Hong Kong private home prices in March rose for the third month and edged up 1.4% from February, as the reopened border with China and a raft of new launches by property developers at attractive prices boosted market sentiment.

The rise in home prices last month followed a revised 2.4% gain in February, official data showed on Wednesday.

Prices in the financial hub, ranked by survey company Demographia as the least affordable city in the world for a thirteenth consecutive year, rebounded 5% in the first quarter after a 15% drop in 2022.

Transaction volume, however, is expected to soften in April after the earlier spike, as the earlier rush to buy has subsided and the more recent volatility in the global markets has deterred some potential buyers.

Realtor Centaline expected April transactions would decline 30% from March.

"In the near term factors including high interest rates and inventory in the primary market will still weigh on the home price recovery, I expect prices in the second quarter will see bigger pressure," said Martin Wong, Greater China head of research and consultancy at consultancy Knight Frank.

The fall in 2022 was the first annual drop since 2008, with the property market dragged down by a weak economic outlook, rising mortgage costs and a COVID-19 outbreak at the beginning of the year. (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)