Hong Kong property

Sales of second-hand Hong Kong flats stagnant as buyers wait on price cuts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 May, 2013, 2:34am

Sales of second-hand homes in Hong Kong remain stagnant despite a lack of new-home launches to draw buyers' attention.

Just eight flats sold at the 10 largest estates tracked by Centaline Property Agency over the weekend, versus 10 the previous weekend. Midland Realty's index of 35 estates fell 5 per cent week on week to 52 sales, which was little more than a third of the 2012 weekly average of 143.

Ricacorp Properties' survey of 50 estates gave a rosier picture, with sales of second-hand homes rising 29 per cent to 138 flats in the week ending May 5.

Agents said sales had risen slightly as some buyers were willing to speed up sales by cutting prices. But most buyers and sellers had a wait-and-see attitude.

The latest Centa-City Leading Index, which tracks second-hand home prices at 100 housing estates, rose 0.11 per cent week on week to 118.84, giving year-to-date growth of 2.6 per cent.

Only five new flats were sold last weekend, down from 101 the previous weekend, a BNP Paribas report said. Only two projects have been available for sale since new regulations on the sale of new homes came into force on April 29.

Swire Properties launched the first batch of 30 flats in its Dunbar Place development in Ho Man Tin last week at an average price of HK$20,869 per square foot of saleable area. According to BNP Paribas, 16 flats have been sold so far.

HK Ferry was also reported to have sold three flats in Green Code in Fanling over the weekend.

According to a report from Nomura, developers are preparing to release new sales brochures for projects. Activity in the new-home market may begin to pick up as a result, but most of the near-term effort from developers appears to be centred around relaunching old projects rather than brand new projects, the report released yesterday said.

Patrick Wong, associate director for property research at BNP, said more potential buyers visited second-hand properties in light of the limited launches of new homes. However, most remained cautious and expected more aggressive price cuts from owners, he said in a report.