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More than 70% of Hong Kongers said now is not a good time to purchase a home, reveals survey by Citi Hong Kong

In a press release on Thursday (18 July), Citi Hong Kong announced the results of its survey on residential property ownership in Hong Kong for the second quarter of 2019. The survey found that over 70% of the respondents felt that it is a bad or terrible time to purchase a home at the present moment.

The survey also revealed that the expectations of the respondents on the trend of home prices are roughly similar to those in the previous quarter, with many local residents still expecting a rise in home prices in the next 12 months.

However, despite the possible rise in home prices in the future, the respondents’ interest in home purchase did not seem to be greatly affected, with a quarter of young respondents expressing a strong interest in buying a property now.

More than 70% of the respondents said it is not a good time to purchase a home now

71% of the respondents felt that it is a bad or terrible time to purchase a home in Q2 2019. In fact, only 2% of the respondents in Q2 2019 felt that it is a good or excellent time to purchase a home, down from 4% in Q1 2019.

If you do not own any property now, taking into consideration your current

standard of living and family finances, do you think it is a good time to purchase a

home now?

Percentage of Respondents

Q1

2018

Q2

2018

Q3

2018

Q4

2018

Q1

2019

Q2

2019

A good/excellent

time to purchase

3%

3%

2%

4%

4%

2%

Neutral

28%

24%

24%

29%

39%

27%

A bad/terrible

time to purchase

69%

73%

74%

67%

57%

71%

Base: All Respondents

Respondents’ expectations on the trend of home prices are similar to those in the previous quarter

The expectations of the respondents on the trend of home prices in Q2 2019 are more or less the same as the previous quarter, with 36% of them expecting the home prices to rise in the next 12 months, while 28% of the respondents expecting the home prices to fall in the next 12 months.

How do you think home prices will trend in the next 12 months?

Percentage of Respondents

Q1

2018

Q2

2018

Q3

2018

Q4

2018

Q1

2019

Q2

2019

Upward

64%

69%

38%

18%

42%

36%

Flat

25%

22%

33%

25%

35%

36%

Downward

12%

9%

29%

57%

24%

28%

Base: All Respondents

Nearly a quarter of young respondents are still interested in purchasing a home

Many local citizens are expecting a rise in home prices in the future without completely affecting the interest of respondents in buying homes. 25% of the respondents expressed a very or rather strong interest in buying a property in Q2 2019, still representing a high percentage in recent years. Nearly a quarter of the respondents aged between 21 and 29 have the same interest.

How interested are you in purchasing a property now?

Percentage of Respondents

Q1

2018

Q2

2018

Q3

2018

Q4

2018

Q1

2019

Q2

2019

Very/rather

interested

20%

19%

21%

18%

26%

25%

Neutral

31%

31%

33%

33%

29%

28%

Very/rather

uninterested

49%

50%

46%

49%

45%

47%

Base: All Respondents

“The results show that many local citizens are expecting that the home prices will continue to rise, they still have certain interests in buying a home. We recommend that potential home buyers should first measure their home affordability, comprehensively assess their financial situation and burden, and choose a suitable mortgage plan,” said Josephine Lee, Head of Retail Bank, Citibank Hong Kong.

Citibank commissioned The University of Hong Kong Social Sciences Research Centre to conduct the survey, interviewing over 500 Hong Kong respondents by phone in June 2019.

Since 2010, Citibank has conducted a quarterly survey on the housing market to assess the current state of home-ownership in Hong Kong, gauge public opinion on the subject of home-ownership and public expectations in terms of future housing price trends.