Hong Kong home prices expected to rise despite moderation in buyer demand

Sean Ellison

Senior Economist, Asia-Pacific (RICS)

The July Hong Kong Residential Market Survey shows that sentiment surrounding the housing market continues to moderate, however, it remains positive.

Although a substantial majority of respondents in net balance terms continued to report an increase in home prices in recent months, expectations for future price increases moderated for the fourth consecutive month.

Demand subdued, but supply tightens

Respondents reported little change in demand from new buyers during July. This was true both at the headline level and from residents of mainland China, despite a stronger Yuan and cheaper access to off-shore funding reducing the cost to buy for residents of the mainland.

The effects of softer demand on prices were somewhat offset by tighter supply as respondents reported no change in the supply of properties for sale in July. This indicates that price expectations will likely continue to moderate, though remain positive, in the short term.

Sales flat

For the second consecutive month, respondents reported flat sales volumes. Against this backdrop, respondents now expect volumes to remain flat over the next three months. This marks the first month where respondents do not expect an increase in short-term sales volumes since December 2016, following the Hong Kong Government's introduction of macroprudential measures designed to cool the property market.

Occupier market robust

The occupier market remained robust with respondents continuing to report an increase in tenant demand, while rents are expected to rise over the next three and twelve months. However, some of the recent support may be seasonal, as the school-break period in the summer is generally a popular period for expatriates to relocate to the city.

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About the Hong Kong Residential Survey

The Hong Kong Residential Market Survey is a monthly survey generated by the RICS Economics Team. It captures market sentiment, the outlook for housing activities and prices, as well as respondents' views on a few key issues.

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