home prices


Crowds jostle for Hong Kong flats, no end in sight to housing boom

HONG KONG, Jan 13 — Hong Kong’s red-hot property market kicked off 2018 with hundreds queuing to buy flats in the first major property launch of the year today, backing expectations strong demand will further lift record prices by 5 to 20 per…

Hong Kong property awash in cash shielded from rates, says HSBC

HONG KONG, Jan 11 — Don’t expect interest rates to spike anytime soon in Hong Kong, where abundant liquidity has fuelled spectacular rallies in the stock and property markets. That’s according to Hong Kong’s biggest lender HSBC Holdings…

Singapore property seen on path to recovery after prolonged slump

SINGAPORE, January 10 — Singapore’s housing market is expected to build on its recovery over 2018, analysts say, as private home prices marked their first annual rise in four years. After hitting a record peak in the third quarter of 2013, a…

Australia home prices slip in Dec as Sydney slows

SYDNEY, Jan 2 ― Home prices across Australia’s major cities fell in December as the once red-hot Sydney market continued to cool in the face of tighter rules on investment lending, a relief to regulators but a potential drag on consumer spending…

Retail shares rise; weak Apple weighs on Nasdaq

NEW YORK, Dec 26 — Shares of retailers bounced early today on positive sentiment about the holiday shopping season, while Apple fell following a report of weak demand for its new smartphone. Department stores Macy’s and Kohl’s both jumped…

Singapore’s home sales gain with annual tally highest since 2013

SINGAPORE, Dec 15 — Singapore’s home sales rose in November, extending gains for a year that is already the best since 2013, as developers marketed more projects. Developers sold 785 units last month, up from a revised 760 in October,…

China’s property price rally to stall in 2018 as small city boom wanes

BEIJING, Dec 13 — China’s home price growth is likely to stall in 2018 as a surprise boom in smaller cities is expected to lose steam while measures to tighten credit and other property curbs continue to constrain the market, a Reuters poll…

Property sector – No full-fledged recovery in sight within next 12 months, says AmResearch

PETALING JAYA: AmResearch does not expect a full-fledged recovery of the sector within the next 12 months due to various key challenges coupled with subdued consumer sentiment and a potential interest rate increase next year.

In a note today, the research house said the key challenges include elevated home prices; low loan-to-value or financing margin offered by banks; and house buyers’ inability to qualify for a home mortgage due to their already high debt service ratios.

In addition, AmResearch noted that the still-subdued consumer sentiment against a backdrop of rising cost of living, weak job security and elevated household debts is holding consumers back from committing themselves to the purchase of big-ticket items, including a house.

“Not helping either, is the potential hikes in the overnight policy rate in 2018, given the recent shift in Bank Negara Malaysia’s policy stance towards a slightly more hawkish than before.”

AmResearch believes these issues could be partially addressed with the offering of affordable housing and more flexible financing plans to the low-income group.

However, it is mindful that affordable housing typically commands low margins and the margins could be crimped further given rising competition as the segment gets more crowded.

“We believe the investment case for an affordable housing developer only holds water if the developer is able to sell affordable houses in large quantities, has access to highly cost-effective and speedy construction methods, and most importantly, has the ability to secure strategic landbank with a high plot ratio at cheap prices.

“Otherwise, we are more inclined to see selling affordable housing as a means for developers in general to tide themselves over while waiting for the property market to turn around.”

The research house said the local property sector has been weak over the last four to five years, since hitting a peak in mid-2013.

“We believe the most encouraging signs we have seen in 2017 are: developers adjusting to the reality that mass-market affordable housing is where the demand is; and the willingness of certain developers to cut prices (to the tune of 10-15% or more) in order to clear unsold stocks. We expect these trends to prevail in 2018, bringing some life back to the sector.”

AmResearch, which is retaining its “neutral” stance on the property sector for 2018, said it sees a bright spot in developers with overseas projects.

“We have already seen green shoots of recovery in property markets in the UK, Australia, Singapore and Vietnam since 2017. These markets are ahead of Malaysia in terms of their recent boom-bust cycles. They have been through the consolidation phase and are now on a recovery path,” it added.

Asia shares track Wall Street rise, wary on North Korea

SYDNEY, Nov 29 — Asian shares rose and the dollar held firm today after Wall Street shot to record peaks amid signs of progress on US tax cuts, upbeat economic data and bank-friendly comments from the would-be head of the Federal Reserve….

US Black Friday, Thanksgiving online sales climb to record high

CHICAGO, Nov 26 ― Black Friday and Thanksgiving online sales in the United States surged to record highs as shoppers bagged deep discounts and bought more on their mobile devices, heralding a promising start to the key holiday season, according…