Rising charges, value droop deal double blow to Hong Kong householders

An aerial view reveals Choi Hung public housing property and different residential buildings with the Lion Rock peak within the background, in Hong Kong, China June 3, 2021. Image taken June 3, 2021 with a drone. REUTERS/Joyce Zhou

Register now for FREE limitless entry to Reuters.com

HONG KONG, Sept 22 (Reuters) – When Stephanie Cheung purchased a small, two-bedroom condo for HK$7.7 million ($981,041) as an funding in April 2021, she booked a 6% acquire by the summer time as Hong Kong’s property market boomed to historic highs.

The worth surge was pushed partly by optimism that Hong Kong’s borders would reopen after a number of the world’s most stringent COVID-19 measures over the previous two-and-a half years.

Immediately, none of that has materialized.

Register now for FREE limitless entry to Reuters.com

The worth of Cheung’s 450 sq. foot flat has dropped 6%, and the rental earnings of HK$16,300 is not sufficient to cowl mortgage repayments after month-to-month curiosity elevated by HK$2,400 a couple of months in the past.

“I made the acquisition hoping to order capital, however now I simply wished to make use of the shortest time and the smallest loss to promote this condo,” stated Cheung, 40, who lives in an even bigger rented condo together with her household.

Cheung’s is just not an remoted case as rising mortgage prices and a bleak financial outlook have deepened pessimism amongst householders. learn extra

That poses a major coverage headache for town’s new chief, John Lee, who should stability the wants of various sectors of society. Lee delivers his first Coverage Tackle in October.

“John Lee must preserve property costs managed for the grassroots and younger folks, whereas he cannot afford to let costs crash as a result of it might jeopardize the wealth of the middle-class,” stated realtor Hong Kong Property Providers chief operations officer Dave Ma.

Dwelling costs in Hong Kong, the world’s most unaffordable market by earnings ratio to deal with values, are anticipated to drop round 10% this 12 months, the primary fall since 2008.

Cheung is now set to guide a good greater loss, after some banks on Thursday raised their rate of interest by 12.5 foundation factors, the primary rise in 4 years.


Hong Kong homebuyers have loved years of ultra-low charges and plenty of mortgage plans are linked to the floating interbank charges, which largely stayed beneath 1% in 2021, and through 2009-2016.

As interbank charges spiked to a greater than 28-month excessive in August, the efficient mortgage charge has risen to round 2.6% from barely over 1% at the start of this 12 months.

Rates of interest in Hong Kong have a tendency to maneuver in lockstep with U.S. charges, as its forex is pegged to the dollar, placing upward strain on interbank and mortgage charges.

The upper borrowing prices are denting residence purchaser sentiment.

Dwelling costs within the monetary metropolis dropped 4.5% within the first seven months from December, whereas transaction volumes within the first 9 months slid 40% year-on-year.

Property brokers stated costs had dropped greater than 7% to this point this 12 months to ranges not seen for the reason that third quarter of 2018.

“The beneficial properties over the previous 4 years have been worn out in 4 months,” stated realtor Ma.

Many sellers are these leaving Hong Kong for good or residents pressured to money in to assist struggling companies.

Builders are additionally chopping costs, with some promoting new tasks at reductions of as much as 20%.

Ma stated the market may stabilise within the close to time period if the federal government lifts journey restrictions with mainland China and abroad, and relaxes stamp obligation imposed on second-home purchases and overseas consumers.

Momo Chan, 35, a civil servant who purchased a house final April earlier than getting married, additionally stated reopening borders is essential to help the housing market.

“I had anticipated rates of interest to rise and the market wouldn’t preserve going up, however I assumed it might be steady, not a giant fall like this in the previous few months,” Chan stated.

($1 = 7.8488 Hong Kong {dollars})

Register now for FREE limitless entry to Reuters.com

Reporting by Clare Jim; Enhancing by Anne Marie Roantree and Shri Navaratnam

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

Supply hyperlink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.