Hong Kong home prices to extend decline after October’s 0.6 per cent surprise drop as Covid-19’s fourth wave dents confidence



a man standing in front of a large city: It is likely most of October’s transactions involved owners who were still willing to reduce their asking prices because of concerns about the economic outlook, said Derek Chan of Ricacorp. Photo: Winson Wong


© SCMP
It is likely most of October’s transactions involved owners who were still willing to reduce their asking prices because of concerns about the economic outlook, said Derek Chan of Ricacorp. Photo: Winson Wong

The fourth wave of coronavirus infections is expected to drag Hong Kong’s home prices down further after they “unexpectedly” fell 0.6 per cent in October.

In an earlier-than-expected release, the government’s Rating and Valuation Department on Thursday revealed that the secondary market home price index dropped to 380.9 last month.

“Even though the epidemic was relatively stable, the property price index last month unexpectedly softened,” said Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Properties.

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He believed this was because the economic situation – Hong Kong is mired in its worst ever recession – and high unemployment are

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Gold prices decline as appetite for havens dull despite rise in COVID cases

Gold futures on Thursday headed lower as demand for bullion appeared to subside, despite a worrying rise in cases of COVID-19 throughout the globe.

“Our gut continues to favor the bear track as gold and silver have been unable to forge noted recovery action off the aggressive vaccine washout, even though U.S. infections are exploding,” which should be “fostering some form of renewed flight to quality interest,” analysts at Zaner Metals wrote in a daily note.

A stronger dollar against some of its major currency rivals on the session also was blamed for some of the weakness in bullion. The buck was up 0.3%, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY,
+0.18%
,
a gauge of the currency against a half-dozen rivals. However, the popular index was on track for a weekly decline of 0.2%.

A stronger greenback can influence trading in assets pegged to the monetary unit,

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Real estate trends: Dubai’s home sales fall; decline in property prices slows down

The decline in Dubai’s residential values showed signs of decelerating in October, but sales of home units have somewhat slowed down, a new report has revealed.

The average capital values for the emirate’s apartments and villas dipped just 0.7 percent during the month compared to September, and 14.4 percent compared to a year ago, according to consulting firm ValuStrat.

However, sales of residential units in October were lacklustre when compared to previous months, registering a 33.7 percent decline in the off-plan segment and 6.8 percent decline in ready homes, when compared with September.

Sales of residential properties around the emirate had picked up earlier, particularly after the lockdown was lifted and restrictions eased, with most of the buyers snapping up ready homes. A lot of the potential homeowners were interested in properties with outdoor private space like balcony or garden.

Asteco’s latest analysis showed that there was a lot of

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D-backs decline options for three pitchers, including Leake

PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks have declined options for the 2021 season for right-handed pitchers Mike Leake, Hector Rondón and Junior Guerra.

Leake and Rondón become eligible for free agency, and Guerra for salary arbitration in February.

The 32-year-old Leake went 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA in 10 starts for the D-backs in 2019 after being traded from the Mariners. He opted out of the 2020 season because of concerns with the coronavirus.

His contract included an $18 million club option for 2021 with a $5 million buyout.

Rondón, 32, had a disappointing season in 2020, finishing with a 7.65 ERA in 23 appearances. The reliever gets a $500,000 buyout instead of next year’s $4 million salary.

Guerra, 35, pitched well in 2020 with a 3.04 ERA in 25 appearances. He receives a $100,000 buyout instead of a $3.5 million salary. The team faces a Dec. 2 deadline to offer

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Despite September decline, new home sales up for year | Business

Sales of new homes fell by 3.5% in September to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 959,000 million units, the Commerce Department said Monday, as the housing market’s hot summer buying season cooled.

The Commerce Department said Monday that despite the modest decrease, sales of new homes are up 32.1% from a year earlier. However, the pandemic may start to weigh on the market as the colder winter months arrive and with coronavirus cases spiking across much of the U.S.

“While strong demand and low mortgage rates are supportive of home sales, the resurgence in COVID-19 cases, a recovery that may be shifting into reverse and a weak labor market pose downside risks,” said Nancy Vanden Houten with Oxford Economics, in an email.

The housing market, like most of the economy, came to a near standstill in March and in April, causing the typical spring summer buying season to be delayed

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Apple Shares Decline After iPhone Sales Miss, China Drops 29%

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. shares fell as much as 5.6% Friday after the company reported iPhone sales that missed Wall Street estimates and said revenue in China slumped.

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The company gave no forecast for the key holiday quarter, disappointing some analysts who were hoping for guidance. However, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the new iPhone 12 line has been well received. Sales of Macs and Services also reached all-time highs in the fiscal fourth quarter.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant on Thursday said sales in the three months ending Sept. 26 came in at $64.7 billion. That beat analysts’ estimates of $63.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Earnings were 73 cents a share, also topping Wall Street expectations.

Sales of the iPhone fell 21% on anticipation of the new models, which arrived later than usual this year. Cook said the response to the 5G iPhone

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Zombie Properties Continue To Decline Amid Foreclosure Moratorium

About 1.6 million residential properties in the U.S., or about 1.6 percent of all homes, are currently vacant, according to a new report from Attom Data Solutions.

During the fourth quarter of 2020, properties in the process of foreclosure decreased 7.3 percent from the previous quarter to a total of 200,065 properties. The number of properties sitting empty during this quarter also declined 4.4 percent from the third quarter to about 7,612 properties.

Meanwhile, the percentage of pre-foreclosure properties abandoned into the status of “zombie” properties increased just slightly, from 3.7 percent in the third quarter to 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter, representing one in every 13,100 homes in the U.S.

With a federal moratorium on foreclosures currently in place for government-backed mortgages through the end of December, about 70 percent of home loans have been protected from foreclosure during the pandemic. Some private lenders have also offered mortgage

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