PROPERTY SALES
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Hong Kong Property

Hong Kong home sales plunge 41.7pc to record low in November

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 December, 2015, 7:43pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 December, 2015, 8:49am

Hong Kong home sales sank last month to a record low as an imminent interest rate in the US this month scared away prospective buyers.

According to Land Registry data, November saw 2,826 registered residential transactions, down 14.4 per cent from October and 41.7 per cent less than in November last year. In terms of value, residential transactions dropped 7.7 per cent month on month to HK$20.8 billion.
“Total home sales including those in primary and the secondary market dropped to the lowest level since we have started to gauge property transactions in 1996,” said Wong Leung-sing, an associate director of research at Centaline Property Agency.

He said prospective buyers in general held back their purchases in view of softening home prices and a potential rate hike also dented interest. Given the peg of the Hong Kong dollar to the US dollar, any increase in interest rates in Washington would impact the home market here.

“Sales volume in the secondary market fell for the fourth straight month to a 20-year low,” Wong said.

Hong Kong home prices fell 4.5 per cent after peaking in September, according to the Centa-City Leading Index, but was still up 6 per cent from the beginning of the year. Last week, 20 out of 50 housing estates monitored by Ricacorp Properties recorded zero transactions.

Sales of new homes also declined to a three-month low, said Centaline. In the primary residential market, the number of home sales also declined 26.4 per cent month on month to 1,023 last month, according to Centaline. The total value reached HK$8.97 billion, down 15.4 per cent from October’s HK$10.6 billion.

“The fall in transaction volume and value for new home sales due to an absence of big project launches early last month,” said Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Properties.

He expects to see an obvious increase in sales of new homes this month given more major projects are due to be offered for pre-sale.

“Most of new projects launches will focus in the western New Territories ,” he said.

In the upcoming weekend, more than 570 units in four new projects are due to be offered for sale. They are 238 units in the second round of Cheung Kong Property’s Yuccie Square in Yuen Long, Sun Hung Kai Properties will kick off the sale of the first batch of 269 units at Park Vista in the same area, Henderson Land Development will put 38 units at The Zutten in To Kwa Wan while Chinachem Group will release 33 houses and villas in Tuen Mun.

According to Land Registry, the number of overall registered property transactions including apartments, shops, office, car parking lots and industrial units, rose 5.5 per cent month on month to 4,736 last month, but 26.7 per cent lower than a year ago.

Total sales value fell 16.9 per cent to HK$29.8 billion from the previous month.

As deeds may not be lodged with the Land Registry until up to 30 days after the transaction, these statistics generally relate to land transactions in the previous month.