Following an accumulative drop of more than 20 per cent since the third quarter of last year, housing prices have been going up since February, says Centaline Property.
Housing prices are rebounding, Centaline (Macau) Property Agency Ltd. claims, forecasting that housing prices in this quarter may claw back as much as 10 per cent.
“Since the end of last year, the property market entered an adjustment phase, with housing prices dropping steeply. Due to the market atmosphere, some landlords sold their properties at low prices. Now these cheap supplies have been consumed, the asking prices of landlords for the following properties will remain high,” the director of the agency, Jacky Shek Po Tak, said yesterday in a press briefing by the agency reviewing the real estate market in the previous quarter.
According to the latest official data of the Finance Services Bureau (DSF), home prices in February reached MOP89,352 (US$11,168) on average per square metre, up 4 per cent compared to the MOP85,717 per square metre recorded in January of this year.
“We estimate that housing prices have increased some 3 per cent in March from February, which means that the housing prices in February and March had accumulatively [risen] by 7 per cent from January,” Mr. Shek said.
In fact, during the third quarter of last year, home prices started to drop by 13.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter to MP98,422 from MOP113,984 per square metre. In January of this year, the decline was extended to 24.7 per cent from the second quarter of 2014.
A senior regional sales director of the agency, Noel Cheung Lai Wah, said housing prices would keep increasing following the growth rate of the previous two months.
“We expect housing prices in the second quarter will continue increasing by between 5 and 10 per cent from the first quarter,” she said, claiming it is possible that home prices may rebound 20 per cent in the first half of the year.
In addition, she predicts that the transaction of residential flats in March also rebounded to some 800, from 269 and 286 in February and January of this year, respectively.
She indicated that the hike in transactions is due to the increased supply of new properties, as well as many second-hand properties escaping the special stamp duty.
The special stamp duty is a levy of 20 per cent on the sale of a property if it is sold within a year of being purchased, or 10 per cent if it is sold between one and two years of being purchased.
Residential rental slumped in Q1
Despite housing prices showing signs of increase in the past quarter, residential rentals decreased by at least 18 per cent on average from the previous quarter, according to the agency.
“The slowdown of the VIP gaming market has led some tenants to quit their tenancy of high-end properties near the casinos. On the other hand, the low-end rental market is also affected by the 24-hour border crossing at Lotus Border and the extended operating hours of the Border Gate because many non-resident workers prefer renting a house in Zhuhai,” Mrs. Cheung said, claiming that the plunge in the rental market was driven by the increasing supply.
Meanwhile, according to another senior regional sales director of the agency, Roy Ho Siu Hang, the buying prices of industrial buildings also declined some 10 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months. He anticipated that these prices will plummet 20 per cent to MOP3,300 per square foot in the first half of the year. Nevertheless, rental for industrial buildings have not mirrored the downturn, but increased by 6 per cent quarter-on-quarter to MOP8.5 per square foot.