Taikoo Shing flat prices pass 1997 record

HONG KONG: The average price of a flat in Taikoo Shing last month surpassed the previous peak set in 1997, making it the first housing estate in the city to set new record prices.

The average transaction price in the estate rose to HK$8,436 (RM3,374.92) per square foot last month, 1.4% higher than the HK$8,316 per sq ft average of July 1997, according to data compiled by Centaline Property Agency.

"With average home prices in Taikoo Shing taking the lead, the rally will spread to other urban areas and even to the New Territories," said Wong Leung-sing, an associate director in the research department at the agency.

Overall home prices on Hong Kong Island, which are outperforming other areas of the city, were just 2.9% off their record levels of July 1997, according to the Centa-City Index, which tracks prices in the secondary market.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) this week reported that property prices in Hong Kong had risen by more than 45% from a trough reached following the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Average home prices in the luxury residential market, it pointed out, were now 14% higher than their previous historic peak, reached in the third quarter of 1997. Prices in the mass residential market were now just 10% below the peak levels reached before the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 triggered a slump in the market.

Winnie Cheung and her husband bought a 662 square foot flat in Taikoo Shing for HK$4.5 million or HK$6,790 per sq ft in May last year.

"Now, the valuation of my unit is up more than HK$1.3 million in 17 months. We of course are happy with the rapid appreciation but we will not benefit from it. If I sold my unit, where can I live, as everywhere is getting more expensive?" she said.

Flats of a similar size in Taikoo Shing are now selling for HK$5.88 million. — South China Morning Post
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