Policy boost for prices

Technology | Stella Zhai 7 Nov 2019

Owners of small- to medium-sized homes are raising prices by 5 to 10 percent or suspending transactions after the government eased mortgage rules for first-time buyers last month.

The government raised the cap for the value of properties eligible for mortgage loans.

Under these rules, purchasers can borrow up to 90 percent of a home's value up to HK$8 million.

The measure has spurred sentiment in the secondary market, especially for units priced below HK$10 million, says Vincent Chan, managing director of online property agency Qfang.com.

Around 30 percent of sellers have sold their flats at a higher price or stopped current trading given more confidence in the market, he says.

Separately, Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai has seen 66 transactions as of October 30 - a 40 percent rise over a month earlier to a high of more than four years, said Centaline Property Agency.

Among these, a three-bedroom apartment sized 548 square feet sold for HK$5.8 million, or HK$10,584 per sq ft.

The seller raised the price after the policy address from the original asking price of HK$5.7 million and still found a buyer.

The city's major projects saw the majority of the transactions. A 378-sq-ft flat in Amoy Gardens in Kowloon Bay also sold for HK$6.15 million, or HK$16,270 per sq ft - 2.5 percent above the original asking price, according to Ricacorp Properties.

Meanwhile, a 304-sq-ft two-bedroom apartment in City One in Sha Tin sold for HK$5.4 million, or HK$17,763 per sq ft. A similar unit sold for HK$5 million in September, said Midland Realty.

Elsewhere, a first-time buyer acquired a 364-sq-ft flat in Metro City Phase 1 in Tseung Kwan O for HK$6.38 million, or HK$17,527 per sq ft. The price was raised by HK$80,000 after the policy address.

stella.zhai@singtaonewscorp.com

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