But close to 1 in 3 expressed strong interest in buying a property.
Over two in five or 42% of Hong Kongers expect home prices to rise in the next 12 months from a mere 18% observed in Q4 2018, according to Citibank’s Q1 2019 Residential Property Ownership Survey.
In comparison, the percentage of respondents who expected home prices to fall was down significantly from 57% in Q4 2018 to 24% in Q1 2019.
“Since H2 2018, the market had been battered by multiple headwinds, including the US-China trade war, interest rate hikes, and a weakening yuan,” Citibank explained. “However, with these news gradually discounted during Q1 2019, the expectations amongst local citizens of the future property price trend were reversed.”
Over half or 57% of respondents also felt that Q1 2019 was not a good time to purchase a home, down from the 67% recorded in Q4 2018. Close to 2 in 5 (39%) took a neutral stand, which Citibank said reflects a wait-and-see attitude amongst many potential home buyers.
Despite the prevailing expectations of rising home prices, the survey, which polled over 500 respondents to gauge public opinion on homeownership and expectations on future housing price trends, found that locals still showed stronger interest in buying a home.
Almost 1 in 3 or 26% of respondents expressed strong interest in purchasing a property in Q1 2019, which was a record high percentage since the survey was first conducted in 2010. Of those who expressed strong interest, 37% were aged between 21 and 29, which was again higher than the comparative figure of 19% recorded in Q4 2018. One third of the respondents aged between 30 and 44 showed the same interest.
“According to the results, 31% of single respondents also expressed a very or rather strong interest in buying a property, reflecting a particularly keen desire for home ownership amongst the young and single,” the bank noted.
Given the expectations of rising home prices, local citizens will likely become less confident in their home affordability, Josephine Lee, head of retail bank at Citibank Hong Kong, said in a statement.
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