Small glimmer of hope as sales dip

Business | Avery Chen 5 Aug 2019

The secondary housing market remained subdued over the weekend, affected by weekly political unrest in Hong Kong and the escalating Sino-US trade war, while home buyers poured into the first-hand market driven by robust demand of small flats.

Only two deals were recorded in 10 major estates over the weekend, one in Taikoo Shing in Quarry Bay and the other in Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom, according to Centaline Property Agency.

Midland Realty reported three transactions in 10 major estates, representing a 40 percent decline week on week.

Some property agencies closed operations at branches in Tseung Kwan O yesterday due to a protest in the district.

Centaline and Midland Realty saw the number of home viewings in the area fall by 90 and 50 percent, respectively, yesterday.

Sammy Po Siu-ming, chief executive of Midland Realty residential division, said local home buyers are continuing in their wait-and-see approach to the secondary market amid increasing volatility in Sino-US trade tensions, the external economy, as well as local political chaos. The launch of first-hand homes also turned customers away from the second-hand market.

In the primary market, Great Eagle (0041) sold 120 apartments of the second batch of 124 units at Ontolo in Pak Shek Kok on its launch on Saturday.

Louis Chan Wing-kit, Asia-Pacific residential chief executive at Centaline Property Agency, said the primary housing market is supported by solid market demand, and mortgage rebates offered by developers. In addition, interest-rate cuts in the United States and Hong Kong are a boon for the housing market. He believes market sentiment will recover after the social unrest settles down.

Po expects many developers will launch new projects this month to stimulate the housing market and boost transactions.

Meanwhile, Billion Development delayed its press conference of its new project Aurora in Tsuen Wan to tomorrow as a city-wide strike looms today. The first batch is expected to offer over 200 flats and set to be launched as soon as mid-August.

Billion Development will put 196 units at the Horizon in Pak Shek Kok for sale by tender on Thursday.

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