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Demand fall seen in property deals

A slide in demand in the last 12 months is seen in new figures on property transactions in Hong Kong. Deals in May numbered 12,536 - 20.7 percent up on April but 5.9 percent down from 12 months ago.
More new flats going on the market was the main reason for the month-on-month jump, Land Registry officials said. Deals for residential units accounted for 77 percent, or 9,681, of deals. That was 26.8 percent up on April but 12.1 percent down from last year.
The value of property transactions in May rose 18.9 percent from April to HK$63.1 billion - with HK$49.4 billion derived from residential transactions. That was an increase of 26.8 percent on April.
``New flats have been flooding the market, and their sales went well to push up the registration numbers in May,'' said Buggle Lau Ka- fai, chief analyst of Midland Realty.
``It highlighted the effects of bank mortgage rates hikes lately,'' said Centaline research director Wong Leung-sing.
Most banks have now raised HIBOR-based mortgage rates.
HSBC (0005) lifted its rate to HIBOR plus 1.5-2 percent on May 13 from HIBOR plus 1-1.5 percent - a third hike in two months. Other banks including Bank of China (2388) and Standard Chartered Bank (2888) also raised rates.


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