Property market bounces back strongly after cooling measures lifted: Centaline

The property market in Macau has seen a sharp turnaround in recent weeks after the government lifted all its cooling measures that were imposed to curb speculation last month. Industry insiders and analysts say transaction volumes are picking up significantly as buyers return to the market.

Some people in the real estate industry said that not only had the number of property inspections increased significantly recently, the transaction volume of first-hand and second-hand properties had also increased. Both are picking up, with many out-of-towners among the main buyers.

Roy Ho, director of Centaline Macau and Zhuhai Hengqin Property, said that since the removal of cooling measures, many developers had taken the opportunity to launch various offers to attract customers.

As of yesterday, the transaction volume of first-hand properties had exceeded 100, which has increased by about nine times based on initial data after cooling measures were lifted,” noted Ho.

He also described that now is a time when quantity has increased and prices have stabilized, and first-hand properties have an average price of about 7,000 patacas per square foot.

Ho also said the main reason for the surge in transactions was that many new real estate developers were taking advantage of loosening policies and were now able to bring back foreigner buyers. These foreigners are international students studying in Macau, as well as expatriate workers. Developers have launched some short-term discounts for these two categories of people, such as 5% to 10% price reductions, or discounted prices for parking spaces.

As for the second-hand market, the transaction volume has also increased by about 30% to 50%. Conversely, the transaction volume of first-hand properties is not so obvious.

“But generally speaking, the transaction proportion is much higher,” said Ho.

In terms of price, Ho described the situation after the removal of cooling measures in Macau as like that in Hong Kong. He believes that first-hand properties will be sold in the short term, but second-hand properties will be “flat” for the time being, due to the ongoing promotions and discounts.

“After the comprehensive removal of cooling measures, the real price of Macau’s real estate market has fully reflected the acceleration. It was falling slowly before, but now it is down 20% at a time.”

Looking ahead, Ho expressed confidence that Macau’s strong recovery abilities would manifest faster than other cities. He gave the example that developers are able to increase their prices by 30% after they sell 100 units.

According to data from the Monetary Authority of Macao, newly approved residential mortgage loans extended by Macau banks jumped 31.7% month-on-month to 900 million patacas in March. While delinquency rates edged higher to 3.6%, the overall outlook for demand and sales in the resilient property sector appears positive. Staff Reporter

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