August flat sales soar 42pc and the ride isn't over yet

Registrations top 8,000 and analysts expect strong demand will continue this month

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2012, 1:37am

Registered home sales surged nearly 42 per cent last month, signalling a return to robust demand, which analysts expect will continue this month.

Land Registry data shows it registered 8,087 sales and purchase agreements for flats in August, up 41.7 per cent from 5,709 in July. It includes sales conducted in July, as deeds can be lodged with the registry within 30 days of completing a transaction.

"The rise in sales was caused by panic buying, fuelled by the possible launch of QE 3 [quantitative easing]," said Patrick Chow Moon-kit, head of research at Ricacorp Properties. "While the stock market remained sluggish, buyers rushed to purchase properties to hedge against inflation."

With the launch expected this month of residential projects such as Sun Hung Kai Properties' Century Gateway Tuen Mun and the Henderson Land-led consortium's Double Cove in Lok Wo Sha, Chow predicts the number of sales and purchase agreements could climb a further 17 per cent this month to 9,500 transactions or more.

The value of sales could surge from HK$39.7 billion to between HK$50 billion and HK$60 billion, he added, boosted by both higher sales and rising home prices.

SHKP's deputy managing director Victor Lui Ting said a 2,570 sqft duplex at Century Gateway cost HK$70 million, or HK$27,000 per sqft. The developer may launch at least 30 units as early as this Saturday at an average price of HK$13,000 per sqft, or at least HK$15 million per unit.

Henderson Land's general manager of sales Thomas Lam Tat-man said one of the top-floor units at Double Cove would be priced at around HK$98 million, or HK$28,000 per sqft.

The August data from the Land Registry shows total sales and purchase agreements lodged for registration, including the sale of non-residential properties, increased 34.7 per cent month on month to 10,377, or up 41.2 per cent year on year.

The total value of all property transactions registered in August was HK$54.2 billion, up 15.7 per cent month on month and 32.6 per cent year on year.

Midland Realty analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai said the effects of last week's measures to raise the supply of land and flats would only begin to be seen in Land Registry data for October.

Since the secondary home market was active in the first half of last month, he expected the number of registered sales would rise to 10,000 this month.