaway property prices.'

During the week to February 13, 334 second-hand flats were sold, representing a rise of 116 per cent from the week to February 6. However, Ricacorp said the number of sales was still 42 per cent down on the 576 flats clinched in the week before the Lunar New Year (January 24 to 30).

Ricacorp director David Chan said the big gap between asking and buying prices would result in a lengthened negotiation. He expects the sales volume may drop 10 to 20 per cent this week.

In the primary market, sales also rebounded after the Lunar New Year holiday, with 22 flats changing hands on February 12 and 13, a week-on-week increase of 83.3 per cent, according to Samsung.

'We expect the upcoming launches by Cheung Kong and Sun Hung Kai Properties to be well received due to a lack of new launches over the past three months and the release of pent-up demand,' Lee said.

In particular, projects priced close to prevailing market prices should attract strong demand from buyers.