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Hong Kong's 28-month property bull run just came to an end

Key Points
  • Hong Kong’s 28-month property bull run just came to an end.
  • HSBC just raised interest rates for the first time to local residents in more than a decade.
  • Hong Kong has been named the most at-risk area in terms of a property price bubble.
Hong Kong skyline.
Billy H.C. Kwok | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Hong Kong house prices have fallen on average for the first time since early 2016, as sentiment looks to have turned against the city's notoriously expensive real estate market.

The city's official index that tracks the price of private homes, dropped by 0.6 point to 393.9 last month, from 394.2 a month earlier, according to data by the Rating and Valuation Department.

The last recorded monthly fall was in March 2016.

The prospect of rising interest rates are being blamed for the slowdown and HSBC raised borrowing costs for Hong Kong residents for the first time in more than a decade on Thursday. That move followed the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate hike a day earlier.

Hong Kong housing price correction expected in 2019: Analyst
Hong Kong housing price correction expected in 2019: Analyst

On Thursday, the Swiss bank UBS issued a property report which identified housing prices in Hong Kong are the most overvalued in the world and at the greatest risk of collapse.

It added that a resident of Hong Kong would currently need to work 22 years to afford a 60 m2 flat in the Asian metropolis. Ten years ago it was just 12 years

This backed official statistics that show that the former British colony has seen house prices rise at an annual rate of almost 10 percent since 2012.

Measures to rein in prices in Hong Kong have until now been considered ineffective and there has been some suggestion that tighter restrictions could be coming for non-local homebuyers.

Hong Kong focused property companies that are listed on the Hang Seng index struggled on Friday.

CK Asset Holdings fell almost more than 2 percent while Sun Hung Kai Properties shed 0.96 percent of its listed value.

What is a bubble?
What is a bubble?