Macau luxury properties could play catch-up with price rises elsewhere in the region in the New Year, driven by a confidence-boosting resumption of work on its Cotai mega-resort and a fresh influx of expatriate construction and casino staff.

'The top end of the property market in Macau has lagged the recovery in Hong Kong and could be in line for about 30% growth in prices this year to an average of HK$9,000/ sq ft from the current HK$7,000,' said Ronald Cheung Yat-fai, the chief executive of Midland Realty (Macau).

'The economy here will certainly get a big boost if Las Vegas Sands resumes work on its resort development on the Cotai Strip, and the property market will benefit.'

South China Morning Post