Hong Kong prop­erty mar­ket shat­ters price

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS - HONG KONG -AFP

Hong Kong's pri­vate home prices broke his­toric records for the 13th straight month in Novem­ber, with the ascent show­ing no im­me­di­ate signs of end­ing and an­a­lysts ex­pect­ing the rise to con­tinue into next year.

Pri­vate home prices rose by 1.08 per­cent in Novem­ber, mark­ing the fastest pace of growth in six months, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by the Rat­ing and Val­u­a­tion Depart­ment re­leased on Fri­day. The in­dex, which be­gan its climb in April 2016, surged 13.1 per­cent year-on-year.

The city's flats are ranked the sec­ond most ex­pen­sive in the world af­ter Monaco, ac­cord­ing to data from prop­erty con­sul­tancy Knight Frank, which shows US$1 mil­lion would only buy 200 square feet of prime prop­erty in Hong Kong, as op­posed to 270 square feet in New York or 320 in Lon­don.

"Prop­erty prices are high and it's un­af­ford­able for most or­di­nary peo­ple," said Thomas Lam, a se­nior di­rec­tor with Knight Frank. "But right now, I can­not see any ma­jor fac­tor that will dras­ti­cally bring down prop­erty prices in the short run."

Hong Kong leader Car­rie Lam said dur­ing an in­ter­view last week the gov­ern­ment "has no ways to curb prop­erty prices," adding while she would do her best to seek more land to boost sup­ply, she has never promised to turn around the price rise.

Ma­jor prop­erty con­sul­tan­cies ex­pect Hong Kong's hous­ing mar­ket to re­main fever­ish in the com­ing year and climb a fur­ther five to 20 per­cent.

The gov­ern­ment has tried to rein in prices with ad­di­tional taxes and reg­u­la­tions, which came on top of the de facto cen­tral bank's eight rounds of mort­gage tight­en­ings since 2009.

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