Macau’s real estate market picks up as March residential transactions rise sharply

01 May 2021
Bela Vista

Macau saw a strong uptick in its residential property market in March, with an increase of 52% in the number of transactions from February.

During the month, 541 residential properties were transacted at an average price of MOP98,554 per useable square metre – an increase of 187 properties on the total of 354 recorded sold in February, according to the territory’s Financial Services Bureau. The average price per useable square metre was also almost 5% higher than the MOP94,205 average in February.

The Macau Peninsula saw 412 residential transactions, an increase of 147, and Tapia saw 107 transactions, a rise of 41. There were 22 transactions in Coloane, a decrease of one from the previous month.

The average price per square meter of saleable area on the Macau Peninsula was MOP95,146, a 5.7% increase from MOP89,979 in February. The average price in Taipa was MOP104,813, 3% higher than February’s figure of MOP101,678. Meanwhile, in Coloane, the average was MOP107,903, a dip of 3.6% from the average of MOP111,955 recorded in February.

Two-bedroom units priced below MOP8 million were sold primarily for owner occupation. Purchasing decisions were based mainly on the ages of properties and their proximity to retail outlets, services, facilities and infrastructure.

The surge in sales activity comes amid the steady global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Countries across the globe have taken measures to stimulate their economies, major central banks have lowered interest rates, hot money is flowing, and banks are seeking destinations for their funds. Some banks in Macau recently introduced P-3.68% discounts on mortgages, offering mortgage interest rates as low as 1.57%. This has greatly reduced the burden on mortgagees, stimulating buyer appetite in the property market and generating a significant boost in demand in the secondary market, in particular.

The number of tourist arrivals in Macau has also gradually increased. The territory’s economy rebounded in April and, with signs of a sustained recovery in progress, residents’ demand for property is on the rise. This has been reflected in increased numbers of property viewings. Some owners are waiting for a further strengthening of the property market before selling their units, even though supply in the secondary market is constrained and prices have largely stabilised, leaving little scope for buyers to negotiate lower prices.

Demand in the luxury housing market has been sluggish, but the overall improvement in market conditions is expected to boost activity in that segment. Prices per square metre in the secondary market for large, three-bedroom units with superior views and layouts offered at more than MOP8 million are lower than those of smaller properties, meaning that bank valuations are typically robust. But prices per square metre for units offered at less than MOP8 million are higher, suggesting that current valuations may be too low.

It is believed that as the number of COVID vaccinations continues to increase worldwide this year, tourist arrivals to Macau will rise sharply, and that the territory’s property market will enjoy growth outstripping its performance in 2020. Young Macau residents interested in buying homes are being encouraged to take advantage of various property purchase incentives and choose suitable units for themselves. And, as shown by the increase in property transactions in recent months, a clear upward trend is emerging, demonstrating that Macau residents remain confident in the market’s prospects.

Bela Vista Property Services Limited currently manages a real estate portfolio covering residential, commercial and cultural heritage projects with a total area of more than 1.5 million square feet. The company will continue to provide sales and leasing services that exceed our customer expectations.