Everything about Landscope Christie's International Real Estate and the Hong Kong luxury property market
Much has been said and written about the reasons behind the property price hike in recent years. Observers and industry professionals have cited economic growth, wealth accumulation, low interest rates, aggressive mortgage lending, skewed supply-demand curve, influx of mainland buyers and speculation activities among the main reasons. True, some of these contributed to the hike. But the one fundamental and crucial factor at work is Hong Kong governmentâ€™s perversion of the land application system.
Under the watchful eyes of the whole world, the Federal Reserve has started the second wave of quantitative easing (QE2) in an effort to bail out the US economy, which does not seem to have improved as expected after the first round of QE. Whether QE2 will have sufficient impact on the US economy remains to be seen, but it has already caused uneasiness in this part of the world. Asia, being the least affected by the financial crash in 2008, has been enjoying a relatively steady recovery since then, as most Asian economies (except Japan) have had healthy growth in last two years. Surplus capital pumped by the Federal Reserve into the economy will have profound effects on other countries, notably the fast developing China and the more established economies such as Hong Kong and Singapore, as these are the destinations of much of the hot money.
The Chinese government had stepped up the dampening measures to curb speculations in the mainland property market just before the National Day holidays by suspending loans to buyer of third homes and extending a 30 percent down payment requirement to all first-home buyers. The Peopleâ€™s Bank of China has also raised successively the capital adequacy ratio of banks in an effort to reduce liquidity. The measures show that Beijing is determined to rein in the rampant property market since the first implementation in May. As Hong Kongâ€™s economy is closely intertwined with China, the Hong Kong property market will be affected but there are diverse views of what the impacts will be.
It is a clichÃ© now to say the surge of Hong Kongâ€™s luxury property prices in recent years is largely attributed to Mainland Chinese buyers. But why? Why would Mainlanders have such impact? What are the underlying factors contributing to this phenomenon? Will the trend change in the foreseeable future? And, why are they purchasing Hong Kong properties, which are notorious for their high prices?
After a spate of brisk sales in June and July, the market is taking a break as summer lethargy sets in. August is always the quietest month of the year, as most people take time out for their vacations. Frontline sales agents are finding more time in their hands but fewer clients viewing properties.