In this file photo dated Sept 21, 2021, a general view of high-rise residential buildings and skyscrapers are seen in Hong Kong. (PHOTO / AP)

Private home prices in Hong Kong fell 15.6 percent in 2022 in the first annual drop since 2008, official data showed on Friday.

Prices in the financial hub were weighed down by a weak economic outlook and rising mortgage costs, following a COVID-19 outbreak at the beginning of the year.

December saw the seventh consecutive month of decline, the data showed, with prices down 2.0 percent from a month earlier to the lowest since April 2017. That compared with a revised 3.2 percent drop in November and a 2.6 percent fall in October.

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For 2023, real estate consultancies expect home prices to remain soft though stabilize in the second half after an expected peak in interest rates.