Local property agency Mcore Properties forecast that home prices in the city will rise up to 10 per cent this year, boosted by local residents’ strong demand for housing and a stronger economic performance.
The real estate agency also urged the government to be more “flexible” in its policies about encouraging the reuse of land that had originally been earmarked for industrial buildings.
The company held a press conference yesterday about its end-of-year property review of the city for 2016 and its outlook for this year, at its office in the Fortuna Business Centre (FBC) in Nam Van.
Addressing the press conference, the company’s general manager Jacky Wong Sai Wing said he expected this year’s purchases of residential flats to be primarily by local residents to live in, instead of non-local investors and speculators.
“New families will be the major part of housing demand,” Wong said.
Citing statistics from the Financial Services Bureau (DSF), the number of residential flat purchases amounted to 10,113 last year, up from 5,744 in 2015, Wong said the figures showed that locals’ housing demand was solid last year.
Wong said he expected the number of home purchases to also reach around 10,000 this year.
Wong also said he expected the supply of new plots of land for residential projects to be scarce this year, which he said would cause residential property prices to remain high.
“While the government has been repossessing undeveloped plots of land, it does not appear to be planning to launch tenders for new plots [for residential projects] in the short term…which will lead to an insufficient housing supply,” Wong said.
Wong also said Macau’s economic performance would help boost the property market this year. “Recovering in 2017, the local economy will also be driven by the 19 supportive measures the central government [announced in October last year] as well as by the prospect that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge construction will soon be finished,” Wong said.
Wong said that, therefore, his company expected the city’s residential property prices to rise by five to 10 per cent this year.
Wong also said he expected more than 90 per cent of residential unit purchases to be made by local residents.
“The government’s policy of requiring non-local buyers to pay extra stamp duty has not changed…if the government does not come up with any new measures, I think the property market will remain stable,” Wong said.
In the press conference, Noel Cheong Lai Wah, a sales director of Mcore Properties, said that the government’s policies to encourage the change in the land use where industrial buildings now stand were a failure.
Cheong pointed out that in Macau 100 per cent of unit owners must agree on rebuilding their property, adding that the required proportion was 80 per cent in Hong Kong.
Cheong also pointed out that for many years the difference in housing prices between mass-market projects and luxury projects has been small in Macau. “Luxury homes in Macau have been relatively cheap for one or two decades”, she said, adding she expected the prices of luxury flats to rise if the government launches tenders for plots in the future.