Hong Kong second-hand home prices stable as sales volume picks up

Secondary market records 19-week high, but primary market quiet due to lack of launches

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 4:07am

Prices of second-hand homes in Hong Kong have been stable, with the number of sales picking up at a gradual pace.

There were 195 transactions at 50 housing estates during the week from June 3 to 9, the most in 19 weeks and up 9 per cent from a week earlier, according to a survey by Ricacorp Properties.

A survey by Centaline Property Agency also showed the pick-up, with 19 flats sold last weekend at the 10 largest residential estates tracked by the agency, up from 13 the previous weekend.

Ricacorp said the bigger increases were seen in Kowloon and the New Territories, where more mass housing estates are located. However, sales at nine housing estates dropped 13 per cent week on week.

In the new-homes market, two flats sold last weekend compared with none the previous weekend.

BNP Paribas property analyst Patrick Wong Chi-leung said new-home sales were down because of a lack of sales launches for new projects. Also, most owners of existing homes had become less willing to cut prices, which meant prices in the secondary market had remained fairly stable over the past month.

According to Centaline, the latest Centa-City Leading Index, which tracks second-hand home prices at 100 housing estates, rose 0.91 per cent week on week to 120.14. In the year to date, prices are up 3.8 per cent.

"The impact of tightening measures on pricing is becoming less significant, particularly for mass units," Wong said.

"This may trigger more potential buyers to conclude their deals in the secondary market in the short term."

He expects the government to speed up the approval of pre-sale consents for developers to begin marketing projects in order to increase the supply of new homes.

"We are positive on the upcoming new launches of mid-end units, which are likely to attract pent-up demand, and those likely to benefit include Cheung Kong (Holdings), Henderson Land and New World Development," he said in the newly released report.