Bumps in Hong Kong’s property market

January registered the lowest sales of new and secondary homes in Hong Kong since 1991. Since September, housing prices have fallen 11 per cent. But considering the 370 per cent rise in property prices since 2003, the fall may not be as drastic in comparison.

Tai PoPhoto: Properties for sale in Tai Po, Hong Kong.

A recent land sale by the Hong Kong government went for almost 70 per cent lower than a similar sale last September. A 405,756 sq ft Tai Po land site was sold at HK$2.13 billion (S$382.6 million) last Friday to Asia Metro Investment. Most of the land sales buyers of late have been mainland Chinese developers. Hong Kong property agencies and developers are focusing their efforts on selling off existing inventory and have been offering discounts to bring in the buyers and investors.

There may be an increase in mainland Chinese-developed properties in future as they are often willing to take narrower margins in order to shift their money out of the country, especially if the yuan continues to devaluate.

Property industry experts are expecting home prices in the Hong Kong to fall 10 to 15 per cent this year, and are closely watching the signs from the weakening Hong Kong and China economies.