RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Property sales surge 55% to $99.4b in July even as vacancy tax bites

A Sha Tin apartment was nearly sold out a week after the cooling measures took effect.

The number of sale and purchase agreements for building units surged 55% YoY to 8,466 deals in July in apparent defiance of the government’s efforts to cool Hong Kong’s heated housing market, according to a government release.

The total consideration for these deals hit $99.4b which represents a whopping 117.1% YoY increase and 23% MoM gain.

Also read: Will rents take charge of Hong Kong's property market as home prices slow?

Over 70% of total property sales in July were for residential units. Homes sold over the period hit a total consideration of $65.2b.

This includes Far East Consortium selling 106 out of 112 units on offer at The Garrison apartment complex in Sha Tin and Sun Hung Kai disposing of more than 100 units of the second phase of its St Marin project in Tai Po, reports South China Morning Post.

The sell-out came a week after the government’s cooling measures took effect, indicating steady trading volume despite the recent policy changes.

Also read: Government to launch Starter Homes pilot project on Ma Tau Wai road

The Lam administration earlier unveiled special tax rates roughly translating to 5% of the property value on units that have not been occupied or rented out more than half of the past 12 months along with other policy initiatives to ease the city’s chronic housing crunch.

Home ownership in space-starved Hong Kong has plunged below 50% with residential property prices extending their steep climb after rising for the 27th consecutive month in June.

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