Yam says rate rise could curb prices

Business | Samantha Wong 17 Apr 2018

Former Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Joseph Yam Chi-kwong said a gradual increase in interest rates may help suppress home prices in Hong Kong.

Ultra-low interest rates over the past few years have pushed up asset prices, Yam said in an interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

Hong Kong's housing policy should aim at providing affordable housing for every citizen to live in dignity, he said.

On home mortgage financing, purchasing power has switched from the secondary market to the primary market lately, Yam said some of the developers are offering over 90 percent mortgage loans for new projects, and that should be carefully monitored.

New World Development (0017) sold 11 apartments in Artisan House in Sai Ying Pun yesterday, and most of the buyers have reportedly opted for high-ratio mortgage plans, which provides up to 88 percent first home mortgage.

The latest batch sold in the nano-flat project are from 227 saleable square feet to 347 ssf, and priced from about HK$6.64 million to HK$10.85 million, or HK$29,200 to HK$31,000 per ssf.

While Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) sold a 1,173 ssf unit in its Victoria Harbour project in North Point for HK$66.9 million, or HK$57,033 per ssf. Since its pre-sale launch last year, SHKP sold 14 apartments of 355 units in the development on the former public housing site.

In Ho Man Tin, a special unit in CITIC's latest luxury project Kadooria was sold for HK$216 million, or HK$71,613 per ssf, market sources said. The apartment has a saleable area of 3,019 ssf, with a 423 sq ft platform and a 2,829 sq ft rooftop deck.

The developer has sold 31 apartments in the luxury development so far, for a total HK$2.9 billion.

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