Friday, July 10, 2020
Martin Hennecke

Home prices fall but affordability ratio soars
Average home prices in Hong Kong fell 5 percent during June to October but mortgage burdens remain high, deputy government economist Andrew Au Sik-hung said yesterday. Based on current property prices, the housing affordability ratio in the third quarter was 73 percent - significantly higher than 44 percent, the average ratio over the past 20 years. However, Au pointed out that the property supply in the next 3 to 4 years is still at a high level, reaching 93,000 units, and the number of private units completed from this year to 2024 will increase to an average of 18,800 each year. Meanwhile, according to the Estate Agents Authority, the number of licensed property agencies rose 18 to 39,544 in November, breaking a three-month decline. Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) put a number of commercial units and 38 parking spaces at Imperial Cullinan on sale for a combined price of HK$1.8 billion, or over HK$16,000 per sq ft. It also released the latest sales arrangement for Grand Yoho Phase 2, putting on sale 2 more 780 sq ft three-bedroom units which will begin receiving tenders on Friday. China Evergrande (3333) will release the price list of The Vertex in Cheung Sha Wan as soon as Friday. It is China Evergrande's first project in an urban area and provides 414 units ranging from 203 to 758 sq ft. In other news, the Sale of Home Ownership Scheme 2019, which had to be postponed due to the ongoing social unrest, announced the price lists of six HOS projects today. The building selection process can begin as soon as next Monday. According to the latest information from the Housing Authority, a total of 4,904 units will be launched this time - the most units launched since the resale of HOS flats began. There are 4,871 units from 6 new projects. These include Kwun Tak Court in Ho Man Tin, Hoi Tak Court in South West Kowloon, Sheung Man Court in Kwai Chung, Yung Ming Court in Tseung Kwan O, Kam Fai Court in Ma On Shan, and Yuk Wo Court in Sha Tin, while another 33 resale units will be launched for sale as well. The saleable area of the units range from 276 to 568 sq ft, and the selling prices have been reduced to 41 percent lower than market price, ranging from HK$1.56 million to HK$5.29 million. Meanwhile, the Housing Authority said approximately 75 transactions in the HOS secondary market were recorded in November - a 33.6 percent drop compared to 113 transactions in the same period in October. For secondary market transactions, Ricacorp has recorded about 7 transactions of flats in The Reach in Yuen Long in November, in which a 434 sq ft two-bedroom unit changed hands for HK$5.58 million, or HK$12,857 per sq ft, after an HK$120,000 price cut.

Previous news : Malaysia freezes second home scheme


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