New housing projects attract end-users
New home sales rose during the Lunar New Year holiday as project releases attracted end-users and investors.
Sales in the secondary market slowed but prices reached a record high, according to property agents.
In the primary market, 151 units were sold between last Saturday and Wednesday, the most in a Lunar New Year break since 2004, according to a report released by BNP Paribas yesterday.
About 66 per cent of the sales were at Sun Hung Kai Properties' Residence 88 in Yuen Long, which was launched by the firm on Wednesday.
The recent increase in the primary sales has spurred more developers to consider speeding up their launches. Upcoming launches this month will include Imperial Kennedy in Sai Wan developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties; Graces in Tai Po, developed by Sino Land, Nan Fung Development and Wing Tai Properties; and Hong Kong Ferry's Green Code in Fanling.
In the secondary market, only two units were sold on the weekend at the 10 largest residential estates tracked by Centaline Property Agency, compared with four during last year's break and 19 the previous weekend.
According to Centaline, the latest Centa-City Leading Index, which tracks transaction prices of 100 housing estates, continues to break record levels, with growth of 1.29 per cent on the week and 4.2 per cent in the year so far.
BNP said the increases raised the risk of further tightening measures to cool the property market and lowered the appetite of potential buyers in the secondary market.
Thomas Lam, of Knight Frank, said the market rebounded in the absence of further tightening measures in the Chief Executive's policy address.
Lam said sales would strengthen next month with a sharp rise in supply.