Hong Kong Wen Wei Po (by Li Zitian)
Affected by negative factors such as violent activities, the property price index has fallen for five consecutive months by 5.2%. The Executive Director of Cheung Kong, Chiu Kwok-hung yesterday expressed, the social events have a large impact on the overall property market, and buyers wait and see considering the society is turbulent. However, he thinks there are currently no special factors that will cause the property prices to fluctuate sharply next year and expects that property prices will perform smoothly in the first half of next year, with up and down range at about 5% depending on the quality of the real estate and the atmosphere of the property market.
Rigid demand supports the property market.
Regarding the impact of the amendment crisis on the property market, Chiu Kwok-hung agrees the social events have a large impact on the overall property market and buyers wait and see considering the society is turbulent. However, he believes that the overall property market is still stable, and the market has rigid demand because there is not much supply and large units or luxury homes are not particularly active while the sales of small units are still ideal, besides the transactions for units of 400-600 sq ft suitable for the mass market have increased. While the decrease in the sales of tiny houses due to the considerable supply, and the renting of this type of houses on the market is not smooth, thus the rental returns were not satisfactory.
Asked whether there would be interest rates cut again during the year, Chiu Kwok-hung believed not very likely, and it is believed the interest rate cut would be limited due to current very low-interest rate, also it has little effect on repayment, so the interest rate cut only brings psychological factors but has little effect on stimulating property prices .
Chiu Kwok-hung also mentioned that the government's relaxation of mortgage insurance greatly helped to increase the transaction of second-hand properties, and it not only makes owners more willing to put on sale houses but also assists customers to change houses in the first-hand property market, thereby forming a ripple effect, besides the reflection predicted to show within the following three to six months.
The Managing Director of Far East Development, Hung Cheung-tat also said yesterday that he is still optimistic about the property market in Hong Kong, and the Group has already won a commercial and hotel site in Kai Tak near Kai Tak Sports Park this year, also he cited the example of the west Kowloon commercial site that had just been sold and believes although the price is not as the market expected but developers involved had pre-calculated otherwise they will not do it. Hung Cheung-tat pointed out that although Hong Kong is in turmoil, it may not be bad in the long run if it can bring resources back to Hong Kong.
Land sharing takes time to discuss.
As for the Government's plan to launch a land-sharing pilot plan early next year, Chiu Kwok-hung pointed out that the group did not actively discuss with the government due to the few agricultural lands, and believed the plan is a new attempt, but it is believed needs more time to discuss since there are differences of opinion among the community. He also pointed out that the developers will not be "happy” to see the land price rising since the land supply in Hong Kong is lack, so it is believed developers will strive to do if the plan is feasible, and it can solve the problem of land supply in the long run. The pilot plan approves a maximum of 150 hectares of agricultural land, not too much.
Asked whether the Government would requisition land from developers in the future, he said that he could not predict the future, but believed that the government is in good faith and hopes to solve the land issue in Hong Kong.