The decline comes despite developers forecasting rising home prices next year Property transactions recorded by the Land Registry dropped 14 per cent last month from October as demand softened in the primary market for flats. Total transactions in all property types came in at 9,648 last month, down from 11,219 deals in October. The value of transactions dropped 33.6 per cent to $21.3 billion as weaker demand - especially in the high-end segment - affected sales. The drop-off comes despite positive talk from leading property developers, which continue to forecast rising home prices over the next 12 months. Residential prices have reportedly climbed 10 to 15 per cent since August. New World Development chairman Cheng Yu-tung said yesterday home prices would increase by up to 10 per cent next year. 'The residential market should be good next year after seeing a gradual economic recovery, and the retail market is performing well. Home-buying interest has also been fuelled by overall improved sentiment,' Mr Cheng said. 'Property prices will not jump significantly, but within the range of 8 to 10 per cent.' Mr Cheng's forecast came a day after Henderson Land Development chairman Lee Shau-kee said he expected home prices to climb 10 per cent next year. Property agents attributed the drop in transaction activity to a decline in home sales in the primary market. Among last month's deals, 7,811 were residential sales - a 16.5 per cent drop from October. The value of residential transactions was $17.6 billion, down 36.4 per cent from the previous month. The total, however, better reflects market activity in October due to the four-week time lag between transactions and registrations. Ricacorp Properties executive director Willy Liu Wai-keung said: 'Following a sharp rebound, the housing market needs some time to consolidate.' He expected the residential market would continue to consolidate but hoped for a rebound after the Lunar New Year late next month. Midland Realty chief analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai said buyers had turned cautious after developers raised prices by 5 to 8 per cent for their remaining unsold units. But he noted sales of flats on the secondary market reached more than 5,000 - slightly lower than October's figure - as sellers were more conservative in pricing after aggressively marking up flats in September.