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Crowds jostle for Hong Kong flats, no end in sight to housing boom

Published : Sunday, 14 January, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 25

Buyers and property agents line up for developer Sun Hung Kai's property sales in Hong Kong January 13, 2018.

Buyers and property agents line up for developer Sun Hung Kai's property sales in Hong Kong January 13, 2018.

HONG KONG, Jan 13: Hong Kong's red-hot property market kicked off 2018 with hundreds queuing to buy flats in the first major property launch of the year on Saturday, backing expectations strong demand will further lift record prices by 5 to 20 per cent over the year. The Asian financial hub has one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, with private home prices shattering historic records for 13 months in a row and rising almost 200 per cent since 2008. Among the some 100 pre-sale apartments offered by major local developer Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016.HK) on Saturday, the least expensive flat at a size of 382 square feet costs about HK$8 million ($1.02 million), or HK$21,000 per square foot, though with a certain payment plan the buyer could get a 22 per cent discount.
The flats are located about an hour's commute away from the central business district.
"For everybody in Hong Kong, buying a flat is a life goal," said 26-year-old Ms. Chau, one of the some 600 potential buyers queueing up in the first hour.
"I am angry that housing prices keep going up. Now the value of HK$10,000 is like HK$1,000 in the past. For many people they cannot afford to buy unless they have their family's help."
While Hong Kong's flats are getting more expensive, many are also getting smaller. Later this month, major developer Henderson Land Development (0012.HK) is expected to launch sales for a residential project with flat sizes ranging between 180 and 420 square feet. Multiple property consultancies and agencies expect home prices to climb a further five to 20 per cent in 2018 with no immediate end in sight to the boom.    -Reuters

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