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HONG KONG: Hong Kong private home prices extended a fall in October, dipping to their lowest since March 2017, official data showed on Tuesday, weighed down by higher interest rates and weak buying sentiment.

Home prices in the financial hub, one of the most expensive markets in the world, dropped 2.2% in October from the previous month.

It followed a revised 2.4% fall in September, according to the data. Prices have dropped 4% in the first 10 months of the year after the sixth monthly decline in October.

Realtors expect prices to fall about 5% for the full year.

Hong Kong last month announced that stamp duty would be halved to 7.5% from 15% for second home buyers and non-citizen buyers but the relaxation has yet to show an impact on reviving a sector that is a pillar of the city’s economy.

“Purchasing power would need a longer time to release, the market lacks confidence,” said Martin Wong, head of Greater China research and consultancy at Knight Frank, who expects prices to come down another 3% to 5% after a 5% to 6% drop this year.

Dubai property prices surge at fastest pace since 2014

Investment bank UBS has forecast that Hong Kong’s home prices could drop another 10% in 2024 as borrowing costs in the city have surged to the highest level since 2007.

A positive impact of any interest rate cut might only become more visible late next year, it said.

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