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Hong Kong Existing Home Prices Hit Record as Volume Rebounds

Aug. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong’s existing home prices reached a record as low interest rates and increasing transaction volumes lured buyers deterred by last year’s government curbs.

Prices rose 0.37 percent in the week ended Aug. 3, surpassing the last record reached in March 2013, according to a weekly index compiled by Centaline Property Agency Ltd., the city’s biggest closely held realtor. Last week’s increase brought the gain this year to 4.2 percent, the index shows.

Housing sales are rising again after transactions plunged last year to the lowest since at least 2002 as the government stepped up cooling measures to contain prices that have doubled since 2009. Total residential sales, both new and existing homes, reached 7,792 units in July, a near two-year high, data from the Land Registry shows.

“The impact of the curbs has pretty much been digested,” said Patrick Chow, head of research at realtor Ricacorp Properties Ltd. “People waiting to buy a home have been waiting for a low point to enter the market, but it hasn’t happened.”

Liquidity inflow ahead of the planned stock exchange link between Hong Kong and Shanghai also contributed to the gain in home prices, according to Chow.

The monthly price index of private housing tracked by the government rose to 249.8 in June, also a record high, according to the Hong Kong Rating and Valuation Department.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jill Mao in Hong Kong at mmao14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tan Hwee Ann at hatan@bloomberg.net Tomoko Yamazaki, Andreea Papuc

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