Secondary-market sales in Hong Kong at 20-week high with boost from HOS

Transactions up 15pc to 20-week high as buyers prefer second-hand flats to new projects

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 4:31am

Sales of homes in the secondary market rose to a 20-week high as the resale of government Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats got under way last week, luring potential buyers back into the market, said agents.

There were 233 transactions at 50 housing estates during the week ending June 16, the most in 20 weeks and up 15 per cent from a week earlier, according to a survey by Ricacorp Properties. Another survey by Midland Realty also showed the pick-up, with 125 flats sold last week at the 35 largest residential estates tracked by the agency, up from 19 the previous weekend.

"The beginning of the resale of HOS has brought new vitality to the market. We have seen the number of transactions increasing across the board," said Ricacorp director David Chan.

Three new homes sold at the weekend, up from two the previous weekend.

Hong Kong Ferry sold two flats at its Green Code development in Fanling, while Far East Consortium sold one flat at Sevilla Crest in Sham Shui Po.

BNP Paribas property analyst Patrick Wong Chi-leung said some developers had already published sales brochures for new projects and planned to relaunch sales at projects in the coming weeks. Projects where sales will be relaunched include The Reach, developed by Henderson Land and New World Development in Yuen Long, yoo Residence, developed by CSI Properties in Causeway Bay, and Serenade, developed by Hongkong Land in Tai Hang Road.

"We believe the government will speed up the approval of pre-sale consents in order to increase housing supply and moderate price increases in the secondary market. The increasing choices in the primary market will gradually attract pent-up demand and favour those with upcoming new launches of mid-end units like Cheung Kong, Henderson Land and New World," he said.

According to Centaline, the latest Centa-City Leading Index of prices rose 0.5 per cent week on week to 120.74, bringing price growth to 4.3 per cent since January.

The index has increased for five consecutive weeks since early May, showing the positive impact on secondary-home prices of the drop in releases of new developments for sale.