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Hong Kong housing

Hong Kong home prices surge to a record in November

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 December, 2016, 11:03am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 December, 2016, 11:36pm

Hong Kong home prices rose to a record in November, propelled by eight straight months of gains, even as the government unveiled a higher stamp duty to curb investment demand.

But market watchers expect home prices will ease back in December as the monthly data reflected the full impact of the revised stamp duty and a quarter-point interest rates rise in the United States.

The monthly price index for private homes stood at 306.6 last month, 0.16 per cent higher than the previous high in September last year, according to data released by the Rating and Valuation Department on Friday.

November prices were up 0.78 per cent on month, which is slower than 2.7 per cent month-on-month gain in October.

“We have seen quite a number of apartments changing hands at record prices as most owners are reluctant to sell unless they receive attractive offers,” said Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacrop Properties.

High-priced transactions were seen in mass and super deluxe residential developments.

Home prices in major housing estates soared to new highs with flats at South Horizons in Aberdeen reaching HK$16,497 per square foot, 12.8 per cent higher than the previous peak in September last year, says Centaline Property Agency.

However, prices at Taikoo Shing have not overtaken the previous peak. Average transaction prices at Taikoo Shing were HK$16,783 per square foot, 3.1 per cent below the previous peak.

In the Western New Territories, prices at Kingswood Villa in Tin Shui Wai, the largest housing estate in the district, climbed to HK$8,344 per square foot, 7 per cent higher than the previous peak in September last year.

In Kowloon, prices at the Linerte development in Cheung Sha Wan were HK$14,779 per square foot, 6.7 per cent above the previous peak level.

Separately, Wheelock Properties announced on Thursday it had sold at tender a 9,950-square-foot home at No 1 Mount Nicholson on The Peak for HK$1.08 billion or HK$108,543 per square foot.

Wong Leung-sing, associate director of research at Centaline Property Agency, said home prices had risen 8.2 per cent so far this year.

“But the Hang Seng Index just edged up 0.4 per cent this year. It showed the property market outperformed the city’s stock market this year,” he said.

Hong Kong blue-chip property stocks rose across the board after home prices surged to a record last month. Shares of Sun Hung Kai Properties, the largest developer in Hong Kong, increased 0.16 per cent to close at HK$98 and Cheung Kong Property was up 1.17 per cent to HK$47.55 on Friday.

Thomas Lam, senior director at Knight Frank, said the growth pace of home prices in December and January would slow or even slightly decline.

“With limited sales transactions, the data will have a hard time showing a clear picture of the overall market,” he said.

During the week to December 25, 76 units were sold at 50 estates tracked by Ricacorp Properties, down 10 per cent from the number of sales the previous week.

The monthly rental index for private homes fell 0.92 per cent to 171 last month, the first decline since April 2015, data from Rating and Valuation shows.