Hong Kong Property Price Falls Predicted

A slowing housing market in Hong Kong is still not slow enough to attract buyers, and analysts at Barclays Capital Asia predict prices may fall as much as …

A slowing housing market in Hong Kong is still not slow enough to attract buyers, and analysts at Barclays Capital Asia predict prices may fall as much as 30% in 2012. More conservative estimates from international bank Standard Chartered put the forecasted drop at 10%, and slowing sales seem to indicate people are prepared to wait and see what will happen. The government’s move to increase minimum down payment requirements expand land sales in an effort to avoid a housing bubble is working to drive down property prices that have spiked as much as 70% since 2009, but continuing price falls are now making some industry professionals and buyers anxious. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

Residential property prices in Hong Kong, which rose the most globally in the past year, may need to fall as much as 10% in 2012 before buyers are lured back, according to international bank Standard Chartered.

‘Most people are on the sideline. They are watching. They are waiting. In order for activities to go up, prices may have to come down to drive a little bit more interest,’ said Benjamin Hung, chief executive officer in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong property prices fell to a six month low in early November while the number of transactions the previous month fell to nearly a three year low, after the government increased minimum down payment requirements and increased land sales to curb a housing bubble.
However, some think prices may fall even further. According to Andrew Lawrence, head of property sector research at Barclays Capital Asia, they could drop as much as 30% by 2013.

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The government’s property curbs came after prices increased rapidly, more than 70% since early 2009. They surge was fuelled by record low mortgage rates, a shortage of new housing supply and an influx of buyers from other parts of China.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the city’s de-facto central bank, has asked lenders to keep more reserves as part of their counter cyclical measures, according to chief executive Norman Chan. He said that loan growth may slow next year on lower mortgage lending.

Prices have fallen by 4% from their peak in June, according to an index compiled by Centaline Property Agency, the city’s biggest privately held realtor. The number of home deals in November fell 64% from a year earlier, according to Land Registry figures.

Yu Kan-hung, a senior managing director at CBRE in Hong Kong said that prices will probably fall 10% next year before transactions return to a more normal level of around 8,000 to 10,000 deals a month.

The number of home sales has dropped to below 5,500 a month from July to November, according to Land Registry figures.

‘Lower transactions combined with a not significant adjustment in the property price suggest that people are watching. I don’t think there’re a lot of desperate sales,’ said Hung.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.


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