In Focus
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong residential property market showing signs of tipping over

Following an impressive run-up.

BMI Research has noted that it is feeling particularly downbeat on the Hong Kong residential property market.

According to a research note from BMI Research, the market witnessed one of the most impressive run-ups in the world dating back to the end of the global financial crisis.

However, it is finally showing signs of tipping over. In particular, it finds the astronomical property price-to-income ratio in the city-state to be unsustainable, with survey firm Demographia finding that median house prices there hit an eye-watering 19.0 years of median household income in 2015.

Here's more from BMI Research:

This makes Hong Kong far and away the most expensive market of all those surveyed, with the next most expensive national market (Australia) clocking in at a significantly lower 5.6x.

The fact that housing prices have become so significantly unhinged from incomes suggests that the HKMA's wide-ranging macroprudential measures (which include loan-to-valuation limitations and stamp duties on foreign investment purchases) have not been effective, and that demand from owner-occupiers will be very weak in the absence of a substantial price correction.

With foreign investment interest also likely to be dampened as the Chinese economy continues to cool, we see little in the way of further drivers for the market. Over the course of 2016, a low double-digit correction is likely.

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