Local consumers still pessimistic about buying houses


Overall consumer confidence in the MSAR is slightly down, according to a study, in particular in the area of housing purchases.
The consumer confidence index for housing purchases reached 51.16 in the second quarter of this year, down 4.15 per cent when compared to the previous quarter, according to a study conducted by the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), released yesterday.
The index for housing purchases was the lowest among the six indicators, ‘suggesting a further worsening of the negative sentiment among potential residential home buyers,’ according to the study.
The overall consumer confidence levels of five of the six indicators fell during the second quarter, according to the data.
According to MUST, the index is calculated based on indicators for: ‘local economy’, ‘employment’, ‘consumer prices, ‘living standards’, ‘housing purchase’ and ‘stock investment.’ Index scores below 100 suggest a lack of confidence, while scores over 100 imply a positive outlook.
The confidence index for the three months stood at 85.30, down 1.21 per cent when compared to the first quarter of this year.
‘In the second quarter of 2017, five of the six sub-indexes included in MCCI decreased while only one increased compared with the 1st quarter of 2017,’ notes MUST.
The index for ‘local economy’ stood at 102.28, which was the only indicator that experienced growth, up 0.85 per cent quarter-to-quarter.
Although the ‘employment’ index score decreased by 1.15 per cent to 105.52, the number registered was the highest amongst the indicators during the quarter.
‘Consumer prices’ stood at 74.22, down 0.75 per cent quarter-to-quarter, ‘implying a slightly increased concern of Macau residents due to local inflation,’ stated the researchers.
MUST stressed again in its report that: ‘the higher the consumers’ education levels, the higher their confidence,’ adding that such a trend has been consistent in the past 35 quarters. ‘Focusing more on education and training as well as motivating and supporting citizens’ continuous learning and self-enhancement should be of fundamental importance for increasing Macau consumers’ confidence,’ notes the institute.