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Hong Kong Banks See Further Mortgage Increases, Barclays Says

Hong Kong banks expect to continue raising mortgage rates for the rest of this year, signaling the market won’t be rescued by cheap debt as occurred in 2008, Barclays Capital said.

“Rising funding costs for banks mean high mortgage rates for borrowers,” Andrew Lawrence, an analyst at Barclays, wrote in a report dated yesterday. Since June, banks have increased time deposit rates by 23 basis points for 3-month deposits and 57 basis points for 6-month deposits, he wrote.

“With mortgage payments now accounting for 47 percent of household incomes and likely to pass through the 50 percent lending threshold with the next 50 basis points rise in rates, affordability is clearly deteriorating,” he wrote. The “prospect of a repeat of the 2008 shallow and mild cycle for property prices is looking increasingly unlikely: Cheap and available debt isn’t going to rescue property prices this time around.”

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