Hong Kong home prices rise for 7th month, near record high

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong private home prices rose 0.46% in July, official data showed on Friday, just short of a record high, supported by strong pent-up demand and hopes that mainland Chinese buyers will soon return.

FILE PHOTO: Cable cars move past residential flats at Lantau island in Hong Kong, China May 30, 2018. Picture taken May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

The prices in one of the most expensive property markets gained for the seventh month in a row, according to last month’s data, and compared with a revised 0.1% increase in June.

Realtors expect the price index, which stood at 396.3 in July, will break the 396.9 record posted in May 2019 in the third quarter.

“A high turnover in the market is positive for buyers’ sentiment,” said Thomas Lam, executive director of Knight Frank. “The buying power can persist into end of year.”

According to an index of realtor Centaline that tracks the secondary home market, prices broke a historical high in early August, before softening 0.5% in the following week.

The realtor said potential buyers were now turning more cautious to chase after record high prices.

Another real estate agent, Midland, expects overall home prices could rise at a slower pace until the border with mainland China reopens.

In a survey published last month, Midland, who interviewed 1,112 people, said the percentage of respondents showing their willingness to buy a property and buying for investment both reached the highest levels, and 51% of respondents said they expected prices to rise in the next six months.

Hong Kong’s one-month interbank rate, which many mortgage rates are linked to, stayed at over 11-year lows and also helped to support the market.

($1 = 7.7812 Hong Kong dollars)

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