The decline in luxury home prices in Hong Kong and volatile stock markets in the Greater China region are luring a group of cash-rich mainlanders back to the city to snap up high-end residential properties in recent months, according to property consultants.

The investors were likely to be a first wave of buyers returning to the luxury market as a result of the plunge in prices and sales volumes as last year drew to a close, they said.

However, the experience of the post-1997 recovery in the market was not likely to be repeated, the consultants added.

Then overeager mainland buyers speculated aggressively in both top and low-end properties, helping to inflate a property price bubble that eventually burst and saw prices fall about 70% from peak levels in 1997 by 2003.

South China Morning Post