Mortgages on finished homes rises 12 per cent in September

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 October, 2013, 2:49am

The number of mortgages registered for finished homes in Hong Kong rose 12 per cent last month, driven by the completion of a major housing project in Tuen Mun that required buyers to secure their home loans, a mortgage brokerage says.

September saw 6,457 mortgage registrations for completed flats, up from 5,767 in August, mReferral Mortgage Brokerage Services said.

Monthly figures have stayed below 10,000 since August 2011, said Sharmaine Lau Yuen-yuen, the brokerage's chief economist. "It reflects that the secondary residential market remains stagnant and the trend is unlikely to be reversed in coming months. Mortgage figures for the final quarter will continue to find the floor," she said.

The brokerage attributed the surge in home loans last month to the completion of Century Gateway in Tuen Mun, noting the Sun Hung Kai Properties project accounted for 600 mortgages.

For the third quarter, the total number of mortgages registered for completed flats was 18,661, down 9.4 per cent from the second quarter. "It is the lowest quarterly figure since the first quarter of 2012," Lau said.

With the weakening mortgage market, she said banks had become more aggressive in offering attractive financing to lure borrowers. The incentives had boosted the major banks' market share in home loans, she said.

Bank of China - the city's largest mortgage lender - raised its market share to 18.9 per cent last month, from 17.7 per cent in August, after securing 1,219 registered mortgage deals.

It was followed by Hang Seng Bank, which increased its share to 16.2 per cent, from 14.7 per cent in August, after concluding 1,043 loan deals.