HONG KONG: Private home prices in Hong Kong eased 0.6% in October, weighed down by a bigger drop for large apartments, official data showed on Thursday.

The fall last month compared to a revised 0.4% gain in September, according to data from the Rating and Valuation Department. Prices have risen 0.4% so far this year.

Prices in one of the world’s most expensive property markets had been resilient despite the COVID-19 outbreak and political uncertainties, supported by strong demand and low interest rates.

Property agents expect new developments and relaxed social distancing measures in October to support sales and prices in the short term, although the outlook for 2021 is for further weakness.

Rating agency S&P said this week it expected Hong Kong home prices to fall a further 5% in 2021, due partly to rising unemployment.

Total transaction volume in the secondary market so far this year has surpassed the full-year volume in 2019, realtor Centaline said. It expects 2020 transaction value to exceed last year’s to become the third-highest on record.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Wednesday the government had no plan to adjust stamp duty rates for residential properties, citing tight housing supply and prices “beyond the reach of the average households”.



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