Hong Kong housing

Even Hong Kong property owners want to see housing prices drop

Survey found 46 per cent of respondents who owned at least one private sector flat hoped prices would drop, while about 22 per cent wanted prices to keep rising

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 April, 2017, 4:24pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 April, 2017, 6:58pm

Almost half of property owners in Hong Kong hope housing prices will go down, according to a survey by the Democratic Party.

In telephone interviews with 651 Hong Kong residents between March 15 and 30, it found 46 per cent of 254 respondents who owned at least one private sector flat hoped prices would drop, while about 22 per cent wanted prices to keep rising.

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About 21 per cent hoped prices would remain at the current level.

“The survey shows that the majority of Hong Kong citizens, no matter whether they have owned a flat or not, believe the current housing prices are too high and hope prices drop,” said party lawmaker Andrew Wan Siu-kin, vice-chairman of the Legislative Council’s panel on housing.

Some 89 per cent of all respondents felt flats were too expensive and 63 per cent hoped prices would drop.

About 47 per cent said their lives would be better if prices fell, while only 9 per cent said lower prices would make their lives worse. About 66 per cent said the government should intervene in the market to influence prices.

The government raised stamp duty for the second time in three years last November to 15 per cent in an effort to curb market speculation and soaring prices.

But chief executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor admitted recently that efforts to suppress prices had failed and said she would tackle the issue with a “starter home” scheme once she assumed office on July 1.

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“From the results we can see citizens widely support the government to introduce more effective housing policies to control the heating property market now,” Wan said.

Home prices in Hong Kong, the world’s least affordable major city, rose for the 11th consecutive month in February to an all-time high.

Property agents have reported record-breaking deals at a number of estates. A 676 sq ft three-bedroom flat at Royal Ascot in Fo Tan recently sold for HK$9.62 million, the highest price paid for a flat of such size at the estate, according to Centaline Property Agency.

A new project in Sai Ying Pun, 28 Aberdeen St, offered the first 10 one-bedroom flats, measuring 407 sq ft, for between HK$11.9 million and HK$15 million after a 10 per cent discount on Friday.

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Prices have broken records even in public housing estates, with a 544 sq ft flat at the Hin Keng Estate in Sha Tin selling for about HK$5 million earlier this month, the highest among all public housing trades.