New World forecasts 8-10 pct fall for HK homeprices

   Date:2011-11-29     Source:yangshujielitingting

Nov 22 (Reuters) - Property group New World Development Co Ltd said on Tuesday that Hong Kong home prices could fall 8 to 10 percent over a short period, calling it a reasonable drop given that the government has continued to bring new land supply to the market.

On the sidelines of the company's annual general meeting, Managing Director Henry Cheng said the city's property market was also cooling because of the weak global economy.

"People have adopted a wait-and-watch attitude toward the property market now," Cheng said, adding that he believed there was still huge demand in the market for the long term.

Banks in Hong Kong have also been making terms on new mortgages less attractive, with Standard Chartered Plc lifting the cost of new HIBOR- and prime-based mortgages as of Monday.

Barclays Capital analyst Andrew Lawrence said he expected other banks to follow suit in the sixth round of mortgage increases since March. He forecast rate increases and a slowing market to drive prices down by 25 to 30 percent, assuming Hong Kong's economy pulled off a soft landing.

A string of tightening measures in mainland China, including home-purchase restrictions and price controls, were undoubtedly influencing Hong Kong's market, Cheng said.

But those measures could stabilise home prices in the long run, Cheng added, so he remained optimistic on the outlook for the mainland property market.

Official data showed on Friday that average home prices moved lower for the first time this year [ID: nL3E7MG193].

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