Hong Kong home prices decline most since 2008: Centaline

Hong Kong home prices fell the most in four-and-a-half years in the week ended July 7, on concerns that interest rates will begin to rise if the US Federal Reserve phases out its monetary easing program later this year, the Bloomberg news agency reported.

Prices fell 1.8 per cent during the week, the most since November 2008, according to an index compiled by Centaline Property Agency, the city’s biggest closely held realtor by agent numbers.

Home transactions fell to the lowest since 1996 in the first half after the government doubled stamp duty taxes on property deals in February to quell concerns that an asset bubble is forming. Homebuyers’ sentiment was further damped by signals that interest rate will soon begin to increase as the US economic recovery gather strength.

“The drop reflects the impact of the Federal Reserve’s comments,” Wong Leung-sing, an associate director of research at Centaline, said. “The local buyers are worried and we are seeing some homeowners agreeing to cut prices. The market is very weak.”

Source : Today – 12 July 2013

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