Everything about Landscope Christie's International Real Estate and the Hong Kong luxury property market

Up and Down

The global financial and commodity markets have experienced a roller-coaster ride in the past few weeks, triggered by inflation and interest rate hike fears. The local property transactions are victimized as buyers shun the market. Sellers have to slash price to meet buyers' demand, which has been weakened since last March. For the first time since the market recovery after Sars in 2003, punters have suffered real loss as they sold properties that were bought a year ago.

In some instances, Southside properties have been sold 3% to 5% lower than the acquisition cost a year earlier. It's common for properties to be listed for over 6 months before sold, unlike same time last year when it usually took 2 months. Successive interest rate increases have added burden on buyers and waned sellers?confidence. When the market was expecting to see the end of interest rate hike, the Federal Reserve had moved the goal-posts again. Following the turmoil in the financial market, the property market was thrown into a mess and lost its direction, as conflicting signals were sent across the board. Sellers are now taking initiative to reduce price and allowing for greater flexibility on negotiation. Stocks for sale are on the increase in all upscale residential areas.

On the leasing front, the owners have enjoyed a better fortune. Due to seasonal factor. there are more new tenants and relocating tenants from May to July every year. In Midlevels Central, leasing stocks in the range of $70,000 to $100,000 per month are quickly absorbed; their counterparts in Southside found more activities in the $40,000 to $60,000 per month brackets. Growing economy has prompted business expansion in all sectors but the financial service industry is among the fastest-growing and is the most generous in staff housing allowance. This will continue to benefit the leasing market in the near future.

By Annette Young