Local housing prices will remain stable in the first half of the year as the market is still in its adjustment period but things will pick in the second half of the year with prices expected to rise up to 20 percent, Centaline (Macau) Property Agency Director Jacky Shek Po Tak said Wednesday.
Shek made the prediction during a press conference held at his office in Macau Square about the company’s review of the local property market last year and its forecast for this year.
Shek said that following the slight drop in property prices last year due to the slump in gaming revenue, prices would remain stable in the first half of this year.
“But recently we see that buyers are back, hoping to get into the market while the prices are dropping,” Shek said, adding, “Transactions are coming through and so it’s unlikely that prices will drop further this year.”
Shek also said that the new gaming projects opening in Cotai later this year would stimulate the property market and as investors were selling off their Macau properties to invest in Hengqin, there would be more flats on sale on the local market, which will further promote transactions.
“We expect that there will be 8,000 transactions this year and there’s hope that property prices will grow 20 percent, back to the level at the end of 2013,” Shek said.
According to Shek, the recent 24-hour border crossing measures have led some in Macau to move to Zhuhai, but this has only affected the rents of lower-end flats, not high-end properties.
“The situation for Taipa is different. There will be new flats rolling out in the town centre and they are the top choices for expatriates,” Shek said, pointing out that rents would rise about 20 percent due to rising demand by expatriates working for the new resort projects in Cotai that are opening this and next year.
The company’s senior regional sales director Noel Cheung Lai Wah said that transactions would pick up after the Chinese New Year next month.
“Now’s the time to buy when the buyer has a higher bargaining power,” Cheung said, adding, “The adjustment period will end in the second quarter and in the second half of the year, prices could rise up to 20 percent.”
According to Wednesday’s presentation, the same goes for shops, office premises and units in industrial buildings. The company’s senior regional sales director, Roy Ho Sio Hung, said, “If you buy a good property now, by the end of the year, you’ll get at least a 10-percent return,” Ho said.
Centaline (Macau) Property Agency Managing Director Stanley Poon Chi Ming said that the company had an income of HK$200 million from commissions last year, mostly from transactions in Hengqin, and hopes that this year’s income from commissions will hit HK$300 million. Poon said he expected to open two to three more branches in the city and to hire more staff to meet the target.