Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hong Kong Bubble?: Hong Kong Residential Property Prices December 2009

There has been much speculation recently about an ongoing price bubble occurring in the Hong Kong residential property market.

In fact, the concern has been so great that Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang recently announced significant measures that will be taken in order to mute the real estate trading activity including a higher levy on luxury properties, adjustments to the rate of land auctions and tighter scrutiny on bank lending.

Looking at the latest residential property price indices for Hong Kong, you can see that Tsang’s concern is warranted.

The University of Hong Kong’s Residential Real Estate Series (HKU-REIS) indicated that, in December, the price of residential properties went flat since November but increased a whopping 31.35% on a year-over-year basis.

The “Hong Kong Island” index, “Kowloon” and “New Territories” sub-components also showed notable year-over-year increases jumping 35.88%, 29.00% and 26.19% respectively.

The HKU-REIS is a set of property price indices constructed monthly using a “modified” repeat-sale methodology similar to that of the S&P/Case-Shiller indices yet suited to the Hong Kong property market.