September 29, 2017 / 4:35 AM / in 23 days

Hong Kong private home prices climb to fresh highs in August

HONG KONG, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s private home prices climbed to a fresh peak in August, hitting highs for the 10th month in a row and extending gains to a 17th month, government data released on Friday showed.

Prices of private domestic homes rose at a slightly accelerated rate in August, edging up 0.44 percent, compared with the 0.33 percent rise in July, the month that saw the index’s slowest growth in 17 months.

Private home prices climbed 18 percent from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Rating and Valuation Department.

Taming soaring home prices in the Asian financial hub is a top priority for the city’s new leader Carrie Lam, who is expected to address the issue in her maiden Policy Address next month.

Home ownership can be a distant dream for many in Hong Kong, one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, where a flat of less than 200 square feet can cost as much as $500,000.

While the government focuses on increasing land and primary housing supply, analysts say tightening measures such as high stamp duties have effectively locked up the supply in the secondary housing market. (Reporting by Venus Wu; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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