The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Sharp increase in house prices in Hong Kong SAR in 2009-2010 has led to concerns of an emerging real estate bubble. According to our measure of price deviation from fundamentals, which should be taken as an early warning indicator of market exuberance, the current level of house prices in Hong Kong SAR does not seem to be significantly higher than would be justified by underlying fundamentals. Moreover, unlike advanced economies before 2007-8, deviation from fundamentals has not been persistent in Hong Kong.Going forward, low interest rate and improving growth prospects, as well as a tight supply, particularly in the mass market, means that house price growth will continue to be strong.This is the period in which vulnerability may be accumulating, and tight prudential standards and fiscal measures will be required to tame price inflation.