Home sales rise as owners cut asking prices
Home sales in the secondary market picked up in the past week as more flat owners cut their asking prices.
Analysts said the outlook was negative, with prices edging down.
There were 143 units sold from February 24 to March 2, according to property agency Ricacorp Properties, which tracks sales activity at 50 estates.
"That's a 16 per cent rise on the week," Ricacorp director David Chan said.
Chan said flat owners were more willing to cut prices after new property levies came into force the week before.
He cited a unit with 685 square feet of saleable area that sold for HK$8.48 million, or HK$12,380 per sq ft, HK$520,000 less than the asking price of HK$9 million in November.
The new legislation contains two measures to address concerns about an inflated property market.
It gave effect to a 15 per cent levy on non-permanent-resident and corporate buyers and an expansion of duties paid on quick resales of property.
Lawmakers are now considering a bill to enforce a measure that doubles the buyer's stamp duty. The new rate ranges from 1.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent, depending on the cost of the property, and applies to non-residents and residents who already own a flat.
After falling for two weeks, the Centa-City Leading Index of Hong Kong home prices rebounded 0.3 per cent week on week to 117.77. This narrowed the year-to-date loss to 1.1 per cent.
But analysts expect prices to continue to dip.
"Home prices have not fallen too much so far, but the trend is to edge down," said Li Kwok-suen, a fund manager at Phillip Capital Management.