HONG KONG - Hong Kong plans to "fine-tune" the maximum size of mortgages available to first-time homebuyers, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in a radio interview on Sunday.

Chan told Commercial Radio Hong Kong that residents want to upgrade homes after starting families so the government is discussing with the de facto central bank to adjust mortgages to sizes that balance buyer interest and financial security.

Market participants have been urging the government to relax property market curbs after home prices in one of the world's most expensive markets dropped 15% last year. Chan has previously said repeatedly he had no intention of doing so.

Currently buyers can borrow up to 50% of the cost of mid-sized-to-large homes priced over HK$12 million ($1.53 million).

The government relaxed rules in February 2022 to allow first-time buyers to borrow up to 80% for homes costing HK$12 million or less, and 90% for homes priced HK$10 million or less. ($1 = 7.8298 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Christopher Cushing)