Home sales jump in month's first half

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 August, 2012, 4:51am

Hong Kong property sales surged in the first 16 days of August compared with the same period last month, according to the city's major estate agencies.

And the sharply rising trend would continue in the next couple of months, they said. Data compiled by Midland Realty showed 5,291 property transactions lodged with the Land Registry Department in the first 16 days of August, up 46 per cent on the 3,625 transactions lodged over the same 16-day period in July.

The transactions included sales of new and second-hand homes, as well as industrial and commercial properties and car-parking spaces, but the increase was mainly in home sales, Midland said.

Because of a time lag of about four weeks between buying a property and registering the sale, the data for the first half of August reflect sales transacted in the first two to three weeks of July. The data showed that sales of new homes rose 41.7 per cent to 1,053 deals in the first 16 days of August, while sales of second-hand homes rose 63.8 per cent to 3,232 deals, according to Midland.

Centaline Property Agency said home sales rebounded after the July 16 announcement by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying that a secondary market in Home Ownership Scheme dwellings would be opened up for 5,000 applicants each year without requiring a land premium.

The Centaline-City Leading Index has risen to a historical high, reaching 106.85 points based on transactions from August 6 to August 12, up 1.01 per cent from the previous week and now 3.92 per cent up from its previous peak in October 1997. The index tracks secondary market home prices, with the benchmark of 100 reflecting prices in July 1997.

The Centa-City Leading Mass Index, which tracks prices of mass housing estates in the secondary market, rose at an even faster pace, up 1.47 per cent on the week to 104.85.

Centaline expects total property transactions registered with the government this month to jump 27.2 per cent from July to 9,800.

Other agencies confirmed the rising trend. Ricacorp Properties said it monitored 3,262 deals by August 16, up 65 per cent from the same period in July.

"Taking into account the recent buoyant sentiment, the transaction numbers registered with the government will continue to rise in the next two months, but at a slower pace," Patrick Chow Moon-kit, head of Ricacorp's research department, said.

Ricacorp said 58 second-hand flats were sold at 10 selected housing estates over the weekend, the same as the previous weekend.