Quantitative easing (QE) refers to large-scale asset purchases by the US Federal Reserve to inject liquidity in the world’s biggest economy after the onset of the global financial crisis in late 2008. In September 2012, stubbornly high US unemployment and faltering economic growth prompted it to launch QE3, under which it planned to buy US$40 billion worth of bonds per month, with no set end date. As of late 2012, it had bought some US$2.3 trillion in long-term securities. In December 2012 it announced it was increasing its purchases to US$85 billion a month.
QE3 boosts price of HK flats, say agents
Key index shows market rising despite cooling measures and tightening property loans
The third round of quantitative easing (QE3) by the US Federal Reserve has boosted the average price of flats in the 100 major housing estates in Hong Kong to record highs.
The Centa-City Leading Index compiled by Centaline Property, which reflects average prices at 100 mass and luxury housing estates across the city, climbed 0.3 points to 110.14.
The data, which was released yesterday, is based on the formal sale and purchase agreements handled by the firm and signed from September 24 to 30.
It also showed the average price is 10.14 per cent higher than at the market peak in 1997.
Excluding the transactions in the major 15 luxury estates, the Mass Centa-City Leading Index, which reflects the average price on 85 large mass housing estates, also climbed 0.62 points to 108.55, a new record high for two weeks.
Wong Leung-sing, an associate director of research at Centaline Property Agency, said: "The index has shown the immediate impact of QE3 on the Hong Kong property market. There has been property price growth, despite the government releasing cooling measures and tightening property loans."
Wong believes property prices will continue to rise.
The market has posted a number of record-breaking transactions recently.
According to the firm, a 514-square-foot flat at Healthy Gardens in North Point was sold for HK$5.1 million, or HK$9,922 per sq ft, both a record for the housing estate.
The vendor bought the flat for HK$1.3 million in August 2003, meaning the capital value of the flat has surged 292 per cent in nine years.
Another record-breaking deal was seen at Tsing Yi Garden. A 432-square-foot unit was sold for HK$3.1 million, or HK$7,176 per sq ft, the highest ever in the housing estate in terms of average price.
In the primary market, Wheelock Properties released the first batch of 30 flats at Kadoorie Hill in Prince Edward Road West for sale yesterday.
According to agents, about 20 flats have been sold so far, with prices ranging from 18,000 per sq ft to 20,000 per sq ft,
The developer said it could generate HK$1.1 billion if the 30 flats sold.