The Real Deal Miami

Despite an overall surge in 2018, Hong Kong property sales have slowed since summer

Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Properties, cited “macro uncertainties from the US-China trade war" among other reasons why Hong Kong property sales have declined
January 06, 2019 03:00PM

(Credit: iStock)

The annual volume of property sales in Hong Kong reached its second-highest level in 2018. But sales have been slower since summer, and they were especially scarce in December.

A total of 79,185 properties of all types were sold in Hong Kong for HK$729 billion, the second-highest amount since 1997, when property sales in the special administrative region totaled HK$868 billion.

But the number of Hong Kong properties sold in December, including apartments and offices, totaled 3,024 – a 23.5 percent decline from November and the lowest number of December in 28 years.

“Buyers are pondering and trying to figure out where the market is going,” Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Properties, told the South China Morning Post. “Given the macro uncertainties from the US-China trade war, and possibly more US rate hikes during the first half, they won’t move [in the property market] in a hurry.”

Ricacorp estimates that 50,000 residential units in Hong Kong will be sold in 20119, which would be about 10 percent fewer than this year.

Developers are expected to cut prices for thousands of new residential units that will hit the Hong Kong market this year.

Jeffrey Mak, property analyst at CGS-DINV Securities, told the South China Morning Post that he expected developers to offer new residential units for HK$15,000 per square foot.

“In good times, they could fetch HK$18,0000,” Mak said.

Hong Kong home prices have fallen by 7.2 percent since peaking in July, following 28 months of price appreciation since April 2016. [South China Morning Post]Mike Seemuth