Greater Bay gets break in decline

Overseas Property | Kevin Xu 16 May 2019

The Centaline Greater Bay Area Index, which measures residential housing prices in 11 cities in the area, rose 0.32 percent month on month in February to 105.46, marking the end of five consecutive months of declines.

Year on year, prices climbed 3.52 percent from February 2018.

Experts said property markets in the Greater Bay Area may have higher potential for appreciation than in other mainland cities amid increasing housing demand in the area.

Seven cities in the region recorded a slower pace of month-on-month drops in the price index in February - ranging from 0.51 percent to 3.43 percent - while eight cities saw year-on-year improvements.

In Foshan, the housing price index fell 3.43 percent to 130.13 in February compared to January. However, in terms of year-on-year growth rate, the city's housing prices jumped 20.42 percent from February 2018, the fastest among the 11 cities.

Dongguan, Zhongshan and Shenzhen followed, with February prices rising 4.08 percent, 1.69 percent and 1.31 percent, respectively from a year ago.

Zhaoqing and Jiangmen's prices in February grew 3.08 percent and 1.85 percent year on year, but slipped 0.88 percent and 1.29 percent from January.

In February, China released the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which guides the development of nine mainland cities and two special administrative regions, and aims at facilitating human resource flows and capital flows in the area.

The blueprint for the Greater Bay Area focused on cities like Guangzhou and Shenzhen, where property prices have soared in recent years. The two local governments have introduced measures to curb surging housing prices, which led to the capital outflows into surrounding regions such as Zhongshan and Huizhou.

Meanwhile, home prices in Macau and Zhuhai slipped 0.48 percent and 5.93 percent in February year on year.

But Macau's average housing price in the first half of March climbed 3.82 percent to HK$9,177.60 per square foot from HK$8,839.60 per sq ft during the same period last year, according to the Financial Services Bureau of Macau.

Centaline Asia-Pacific residential chief executive Louis Chan Wing-kit said the outline specified the positioning of each city in the Greater Bay Area, and would stimulate both the trading volumes and prices of the property market in the region.

Chan added that property prices and transaction volumes obviously declined in February, as most economic activities slowed during the Lunar New Year. However, he expects the housing prices would get "back on track" later with the easing of trade tensions between China and the United States, along with Beijing's tax cuts to stimulate the economy.

In Hong Kong, for instance, recent trading volumes in both the primary and secondary property markets rose rapidly.

Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, managing director of Vincorn Consulting and Appraisal, said the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area could achieve synergy effect among the 11 cities.

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