Hong Kong home sales hit record lows in first two months of year

HONG KONG, March 4 (Reuters) - Hong Kong home sales volume hit record lows in the first two months of the year, official data showed, adding to the gloom of weak earnings reports from the city’s developers, and mixed pricing for two recent government land tenders.

January and February sales volume were both the lowest on record, according to data, dating back to 1996, that was released by the Rating and Valuation Department and Land Registry on Friday.

In value terms, sales were the lowest since the global financial crisis - the January figures were the lowest since Feb. 2009 while the February figures were the lowest since Nov. 2008.

January sales of 2,045 units were half of what was sold in December and less than a third of what was sold the previous January.

The total value for those sales - HK$15.8 billion ($2.03 billion) - fell by similar percentages, according to the data.

February sales of 1,807 residential units were 11.6 percent lower than January and 70 percent less than the previous February, Land Registry data showed. The HK$11.8 billion value of those sales was 25.5 percent less than January and 71.2 percent less than February 2015.

The Hong Kong property market is being closely watched as the Hong Kong and Chinese economies slow. ($1 = 7.7674 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)