Proposed revival of subsidised housing fails to hurt mood Defying concerns over the resumption of building flats under the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS), transactions of second-hand homes continue to grow, according to estate agents. Amid limited new supply and increased demand, a total of 561 purchases of second-hand homes at 50 major housing estates were reported from October 1 to 7, according to Ricacorp Properties. This represented a 19 per cent rise from the previous week, it said. Midland Realty also reported a rising trend in the secondary market, with 335 deals recorded at 35 housing estates, the highest number of transactions in a week so far this year. Hong Kong Property chief executive Fredy Wu said the proposed resumption of government-subsidised housing under the Home Ownership Scheme did not bring any impact on buying sentiment. Some members of the Housing Authority, which advises the administration on public housing policies, are pushing for the relaunch of the authority's Home Ownership Scheme to build affordable accommodation for the less well-off. Up to 5,000 flats were proposed to be launched, Mr Lau said. The number was insignificant in a bull market, said Midland Realty chief analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai. Agents said the positive performance in the secondary market was helped by buyers' growing confidence in the housing market, spurred by such factors as cheap mortgage, sound economy and low unemployment rate. Mr Lau said the limited supply of new flats also pushed homebuyers to the secondary market. At least seven large-scale residential developments will start offering a total of about 10,000 flats before the end of the year. Add to these big-scale launches a number of smaller developments coming to the market as well as relaunches of unsold flats, and the number of units available for sale could reach more than 15,000 units, according to Midland Realty. These include the first phase of Dream City, now known as Lohas Park Phase One, in Tseung Kwan O, and an 800-unit upmarket development, the Cullinan at Kowloon Station, which is jointly developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties and MTR Corp. SHKP and New World Development's 2,470-unit Hung Hom Peninsula project in Hung Hom, now known as Harbour Place, is also expected to be launched in the last quarter. So far no major projects have been launched. With the continued rise in transaction volumes, the number of deals this month, which will be announced by the Land Registry in early November, could exceed 10,000, Mr Lau said. The best performance so far this year was recorded in July, with purchases of more than 10,000 units in the secondary market. Mr Lau expects the number of transactions to reach 95,000 for the whole of the year, the second-highest total after 1997 when the market peaked.