Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po speaks at a press conference on the disbursement of the second batch of HK5,000 consumption at the Central Government Offices in the city on June 13, 2022. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong's finance chief said on Thursday he does not see a sharp risk to the city's real estate market nor a need to adjust property control measures, as the financial hub braces for more interest rate hikes.
Finance Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said while home prices in Hong Kong have dropped close to over 6 percent in the first eight months as rising rates hurt sentiment, the property market depends on many factors including employment and the repayment capability of homeowners
Finance Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po was speaking after the Hong Kong Monetary Authority raised its base rate charged through the overnight discount window by 75 basis points to 3.5 percent, its highest since October 2008, following the same move by the US Federal Reserve.
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Chan said that while home prices in Hong Kong have dropped close to over 6 percent in the first eight months as rising rates hurt sentiment, the property market depends on many factors including employment and the repayment capability of homeowners.
"I don't think there's a risk of a sharp adjustment," he said. "The market transactions are low, but there's no need to adjust control measures."
Current measures include stamp duties on non-Hong Kong citizens and second homebuyers.
READ MORE: Hong Kong June home prices fall to the lowest in 18 months
Hong Kong banks, which have lagged their US equivalents in raising rates in recent months, are expected to increase their best lending rate as soon as Thursday, the first increase since 2018.
Official data showed Hong Kong private home prices in July dropped to the lowest since February 2020, as homebuyers turned more bearish due to rising interest rates and an uncertain outlook.