April 30, 2018 / 5:42 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong's private home prices mark 24 straight months of growth

A representative from a developer poses in front of a backdrop during the promotional event of a new flat in Hong Kong March 20, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s private home prices rose in March to mark their second straight year of uninterrupted monthly increases, data showed on Monday, driven by a persistent critical land shortage in the city.

The territory’s Rating and Valuation Department’s price index rose 1.01 percent in March from the previous month, hitting its 17th consecutive record high. Prices jumped 14.7 percent year-on-year and surged 35.7 percent from two years ago, when the uptrend began. The index broke historic records in November 2016 and has continued to rise since then.

Hong Kong’s government has made reining in property prices a top priority and introduced a range of policies to this effect, but apartment prices have continued to soar due to low interest rates, high demand and a lack of housing supply.

Hong Kong’s Land Supply Task Force chairman, Stanley Wong, last Thursday said the land shortfall is much worse than the 1,200 hectares flagged in previous estimates.

The taskforce has officially launched a five-month public consultation on land use and ways of boosting supply.

Reporting by Venus Wu; Editing by Sam Holmes

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