Despite concerns raised that double stamp duty could slow demand, Hong Kong’s residential market remained robust in November, with sales increasing 138.5% year-over-year to 6,739 units, according to government data released on Friday.
The number of residential sales in November was 2.1% higher than October, with the total value reaching HK$61.6 billion (US$7.94 billion), up 13% from October and almost doubling that of November 2015, according to the Hong Kong Land Registry.
The latest data beat market expectations as many experts predicted home sales were likely to take a hit in the short term following the Hong Kong government raising stamp duties across the board to 15% in early November.
“The policy is expected to push investors into non-domestic sectors and homebuyers to the primary market, with developers offering various sweeteners to compensate for the tax payment. This, combined with seasonal effects, is expected to slow down residential sales in November and December,” said David Ji, head of research at Knight Frank Greater China, in a report published earlier this week.
However, home prices look to remain stable until the end of the year, according to Mr. Ji, as evidenced in the robust residential sales following the higher stamp duty.
In March, Hong Kong’s property market reached this year’s lowest point, with home prices dropping 13% from their peak in September 2015. But during the six months from April to October, prices rose a cumulative 8.9%, according to Knight Frank’s monthly report, citing data from Hong Kong’s Rating and Valuation Department.
The super-luxury sector remained strong, said Knight Frank. A number of major luxury residential sales were completed in October, including a high-floor unit in Mount Nicholson on the Peak, the priciest area in Hong Kong. It was sold for HK$749 million (US$96.6 million), or HK$85,000 per square foot (US$10,960 per square foot), making it the most expensive unit in the development.
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