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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Mar 11, 2023〉Property transactions in the primary market surged 66 percent in February from the previous month as a series of stimuli, including the tax cut on first-time buyers and the full opening of the border continue to prop up the market.

As of February 27, new home sales recorded more than 830 units from about 500 units in January last month. When compared to transactions in February last year, it saw a year-on-year increase of nearly six times.

In terms of value, the amount sold exceeded HK$11 billion last month, up by 12.4 percent from a month earlier. It also recorded a 5.4 times growth when compared with figures of last February.

〈Hong Kong Business, Mar 10, 2023〉The rise in residential market transactions will be gradual following the border reopening between Hong Kong and mainland China, according to JLL’s report.
Home prices may have regained ground but transactions continue to be at low levels. In January, residential market sales were 18.7% down from the 2022 monthly average of 3,755.

“Also, purchasing activities by non-local buyers were tepid. Only 34 transactions involving Buyer's Stamp Duty were recorded in January, compared to a monthly average of 53 in 2022,” the report also said.

〈Asian Post, Mar 9, 2023〉Hong Kong ranked 5th amongst the top markets for prime and ultra-prime properties globally, Knight Frank reported.

The Pearl of the Orient, alongside Singapore, was the only two markets in Asia that made the top 10.

According to the report, Hong Kong had 28 ultra-prime transactions and 125 super-prime transactions for the year.

In Hong Kong, US$1M can buy 31 square metres of prime property, making it amongst the priciest markets.

〈CNN, Mar 8, 2023〉The property market in China is so depressed that some banks are resorting to drastic measures, including allowing people to pay off mortgages until they are 95 years old.

Some banks in the cities of Nanning, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Beijing have extended the upper age limit on mortgages to between 80 and 95, according to a number of state media reports. That means people aged 70 can now take out loans with maturities of between 10 and 25 years.

China's property market is in the midst of a historic downturn. New home prices had fallen for 16 straight months through December. Sales by the country's top 100 developers last year were only 60% of 2021 levels.

〈Hong Kong Business, Mar 7, 2023〉Hong Kong’s more relaxed COVID restrictions were unable to lift the city’s real estate investment sales, data from Savills showed.

According to Savills, the relaxations did not offset the “headwinds from a global economic slowdown and rising interest rates.”

In Q4, commercial investment volumes across the retail, industrial, office and hotel sectors, excluding land sales and deals worth over US$10m, contracted by 2.5% QoQ and by 44.3% YoY in Q422.

Savills, however, believes that the border reopening will have a good impact on investment sales moving forward, adding that it will trigger some “office leasing demand from wealth management firms and insurance companies to return in early 2023.”