Third Quarter 2020 Citi Residential Property Ownership Survey

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Property market sentiment remains volatile due to the pandemic, yet around 10% of respondents consider it a good time to purchase a property for the third consecutive quarter

 

HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – 29 October 2020 – Citi Hong Kong conducted a survey in September this year polling
residents’ attitudes towards residential property ownership as COVID-19 continues.
According to the latest quarterly survey:

  • 10% of residents
    polled consider it a good time to purchase a property, among the highest
    levels on record over the past nine years. This follows on similar
    findings in the preceding two quarters of the year.

  • From our second-quarter survey, it
    was projected that nearly 500,000 people toured new home developments
    within one month before responding to the survey, making this number the highest
    tally since 2013. Although this figure declined to almost 400,000 in the
    third quarter, it was still 50% higher than in the third quarter of last
    year, reflecting residents’ interest in property ownership.

  • Regarding the impact of COVID-19
    on property prices, respondents expect a median decline in property prices
    of 5% from the beginning to the end of the current year, believing that
    COVID-19 would knock 8% off property prices at most, a hit milder than the
    actual price reduction of 10% to 12% during the SARS epidemic in 2003.

  • Views on property prices for the
    coming year fluctuated in tandem with the COVID-19 case numbers. According
    to the survey results for September, the number of people who anticipated
    a dip in property prices (43%) was more than those holding the opposite
    view (23%), indicating a more pessimistic view on the property market than
    in June but a more optimistic view than in March.

  • The situation of COVID-19 slightly
    eased in June, with 21% of respondents indicating an interest in
    purchasing a property, recovering the level as in the third quarter of the
    previous year. However, the number of respondents interested in purchasing
    a property declined again to 17% in September, similar to that at the
    beginning of the year.

  • Most people who became more
    interested in purchasing a property amid COVID-19 were still adopting a
    “wait-and-see” attitude, expecting property prices to fall by another 20%
    before they would make a purchase. On the other hand, property owners polled
    indicated that only 5% were interested in selling their properties.

 

10% of the respondents believed it a good time to purchase a
property, with nearly 400,000 people touring new home developments in the past
month

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The survey results for the third
quarter of 2020 showed that the property market sentiment remained relatively
volatile, tracking the COVID-19 developments. Although a considerable
percentage of respondents still feel it is a bad/terrible time to purchase a
property, 10% of respondents considered it a good/excellent time to purchase a property,
still among the highest level in the past nine years.  . According to the survey results, it was
projected that nearly 500,000 people had toured new home developments within
one month before replying on last quarter’s survey, recorded the highest tally since
2013. Although the figure declined to almost 400,000 this quarter, it was still
50% higher than that of the same period in the previous year, reflecting residents’
interest in property ownership.

 

Property price outlook impacted by COVID-19, with
expectation that home prices will see a smaller fall compared to that during SARS

Over 40% of respondents expect home
prices in Hong Kong to fall in the next 12 months, representing a larger
percentage than that of the previous quarter but smaller than in the first
quarter of the year. This showed that respondents’ views on the property price
outlook has been in line with COVID-19 developments. Benchmarked against a 10%
decline in property prices witnessed during the SARS epidemic in 2003, the
survey gauged the views of respondents on the trend of the property market amid
COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that the respondents expected a median
decline in property prices of 5% from the beginning to the end of the current
year, and with the largest expected drop of 8%, which was smaller than the
actual price reduction of 10% to 12% during the SARS epidemic.

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Interested home buyers expect house prices to fall by
another 20%

When
COVID-19 situation slightly eased in June, 21% of the respondents indicated their
interest in purchasing a property, recovering the level as in the third quarter
of the previous year. That portion of respondents, however, experienced a
decline again to 17% in September, similar to that at the beginning of the
year. Most people who had an increased interest in purchasing a property amid
COVID-19 were still adopting a “wait-and-see” attitude, expecting property
prices to fall by another 20% before they would make a purchase. Meanwhile,
property owners remained confident with only 5% of them interested in putting
their property for sale at the moment.

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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

 

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Q2
2020

Q3
2020

A
good/excellent

time
to purchase

3%

5%

10%

11%

10%

Neutral

29%

34%

38%

35%

36%

A
bad/terrible

time
to purchase

68%

60%

52%

54%

54%

Base:
All Respondents

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

Percentage of
Respondents

 

Q3
2019

Q4
2019

Q1
2020

Q2
2020

Q3
2020

Upward

18%

21%

16%

33%

23%

Flat

26%

32%

28%

34%

34%

Downward

56%

46%

57%

33%

43%

Base: All Respondents

How
interested are you in purchasing a property now?

Percentage
of Respondents

Q3 2019

Q4 2019

Q1 2020

Q2 2020

Q3 2020

Very/rather
interested

20%

16%

17%

21%

17%

Neutral

29%

27%

31%

27%

28%

Very/rather
uninterested

51%

57%

52%

52%

55%

Base: All Respondents

“The results show that property market
sentiments continue to fluctuate in tandem with the pandemic and ongoing
developments,” said Josephine Lee, Head of Retail Bank, Citi Hong Kong.
“The public began to regain confidence in the property market in the
second quarter while becoming more cautious in the third quarter as COVID-19
cases increased. A portion of people still found it a good time to purchase a
property and even went to see new home developments, reflecting there are
accumulated home ownership demands yet to be fulfilled. We suggest that interested homebuyers comprehensively assess their financial condition
and choose a mortgage plan that best meets their needs.”

 

Citi commissioned The University of Hong Kong Social Sciences Research
Centre to conduct the survey, interviewing a random sample of over 500 Hong
Kong respondents by phone in September 2020. Since 2010, Citibank has been
conducting quarterly surveys on the Hong Kong housing market to assess the
current state of home ownership in the SAR, gauge public intentions towards
home ownership, and track public expectations of future housing price trends.

Source: Citibank Q3 2020 Residential
Property Ownership Survey

About Citi

Citi,
the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and
does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides
consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of
financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit,
corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services,
and wealth management.

Additional
information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi
| Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/company/citi

Third Quarter 2020 Citi Residential Property Ownership Survey

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