Hong Kong home sales plunge as violent protests shut down city

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Home sales in Hong Kong plunged over the weekend as increasingly violent protests shut down parts of the city.

A boost to property sales last month from the relaxation of mortgage rules has proven short-lived as the protests escalate. The number of transactions in 15 housing estates tracked by Midland Realty International Ltd. slumped 78% on the weekend from a month earlier.

"The unpredictable social events have intensified in the past few days, affecting apartment visits for potential buyers," said Sammy Po, the chief executive officer of Midland's residential department. "Buyers have turned more cautious."

Sunday saw one of the worst clashes between protesters and the police in months of unrest. Demonstrators at Hong Kong Polytechnic University tossed petrol bombs while police responded with repeated rounds of teargas and blue-dyed liquid sprays.

The violent confrontations came after protests left the city paralyzed for most of last week with much of its public transport disrupted.

Bloomberg News
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