Sales of secondary homes in Hong Kong edged higher thanks over the holiday weekend, but sales of new flats rose more strongly.
Research by property agency Midland Realty shows 15 flats were sold between Saturday and Monday on the 10 major housing estates that it monitors. That compares with the 12 transactions recorded on those estates over two days the previous week.
But sales dropped if compared on a daily basis, with five deals a day recorded during the holiday compared with six a week ago.
The school examination season in May and June was traditionally a quiet period for the market, property agents said.
'In the primary market, asking prices of new residential projects in Kowloon are close to secondary prices in the area and this drew some of the home seekers' attention away from the secondary market,' said Midland Realty executive director Vincent Chan Kwan-hing.
Secondary market sales were weak in Tseung Kwan O, where Cheung Kong released its new project, The Beaumount, said Midland sales manager Ronald Wong. However, leasing demand in the area was strong and this was supporting the market.
In North Point's mid-levels just 12 flats were sold in June. 'That was the fewest in history. Even at the height of the Sars health scare there were still 30 homes sold a month,' said Ken Fung, senior manager at Ricacorp Properties in North Point. 'People adopted a wait-and-see attitude because of poor market sentiment and the prospect of a new government.'
Willy Liu Wai-keung, managing director of Ricacorp Properties, said June was a traditionally low season for the property market as many families held back buying plans while their children prepared for their year-end examinations.
Liu said he expected secondary market sales to rebound in the middle of this month.