Hong Kong September Home Sales Fall for Ninth Month on Economic Slowdown

Hong Kong’s home sales fell for a ninth straight month in September as the threat of a global economic slowdown damped homebuyer sentiment.

The value of transactions last month declined 44 percent from a year earlier to HK$23 billion ($3 billion), while the number of deals dropped 54 percent to 4,823, according to a statement on the government website today. Both numbers were the lowest since February 2009.

Buyers have been putting off purchases on concern the city will slip into a recession. Real estate prices, which have surged more than 70 percent since early 2009, fell for the first time in seven months in July after the government introduced new housing curbs in June, while banks increased mortgage rates last month.

“There are still a lot of uncertainties in the mind of potential buyers,” said Louis Chan, managing director for the Asia-Pacific region at Centaline Property Agency Ltd. “Things probably won’t get better until later this month when the government gives us a clear idea of whether there’ll be more curbing measures.”

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang may speak about housing prices in his annual policy address this month, Financial Secretary John Tsang said last month.

Hong Kong home prices may fall 10 percent in the next 12 months on rising mortgage rates, Simon Lo, an executive director at Colliers International, said in a briefing today.

The city’s stock market today fell for a fourth day amid waning optimism policy makers will resolve the European debt crisis. The Hang Seng Property Index, which tracks the city’s seven biggest developers, has fallen 35 percent this year to the lowest since April 2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kelvin Wong in Hong Kong at kwong40@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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