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Secondary market deals rise 33%

HONG KONG: Secondary-market sales were up last week as buyer confidence continued to improve in the wake of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's policy address on Oct 13.

Property agents said buyers were back in the market because the policy address did not contain any tough new measures aimed at curbing property demand or price growth.

The weekly survey by Ricacorp Properties showed 804 preliminary sale and purchase agreements were signed during the week from October 18 to 24 in the secondary market at the 50 selected housing estates it monitors. This represented a 33% increase on the 606 deals done in the previous week.

The biggest increase was recorded in the New Territories, where sales were up 57% to 413. On Hong Kong Island, 153 agreements were signed, up 24% from a week before. In Kowloon, the number of transactions rose 8% to 238.

With a lack of large-scale launches of new projects, primary deal volumes remained at a low level, with 31 flats sold last weekend, an increase of 29.2% week-on-week, according to Samsung Securities. Lee Wee Liat, regional head of property research at Samsung Securities, said a number of new launches were coming on stream. "With the relatively high level of secondary transaction volume, we expect more new launches in the primary market in early November," he said.

The largest among the planned new launches will be phase two of Festival City in Tai Wai, offering 1,368 flats developed by Cheung Kong (Holdings) and the MTR Corporation. The developers may launch presales early next month, with a target price of about HK$9,000 (RM3,609.61) per square foot. More than 1,000 flats were bought in the first phase of sales, at prices of about HK$8,200 per sq ft, and about 100 are available in the secondary market at asking prices of about HK$9,000 per sq ft. — South China Morning Post
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