The biggest sale of Hong Kong apartments in nearly five years took place over the weekend, however there was limited interest from buyers. This was probably due to the buyers not being interested in these particular Hong Kong apartments, which were unsold in earlier launches. The buyers were more interested in purchasing new Hong Kong apartments. According the sales agents, out of the 435 units listed for sale, they were buyers for only 152 Hong Kong apartments. Additionally 187 homes were listed for tendering and results will be known only later. This is in contrast to the prices a year ago, and low property sales have become the new norm in Hong Kong according to real estate experts.
There are some exceptions like the sale of 375 Hong Kong apartments in the new Grand Marine project in Tsing Yi of the Grand Ming realty group on Friday, after the largest commercial banks in Hong Kong reduced their rates after eleven years. Real estate agents said that home buyers have become more choosy, especially in areas where protest rallies against the government are being held. In Sham Shui Po, protestors had clashed with the police in August, and only 13% of the Hong Kong apartments were sold. Similarly in Tai Po where protests are held frequently, only 38% of the units were sold. In Shau Kei Wan, 74% of the one eighty project was sold.
Real estate experts claim that these sales number are satisfactory for left over real estate units. One of the reasons for the reduced home sales was the poor timing. On the weekend many areas of Hong Kong like Central, Causeway Bay, Kowloon and Wan Chai saw clashes between the police and the protestors who were throwing petrol bombs. Tear gas and water cannons were used by the police on the protestors, who vandalized the office of Xinhua, the official news agency of China. As a result, overseas property developers from Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and UK have increased their efforts to attract property buyers from Hong Kong by conducting marketing seminars.
The average price of Hong Kong apartments again reduced in September by 1.8% compared to the previous month. This was the fourth month of decline and the Rating, Valuation Department claims that it was the steepest decline in nine months. The Centa-City Index also declined. This information is relevant to Hong Kong which is facing its first recession in more than ten years. The growth in the third quarter declined by 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. This was larger than expected, and the Dutch ING bank has predicted the growth could further decline by 5.8% if the protests continue. Other banks have also predicted negative GDP growth, since retail, tourism will be affected, leading to recession.