Thursday, November 30, 2023
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The eased mortgage measures have slightly stimulated buyers’ interest as new projects saw over-subscriptions and secondary market transactions increased with price cuts.

But Hong Kong’s first relaxation of the rules since 2009 was “not a prelude to watering down the ‘spicy’ measures,” said Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po. “There will be no changes to stamp duties.”

Over the weekend, La Montagne Phase 4A in Wong Chuk Hang, which is being jointly developed by Kerry Properties, Sino Land, Swire Properties and MTR Corp, attracted more than 800 checks for the 88 flats in the first batch, marking an over-subscription of more than eight times.

In Yuen Long, Asia Standard International said the 125 units at High Park I were more than five times oversubscribed after receiving 780 checks and more than 2,500 groups of buyers visiting the showrooms.

In Kai Tak, Henderson Land Development sold seven more flats at Henley Park for a total of HK$56 million at the weekend and plans to kick off the second round of sales of 82 flats tomorrow.

In the secondary market, Centaline Property Agency saw only five transactions in the 10 major housing estates over the weekend, up by just one from a week ago, as it marked the 10-straight weekend with single-digit sales.

Louis Chan Wing-kit, Asia-Pacific vice chairman of its residential division, said homes below HK$10 million, which make up the bulk of all sales, did not benefit from the relaxations.

The weak market sentiment amid a high interest-rate environment and the competitive pricing in the primary market also contributed to the sluggish second-hand market performance, he added.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority on Friday lifted the maximum loan-to-value ratio without mortgage insurance for self-use residential properties below HK$15 million to 70 percent, and 60 percent for those that are valued from HK$15 million to HK$30 million.

The city has also allowed buyers to borrow up to 80 percent or HK$9 million, whichever is higher, of the homes worth HK$10 million to HK$15 million by applying for mortgage insurance.

The LTV ratio for homes from HK$15 to HK$30 million with insurance has been raised to 70 percent, or a cap of HK$12 million.

First-time buyers of homes below HK$15 million could get a premium waive on insurance coverage for the mortgage loan portion of not more than 5 percent above the maximum LTV ratio for banks.


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