Hong Kong’s home price index fell for a fourth straight month in January, with industry experts expecting flat values will slide more rapidly in coming months after average transaction values in the secondary residential market dropped HK$1.6 million. The Rating and Valuation Department’s monthly supplement released on Monday showed the general price index for private homes declined to 278.7 in January, the lowest figure since December 2014. “Home prices continued to fall in February with average transaction home prices falling below the HK$10,000 per square foot level for the first time since November last year,” Midland Realty chief analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai said. He said that from February 1 to February 26 there were 1,647 deals done in the secondary residential market with a total value of HK$8.6 billion. That meant the average transaction value amounted to HK$5.23 million, HK$1.6 million less than the HK$6.8 million per deal when home prices hit a new high in September, he said. The transaction volume has fallen below 30 deals for the past 27 weeks Jeffrey Ng, Hong Kong Property Services (Agency) Average prices in February were HK$9,855 per square foot based on saleable floor area after a 10.2 per cent decline from HK$10,970 per sq ft in August last year, based on transactions tracked at 100 housing estates by Midland Realty. “It is the lowest in the past 15 months,” Lau said. Hong Kong Property Services (Agency) said the number of transactions at 20 major housing estates for the week of February 22-28 rose 150 per cent from a week earlier to 25 deals, given that owners were willing to cut selling prices. “But the transaction volume has fallen below 30 deals for the past 27 weeks,” Hong Kong Property Services (Agency) senior executive director Jeffrey Ng said. “It indicates the softening in the secondary residential market.” Centaline Property Agency said secondary home prices at South Horizons in Aberdeen registered the largest fall with a month-on-month decline of 8.4 per cent to HK$11,537 per square foot in February. Rating and Valuation Department data indicates flats smaller than 430 sq ft in the New Territories lost about 17 per cent from the peak to HK$8,862 per square foot in January. The home rental index also fell for a fourth consecutive month in January to 186.8, down 4.9 per cent from September’s peak. The index for flats of 430 sq ft to 752 sq ft on Hong Kong Island registered a month-on-month fall of 5.2 per cent to 362 in January, according to Rating and Valuation Department data. After a tender closing at 5pm on Monday, Sino Land announced it had sold six deluxe houses at Botanica Bay, Cheung Sha, Lantau Island, for a total HK$740 million at an average price of HK$24,837 per square foot. The 5,573 sq ft House No 8 fetched the highest price of HK$164.45 million, or HK$29,508 per square foot. Twelve of the 16 houses at Botanica Bay have now been sold. Separately, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said the number of mortgage applications in January fell 2.3 per cent month on month to 6,440.