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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Jan 20, 2024〉Some major housing estates in Hong Kong saw falls in valuations narrowing and even rebounding in recent weeks, a sign the local property market is being stabilized on supportive policies and expected interest rate cuts.

Among 20 bluechip housing estates, the valuations of 14 projects declined by 0.45 percent to 4.72 percent in December -- almost half of November's falls -- data from a property valuation platform of Hang Seng Bank shows.

Located in Lai Chi Kok, a 1,000-square-foot unit in Mei Foo Sun Chuen saw its valuation shrank by 4.72 percent monthly to HK$11.5 million, the most among all tracked targets. But the fall had been narrowed down compared to the 8.1 percent slide from January.

〈The Asian Post, Jan 19, 2024〉Based on the annual average sales of new homes of 16,400 from 2002 to 2023, JLL believes that there will be a “relative surplus” in Hong Kong’s housing market between 2024-2027,

Given the expected relative supply surplus, JLL said home prices in the region will face prolonged adjustment.

JLL explained that due to the long cycle of residential development projects, the housing supply always lags behind price fluctuations.

“When property prices are high, commencements of construction increase, and when prices are low, commencements of construction decrease. Hence, the residential completion figure exhibits a cycle that can last around a decade,” JLL said.

〈The Asian Post, Jan 18, 2024〉The October to December unemployment rate was 2.9%, unchanged from September to November.

Based on the data from the Census & Statistics Department (C&SD), the total number of unemployed people between October to December was 105,700, a drop of around 6,700 from the preceding three-month period.

"The unemployment rate decreased slightly across most major economic sectors," C&SD said.

Meanwhile, the number of underemployed individuals was 37,000, translating to a rate of 1%.

"Movements in the underemployment rate in different industry sectors varied, but the magnitudes were generally not large," C&SD commented.

〈Hong Kong Business, Jan 17, 2024〉There will be more choices and opportunities for commercial real estate investors in 2024 because of low-interest rates, stable market conditions, changing investor behaviour, and asset allocation strategies, a report by Cushman & Wakefield revealed

Against the high global interest rate, the GBA CRE investment market performed relatively stable in 2023, with the total annual investment volume reaching RMB66.1b ($73.51b). This marks the second-highest level of the last five years.

Cushman & Wakefield said that investment volume in the GBA accounted for about 30% of the overall mainland China investment market, representing a significant jump from 18% in 2018 when the GBA initiative was first introduced, reflecting investors' growing interest in GBA CRE properties. As for transaction numbers, on the back of improving buyer sentiment in the second half of last year, there were a total of 85 transactions in the GBA area in 2023, the highest in three years.

〈BBC News, Jan 16, 2024〉Home sales in the US sank to the lowest in nearly 30 years, as a sharp rise in interest rates increased costs for buyers and persuaded many potential sellers with lower rates to stay put.
Just 4.09 million homes were purchased, the fewest since 1995, as tight supply pushed prices to a new record, the National Association of Realtors said.
The organisation said it expected the market to improve in 2024.
But it warned that affordability would remain an issue.
The median sale price in 2023 climbed 1% over the year, to $389,800 (£307,625), according to the NAR, which publishes the widely tracked report on sales of existing homes, which account for the bulk of purchases in the US.