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Hong Kong stamp duty

Hong Kong second-hand home sales rebound to 7-week high after new curbs

Seven-week high for sales, but they're still below level before latest curbs came in

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 May, 2015, 12:48pm

Secondary home sales rebounded to a seven-week high in the week to last Sunday - the highest level since the government launched a new round of cooling measures in late-February.

There were 93 sales in the city's 50 largest private housing estates according to Ricacorp Properties data, up 13 per cent from 82 sales the previous week.

"Sales of flats with smaller lump-sum prices have quickened as they are less affected by the austerity measures, hence the overall sales of secondary homes continued to climb," Ricacorp director David Chan said.

On February 22 the government announced new measures, including a doubling of stamp duty for homes and non-residential properties valued at more than HK$2 million, and requiring buyers of non-residential properties to pay stamp duty earlier.

Second-hand home sales then dived from 117 deals in the week ended February 18 to as low as 57 in mid-March before climbing to 93 last week, according to Ricacorp.

Of the sales last week, 54 were in the New Territories, up from 42 the previous week.

However, sales of second-hand homes dropped by one on Hong Kong Island, to just 13. In Kowloon, sales remained stable at 26.

Sixteen estates, including Grand Promenade, Heng Fa Chuen, Villa Esplanada and Metro Harbour View, had no sales last week, down from 19 estates the previous week.

"As the avian flu outbreak gets more serious on the mainland and the storm on the Korean peninsula may erupt, some owners may lower their asking prices to retreat from the market," Chan said. "So the price gap between buyers and owners is expected to narrow and this may boost secondary home sales to over 100 transactions next week."

New-home sales also rose, with 41 flats selling last weekend, up from 33 the previous weekend. BNP Paribas, a bank, said 18 of the sales were at Henderson Land and New World Development's The Reach in Yuen Long.

"We note some developers are now more willing to offer incentives to boost sales, such as Kerry's Lions Rise in Wong Tai Sin and Henderson's High Place in Kowloon City," BNP Paribas property analyst Patrick Wong Chi-leung said. More property owners were willing to cut prices, attracting end-users to enter the market, he said.

The firm expects secondary-market sales to gradually rebound from current low levels.