Property ‘headed for a U-shaped rebound’

Aiden He

Hong Kong’s property market has reached a short-term bottom and may see a U-shaped rebound in the future, said Shih Wing-ching, the founder of Centaline Property Agency.

The market is now settling down, but the medium and long-term prospects will depend on the performance of the real economy, Shih said on a television program yesterday.

The rebound may not be V-shaped but it is also not L-shaped that will always stay low, he noted.

Shih believes that the pace of US interest rate hikes will be slower even if rate cuts are out of the question in the near future as the Federal Reserve has to balance economic and employment factors.

Regarding the Housing Bureau’s latest estimation that some 105,000 new private residential homes may be available in the coming three to four years, Shih said the bureau was “playing with numbers,” pointing out that the actual number completed every year was only around 20,000 homes, about 10,000 fewer than in the eighties.

Meanwhile, Centaline recorded a total of 13 deals in the 10 major housing estates over the weekend, down from 14 a week ago.

Its rival Midland Realty saw a 7.1 percent week-on-week rise in the top 10 estates transactions to 15 even amid the traditional off-season Lunar New Year.

Sammy Po Siu-ming, chief executive of the residential division for Hong Kong and Macau, said the border reopening and expectations of a less-hawkish Fed continued to boost the overall market sentiment as well as transaction numbers.

Many homeowners are optimistic about the outlook and have raised their asking prices, Po said. He expects the market to be even more buoyant in February.

Primary market sentiment has also improved of late.

Henderson Land Development’s (0012) One Innovale Cabanna in Fan Ling recorded two deals yesterday, sending total sales this month up to 143 flats.

In Ho Man Tin, 128 Waterloo, co-developed by Top Spring International (3688) and Chun Wo Development, sold a 1,258-square-foot flat with four bedrooms for HK$34.75 million, or HK$27,623 per sq ft via tender.

A total of four flats with four bedrooms were sold in the month with the developers raking in over HK$130 million.

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