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Property News Weekly Digest
〈China Daily, Nov 13, 2021〉Fewer Hongkongers see home prices rising in the coming quarter after a run-up earlier in the year when buying was spurred by optimism over an economic recovery, according to a survey released by Citibank yesterday.

The number of people in the Citi Residential Property Ownership Survey who expected home prices to rise further fell to 38 per cent in the third quarter from 54 per cent in the second quarter.

The drop in sentiment among buyers was down to many entering the market in the first half of 2021, when they were optimistic about an economic recovery in Hong Kong, as well as an easing in the city's Covid-19 situation, said Josephine Lee, head of retail banking at Citi Hong Kong.

“This leads to the housing market being quieter for the next 12 months. So this quarter, it is reasonable for fewer respondents to expect property prices to rise,” she said.

Lee also said Citi saw home prices dipping over the coming months.

〈Asian Post, Nov 12, 2021〉Chinese monetary authorities may take further measures to ease macroeconomic policy to cushion an economic slowdown by the end of this year, as signals showed a rebound in credit growth, analysts said on Thursday.

Although the authorities will not use property as a conduit for short-term economic stimulus, "officials have instructed banks to accelerate mortgage approvals," said analysts with Fitch Ratings led by Andrew Fennell, senior director of the agency's sovereign service in Hong Kong.

That means policymakers are adjusting measures to avoid a big shock from the property sector that could magnify an economic growth slowdown, they said.

The latest official data showed that mortgage issuance to individuals stabilized in October. The outstanding amount of mortgage loans reached 37.7 trillion yuan ($5.89 trillion) by October, up by 348.1 billion yuan, compared with an increase of 246.8 billion yuan in September, the central bank reported on Thursday.

A report from China Securities Journal said on Thursday that lending by financial institutions to property developers has almost returned to "a normal status". Loans to property developers rebounded faster in October, which might be 150 billion yuan to 200 billion yuan more than the growth in September.

〈The Standard, Nov 11, 2021〉Two out of three Hongkongers need money from their family to buy their own home with an average of HK$1.86 million in financial support, while waiting times for public housing has ballooned to a 22-year high of nearly six years, according to a survey.

Citibank commissioned the University of Hong Kong Social Sciences Research Centre to conduct the survey in September, interviewing more than 500 respondents between 21 and 60 by phone on residential property ownership in the third quarter of 2021.

It found that 67 percent of respondents who have bought flats in the past 10 years had relied on financial support from their family, which was 15 percentage points higher from 10 years ago.

On average, they borrowed HK$1.86 million from their family members to become homeowners, up significantly from HK$500,000 a decade before.

Respondents also considered HK$5.8 million to be the average price of a property that can meet their accommodation needs, more than double the price of HK$2.7 million estimated 10 years ago.

〈Asian Post, Nov 10, 2021〉The average waiting time for a public housing flat in the city has edged upwards to 5.9 years, despite a long-standing Housing Authority pledge to allocate homes to applicants in no more than three.

The wait, the longest it has been in 22 years, grew by more than a month in the third quarter of this year, according to figures released by the authority yesterday.

Released every quarter, the statistics are used as a reference for current applicants, and are based on data collected from those who received public flats in the past 12 months.

As of the end of September, there were about 153,700 outstanding general applications for public housing from families and single seniors, and another 100,800 from non-elderly singles.

In the third quarter of 2021, flats were allocated to about 2,800 general applicants, some 270 of whom were single seniors.

The waiting time for single elderly applicants in the third quarter was slightly shorter than the overall average, at 3.8 years, though that was still the longest it had been since 2000.

〈The Standard, Nov 9, 2021〉Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) yesterday said it had won a sustainability-linked loan of HK$8.65 billion while also revealing that it recently paid another land premium of HK$3.72 billion for its Shap Sze Heung project in Sai Kung, bring the total premium paid to HK$19.6 billion .

Sun Hung Kai first forked out HK$15.89 billion in land premium in 2017, which was HK$3,193 per sq ft. This time, the premium per sq ft of floor area was HK$4,245, a 33 percent increase from four years earlier.

The developer also revealed that total number of residential flats skyrocketed by more than 92 percent to 9,500 units from 4,930 units in 2017 while the gross floor area grew by 17.6 percent to 5.85 million sq ft.

Meanwhile, its Kennedy 38 in Kennedy Town unveiled the first price list involving 70 units at an average discounted price of HK$26,888 per sq ft, around 5 to 8 percent lower than the second-hand project nearby.

Sales are expected to launch next week, according to Victor Lui Ting, the deputy managing director of SHKP.