Homebuyers shift to secondary market

Government unlikely to remove curbs as sales of used homes rebound in HK

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 August, 2014, 2:15pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2014, 2:08am

Sales of used homes in Hong Kong rebounded sharply as buying interest shifts from the primary sector, where supply is limited, with no major new launches over the past weekend, agents said.

As a growing number of homes changed hands at record prices in the secondary market, analysts said the government would be unlikely to remove its cooling measures in the short term.

"The performance of the secondary market improved last week, with home-seekers quickening their purchase decisions," said Patrick Chow, head of research at Ricacorp Properties.

As a limited number of newly completed homes were offered for sale, he said, most vendors stood firm on their asking prices.

"Previously, potential buyers hoped to get a bargain by asking for a price cut of HK$200,000. But now most transactions are only about HK$20,000 to HK$50,000 lower than the asking prices," Chow said.

Market watchers said a three-bedroom, 592 sqft unit at Kornhill in Quarry Bay sold for HK$7.19 million, or HK$12,145 per square foot, last week, a record in per-square-foot terms for the estate.

In the same district, a two-bedroom, 402 sqft unit at Nan Fung Sun Chuen changed hands for HK$5.25 million, or HK$13,427 per square foot, also a record by per square foot for that estate.

There were 233 transactions at 50 housing estates during the week to August 10, up 32 per cent from a week earlier, a survey by Ricacorp showed.

"It was the most in the past 14 weeks, while transaction prices also edged up 0.8 per cent," said David Chan, a director at Ricacorp.

The number of transactions on Hong Kong Island increased 53 per cent, leading other districts, with 29 deals done.

"As a limited number of units are being offered for sale in the secondary market, sales volume is unlikely to increase significantly in the short term," Chan said. "But demand from upgraders will continue to grow, and sales in the secondary market will be dominated by upgraders rather than first-time buyers in coming months."

A survey by Midland Realty also showed the pick-up in sales over the weekend, with 18 flats changing hands at the 10 largest residential estates tracked by the agency, up 60 per cent from the previous weekend.

In the primary market, close to 100 homes were sold over the period.