Prices of Hong Kong's lived-in homes drop in July, in second straight month of retreat as public unrest, trade war continue to bite

By Cheryl / | September 11, 2019 11:57 AM SGT
Prices of Hong Kong's lived-in homes declined 0.1 per cent in July, the second straight month of retreat as the city continued to reel from an escalating political crisis and the US-China trade war.
The drop was slower than the 0.6 per cent slide recorded in June, but nevertheless deviated from the general uptrend in the first five months of the year.
The decline was recorded in a month marked by political tension that reached fever pitch in the city as protests over the widely feared but now abandoned extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be tried in the mainland became increasingly disruptive and violent clashes regularly erupted between the protesters and police.
The latest data from the Rating and Valuation Department showed that the price index of used homes slipped to 394.4 in July from 394.8 in June. Still, in the first seven months of the year, used home prices rose 9.3 per cent.
The coming months will see used home prices to further slide, according to property analysts.
From January to May, property prices in Hong Kong grew a cumulative 10 per cent and had shown no indication of abating. The bull run, however, has hit a snag since a June 9 march by an estimated million protesters unleashing a wave of unprecedented civil unrest in the city of 7.5 million residents.
The civil unrest along with the US-China trade war and potentially higher interest rates between banks have been identified as key drags on the economy and are likely to lead to broad-based slowdown in consumption, investment and trade in the second half of the year. Home prices are estimated to decline 10 per cent to 30 per cent through next year.
The increase in the prices of bigger units led to a "less than expected" fall in the used home price index.
Prices of small units, with sizes ranging less than 40 square metres...