HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong private home prices reversed a fall in March to edge up 0.4%, as bargain-hunting drove transaction volumes to a four-month high, but analysts cautioned the improvements did not signal the market was bottoming out.
The March rise compared to February’s revised figure of a drop of 1.5%, government data showed on Wednesday, sending prices in one of the world’s least affordable property markets back to the level of a year ago.
“The price index was better than expected, but it hasn’t truly reflected the epidemic impact,” said Thomas Lam, an executive director of real estate consultancy Knight Frank. “I believe the market correction has yet to finish.”
He expected home prices to drop 10% for the whole year, hurt by a worsening economy and rising unemployment. Prices have fallen 1% this year.
Property agents said strong pent-up demand and low interest rates will give some support to the market, and the transaction volume continued to recover in April.
On Tuesday, Hong Kong reported no new coronavirus infections for a third day, bringing some relief as the Asian financial hub grapples with economic ruin triggered by the disease in the wake of months of crippling anti-government protests.
Hong Kong has recorded 1,038 infections and four deaths since the outbreak began in January.
(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)