Hong Kong private home prices, among the most expensive in the world, rose 3.3% in 2021, the 13th consecutive annual increase, official data showed on Thursday, supported by robust demand and economic recovery.

December, however, saw the third month of declines in a row, according to the data, with prices down 0.3% as the property market consolidated after reaching a record high in September.

The drop compares with a revised 0.9% fall in November.

Property agents said buyers turned more cautious after prices hit a new peak, but they still expect prices to rise another 5% in 2022 on an improving economic environment.

However, the financial city has seen a surge of COVID-19 infections this month, which authorities are trying to contain by restricting activities in many service businesses. That in turn could slow down the economic recovery, analysts cautioned.

(Reporting by Clare Jim Editing by Mark Potter)