Deals surge for starter homes as virus abates

Property | Staff reporter 15 Oct 2020

The land registry recorded 2,642 secondary transactions for homes priced between HK$5 million and HK$10 million in September, up 31 percent month on month, as the Covid-19 pandemic shows signs of abating.

That accounted for 60 percent of the total 4,356 secondary transactions in September.

By way of comparison, homes within this price range represented 58.5 percent of total secondary transactions in August - during the peak of the third wave of local Covid-19 infections.

Meanwhile, last month saw 1,097 transactions involving homes priced below HK$5 million, and 617 deals for homes priced above HK$10 million.

The local property market heated up in September as the SAR government relaxed social distancing measures, with developers hurrying to launch new projects.

Separately, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced an increase in the mortgage cap for first-time homebuyers in last year's policy address. The value of properties eligible for the 90 percent loan to value ratio was doubled from HK$4 million to HK$8 million in an attempt to prop up the sluggish market.

Meanwhile, at 14 out of the 25 major housing estates, transaction prices saw increases of up to 8.3 percent compared to the beginning of the year.

In Yuen Long, transaction prices at Sun Yuen Long Centre jumped by 8.3 percent to about HK$13,000 per square foot as of September 20 from January. The number of flats available for sale also rose 5 to 8 percent from the beginning of the year, with most of them two-bedroom units priced around HK$6.2 million, according to Centaline Property Agency.

The average transaction price at Tsuen Wan Centre climbed by 7.6 percent to around HK$14,000 per sq ft last month compared to the beginning of the year. Most of the sold units are two-bedroom flats, which are being offered for around HK$5 million, according to Midland Realty.

In Kowloon Bay, transaction prices at Telford Gardens increased by 6.7 percent to about HK$14,300 per sq ft in September from HK$13,400 per sq ft in January.

However, 11 major housing estates saw transaction prices fall by up to 11.5 percent during the period.

In Hung Hom, the average transaction price at Laguna Verde fell by 11.5 percent to HK$18,300 per sq ft in September from HK$20,700 per sq ft in January.

Some homeowners at the estate are planning to sell the properties once the pandemic eases, according to Centaline. A 513 sq ft flat at the estate recently changed hands for HK$9.68 million, or HK$18,869 per sq ft, after HK$1.32 million was slashed from the original asking price.

In Quarry Bay, transaction prices at Kornhill dropped by 1.7 percent to HK$17,200 per sq ft as of September 20, compared to the beginning of the year. A 616 sq ft flat at the estate fetched HK$10.65 million, or HK$17,289 per sq ft, after HK$1.35 million was slashed from the initial asking price.

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