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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Jan 21, 2023〉House prices in the UK are on track to drop 8 percent this year - the first annual drop since 2011 - after declining for four months in a row, according to one of the nation's biggest mortgage lenders.

Halifax said its measure of property prices fell 1.5 percent last month after a 2.4-percent decline in November.

Its figures are similar to a reading from the Nationwide Building Society, which last week reported the longest slump in prices since 2008.

Soaring interest rates and a tightening cost-of-living squeeze are weighing on the property market. The average cost of a home was 281,272 (HK$2.66 million), according to Halifax, down 4.3 percent from a peak of 293,992 in August.

〈The Standard, Jan 20, 2023〉The volume of transactions for new homes in Shenzhen rebounded by 10 percent monthly to 2,850 last month following the lifting of most Covid curbs in China, prompting experts to expect a gradual recovery of the market after the Lunar New Year.

Following China's reopening, inquiries made by Hongkongers regarding Shenzhen properties increased, indicating revived interest.

Data from the Shenzhen government showed 2,850 new units were purchased last month, 10.04 percent higher than November, though that was still lower than the 3,328 deals seen in October.

〈Hong Kong Business, Jan 19, 2023〉The vacancy rate of Grade A offices rose to 12.1% by the end of last year on the back of new completions in non-core areas, JLL reported.

Based on JLL’s latest Hong Kong Property Market Monitor, vacancy rates increased across all submarkets.

In Central and Wanchai/Causeway Bay, the vacancy rate marginally rose to 8.8% (vs 8.7%) and 10.2% (vs 10.1%), respectively.

Meanwhile, vacancy rates increased to 11.1% in Hong Kong East, 11.0% in Tsim Sha Tsui, and 19.5% in Kowloon East.

〈Asian Post, Jan 18, 2023〉Hong Kong’s residential transaction volume is seen to post a “healthy rebound” in the first half of 2023 due to a low base comparison, CBRE said in a report.

During the residential property price correction from September 2015 to March 16 when it dropped 11.3% from its recent peak, and from July to December 2018 when it was down 9%, transaction volume also dropped significantly within a short period, CBRE said.

“With price correction bottoming, transaction volume rebounded immediately, as buyers took a wait and see approach entered the market without hesitation,” it said.

〈The Standard, Jan 17, 2023〉As Hong Kong returns to normal and China reopens, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the economy is starting to pick up growth.

He said the market will benefit from the "one country, two systems,” making Hong Kong the only place where “China advantages and international advantages converge.”

“In many different areas such as financial services and innovation and technology, Hong Kong plays the role of connecting the Mainland and the world, thereby actively contributing to the prosperity and sustained development of Asia,” Chan said in a luncheon at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.