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Housing prices stabilising, says property association head 06/10/15

Businessman and former legislator Ung Choi Kun, who heads a local property association, predicts that the housing prices of the city for the remainder of the year will be rather flat and are not likely to decrease further

The local real estate market will stablise in the second half of the year, with only slight volatility appearing in housing prices, says the president of the Association of Property Agents and Realty Developers of Macau, Ung Choi Kun.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the Association’s 21st anniversary cocktail party on Monday, the businessman and former legislator said the city’s average housing prices have returned to MOP8,000 per square foot from the more than MOP10,000 per square foot of recent years, driven by the surging development of the gaming industry.

Nevertheless, Mr. Ung thinks that there will only be a slight fluctuation in housing prices during the second half of the year as the openings of new casino projects are boosting the city’s employment and tightening human resources, all of which will prevent housing prices from falling further despite the city’s gaming revenues declining.

The latest official data released by the Financial Services Bureau (DSF) also shows that the real estate market is rebounding in both terms of transaction and housing prices, surging 61.9 per cent and 12.6 per cent month-on-month in April, respectively.

Meanwhile, although Hengqin intends to establish a residential community for Macau residents, Mr. Ung believes that the Mainland island will not be able to relieve the housing demands of the Special Administrative Region in less than three to five years, even though the prospects of the Chinese region are ideal.

Win-win resolution for idle land

On the other hand, Mr. Ung suggested at the event that the government seek the co-operation of land grantees before reclaiming their undeveloped parcels of land through legal procedures, in order that a win-win resolution to land problems can be reached.
The Association head perceives that the government may develop these idle land plots together with their awardees through negotiations, for example, to reach an agreement to build a certain ratio of public housing on the land, so that public resources and time will not be wasted.

The former legislator also indicated that the city’s idle land was also due to the government’s tardy urban planning and approval of construction drawings, which had led to many idle land projects being suspended.

Urging the government to improve such “loopholes in the law”, Mr. Ung reckons that it should also review its enforcement of reclaiming idle land, and whether its evaluation of the awardees’ execution of their land grant contracts is objective.

Meanwhile, the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo Rosario, said on the sidelines of the same event that the government can co-operate with developers but it has to obey and be restricted by the Land Law.

Saying he will meet anyone who wants to meet him, the Secretary claimed the government has co-operated with local developers building public housing.

Source http://macaubusinessdaily.com/Property/Housing-prices-stabilising-says-property-association-head

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