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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Dec 24, 2022〉More than 11,000 completed apartments have yet to be put on sale, which is 3.4 times the 2,500 units at the end of last year and the highest level in recent years, reports Sing Tao Daily, sister publication of The Standard.

The unsold units are spread out over 23 projects. About 90 percent, or more than 9,700 units, are small and medium-sized. And about 45 percent - more than 5,000 units - are in the Kai Tak new development area.

〈The Standard, Dec 23, 2022〉Home deals priced below HK$10 million have become the major growth driver in the primary market, though the pandemic and interest rate rises this year have hit the property industry.

Data from agencies show that new homes priced at HK$10 million or below saw 1,919 transactions last month, accounting for 94 percent of total home purchases in the primary market.

That also caused new-home transactions to rise to 2,040 in August, marking a 15-month high.

The 94 percent seen last month is a steep climb from 45.6 percent in February, when the fifth wave of the pandemic hit Hong Kong, and brings key support for a sluggish property market.

〈Hong Kong Business, Dec 22, 2022〉With continued expansion of the wealth market, experts believe that the number of affluent individuals in Hong Kong will grow yearly by 3.3% between 2022 to 2026.

According to data analytics company GlobalData, the affluent population accounted for 56.7% of the city state’s total population at the end of 2021.

This year, GlobalData expects the affluent population, which includes mass affluent investors (holding liquid assets of $50,000–$1m) and high-net-worth (HNW) individuals (holding liquid assets of more than $1m) to grow by 3.7%.

〈Asian Post, Dec 21, 2022〉Hang Seng Bank has announced that it will be raising its prime lending rate by 25 basis points from 5.375% per annum (p.a). to 5.625% p.a.

The decision to adjust the rate was because of various market factors, including the macroeconomic environment, cost of funding, interbank rate levels and aggregate balance in Hong Kong’s banking sector, Diana Cesar, Executive Director and Chief Executive of Hang Seng said.

The bank’s Hong Kong dollar savings deposit rates for an account balance of $5k or above will also be increased from 0.375% p.a. to 0.625% p.a.

〈Asian Post, Dec 20, 2022〉Cushman & Wakefield experts predict a further 0% to 5% decline in residential prices in 2023 following slow market activity in 2022.

Year-to-date, prices have dropped more than 10%. Meanwhile, monthly transactions were averaging less than 4,000 units.

“Whilst buying sentiment in 1H 2022 was mainly affected by the fifth wave of the pandemic, the market witnessed other emerging impacts in 2H 2022, including rising interest rates and stock market volatility, which prompted buyers to remain cautious and transactions to slow in both primary and secondary markets,” C& W said.