Financial Services Secretary Christopher Hui says Hong Kong's property market-cooling measures still have value, even after home prices dropped 10.5 percent in the first 10 months of this year.
In an interview with RTHK, the minister said the cooling measures help give SAR residents priority for homes.
"We hope to give Hong Kong people the priority to buy homes when the supply is limited, and actually we can see such a demand at present," he said.
Hui said while interest rate hikes dampen demand for flats, the market is also affected by factors such as the wider economy and people's incomes.
He said the government needs to consider a range of factors - including the market situation and transaction data - before deciding whether cooling measures should be lifted.
Measures in place to curb speculation include a 15 percent buyer's stamp duty which non-locals pay in addition to the ad valorem stamp duty.
Meanwhile, the official said the government "has never forgotten about local talents", although ways to attract people from overseas were highlighted in the chief executive's recent policy address.
Hui said the 50,000 or so local university graduates every year are assets who need to be nurtured, adding that the government also puts an emphasis on developing the economy so that those who have left consider coming back.