Hong Kong Chief Executive Says Home Market No Longer Overheated

Residential Buildings in Hong Kong
Residential buildings are reflected on the facade of the One Island East building at Taikoo Place in the Quarry Bay district of Hong Kong. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Hong Kong’s property market, which more than doubled in prices since 2009, is no longer “overheated,” reducing the need for a plan to reserve homes for local residents, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said.

“The property market has stabilized, and is even showing signs of price declines,” Leung told reporters yesterday. “Demand from overseas buyers has dropped to a very, very low amount.”

Home prices in Hong Kong have slipped 4 percent in the past year after the government introduced its widest measures ever to curb an asset bubble. Prices will fall by at least 30 percent by the end of 2015, from the level in October, Barclays Plc analysts led by Paul Louie said in a report last month.

Leung in September 2012 announced a plan giving only citizens the right to buy apartments at some sites built by private developers to ensure local needs are met.

“When we launched this pilot scheme, we said we would only use it in an overheated market,” Leung said yesterday. “If we need it in the future, we can launch it in a short period of time.”