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Hong Kong home prices decline for fifth month, fewer get mortgages
[HONG KONG] Hong Kong home prices posted in February their fifth consecutive monthly decline, government data released on Thursday showed, while mortgage applications and approvals also fell.
Home prices declined 6.1 points in February compared with the previous month, an index published by the government's Rating and Valuation Department showed, and 18.7 points from the same period a year earlier.
Home rents also declined, dropping 4.9 points from January and 4.6 points from a year ago.
Analysts have been forecasting a 10 to 15 per cent decline in home prices in the city, where the property sector accounts for nearly a fifth of its economic output.
Property magnate and billionaire Li Ka-shing said this month the city's economy was in its worst shape in 20 years.
Hong Kong's de-facto central bank said separately on Thursday that there were nearly a quarter fewer mortgage applications in February compared with the previous month.
Of those applications, 16 per cent fewer were approved, the data from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority showed. The majority of the decrease was in mortgages for new homes.