The buoyant economy has sparked a dramatic rebound in the second-hand home market, with more properties changing hands this year for more money than in any year since the financial crisis in 1997. According to property agents, 74,408 transactions were recorded with the Land Registry from the beginning of the year to Monday, a 61 per cent jump over last year. Their value was almost $1.7 billion, a seven-year high. Transactions last year amounted to about $714 million. Buggle Lau Ka-fai, the chief analyst at Midland Realty, said he expected the number of transactions and values to continue rising next year. 'Over the past year, second-hand home prices have risen about 30 per cent, but there is still some distance before we near the high values last seen at the peak of the market in 1997,' Mr Lau said. He estimated there would be 80,000 transactions next year, with an average increase of 15 per cent in prices. 'I believe the market will continue to rise and be more active in 2005,' Mr Lau said. 'However, values will not rise as fast as they did this year.' At the height of the property bubble in 1997, almost 146,000 second-hand flats changed hands at an average of about $6,208 per square foot. In October - the latest month for which figures are available - properties changed hands for an average of only $3,007 per square foot. The luxury market has led the way this year, with sales of second-hand homes valued at more than $20 million increasing nearly fourfold from 121 last year to 441, while prices have risen by about 265 per cent. Ricacorp Properties said a 1,400 square foot home in Island South sold this month for about $12.6 million, after having been bought in October for just $7.4 million.