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Hon Kong retirees should rent rather than buy in Greater Bay Area


Damon Ho

11th March 2023

In the last three years, Hong Kong people were so eager to wait for the reopening border. Finally, the border was  reopened two month ago. Since then, Hong Kong people start to revisit to the Greater Bay Area in whatever purpose including sightseeing, shopping or hunting for a new home. Amongst of all, home searching is their favorite activity. Those new riverside buildings are very attractive to them. In addition, these home prices are so affordable, and their values are likely to be less than normal parking spaces in Hong Kong. These high values properties are simple to draw the attention from investors or self-users. These real estate prices are extraordinary low so the Hong Kong people are easy to lure to make a purchasing decision. For your safety, everyone should act cautiously before making a decision. 

After three years of lockdown, the buying power of ordinary citizens in China has dropped significantly. Therefore, purchasing power from Hong Kong and Macau has a major impact on sales results of real estate in the Greater Bay Area.

Hong Kong people have recently revisited to the Bay Area, and they have probably noticed the local property prices have dropped by more than 20% in average, and the prices of newly launched properties have also been adjusted down. These low prices’ properties have a strong attraction to home buyers.

Although the author has proposed the safety ways to purchase the properties in Bay Area, but considering the current investment prospects and rental returns, even if you have decided to stay in the Greater Bay Area for retirement, it is better to rent rather than to buy.

In the past, big developers were the first choices for the buyers of the China properties. However, a lot of big developers are in the verge of bankruptcy.

A few years ago, it had been safer to buy a first-handed topping off properties. However, these kinds of properties have no guarantee granted the occupancy permit.

When Hong Kong people visited to the Greater Bay Area, they discovered that the riverside new projects was inexpensive. On this condition, they easily make a reckless decision to buy a property. The writer knows an investor who bought a good branded first-hand property in Zhongshan a few years ago. Consequently, the valuation of this property has dropped by 40% in the past three years. This investor initially wanted to move in for retirement, but he now believes the location is too remote and inconvenient. Finally, he has no option but leaving the unit vacant. 

If all the precautionary measures are implemented, it may not yet be possible to avoid buying unsuitable properties that may fall through.  If this is the case, it is better to rent before you decide to purchase later. This can avoid the loss of valuable funds by buying the wrong property for retirees. As a senior citizens they may consider renting out their properties in Hong Kong. The rent they received can cover their daily expenses including the rent in the Greater Bay Area. This might be a good alternative for retirees.

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1. Deals rise as stamp duty cut 2023-03-11 13:18:08

After the hong Kong government lowered stamp duty for first-time buyers, small and medium-sized homes saw transactions rise in the secondary market.

Yuen Long reported six units traded on February 22, when the stamp duty cut was announced in the Budget, said Centaline Property's deputy regional sales manager, Ken Wong Kan-hok.

Inquiries on home purchases surged and the home viewing appointments last weekend increased up to three times week on week.

Victor Chung, associate district manager at Midland Realty, said 15 deals were recorded in Tsuen Wan in one day after the Budget announcement, with 70 percent at HK$9 million or below.

2. 布力徑9號估值4.8億放售 2023-03-11 14:18:26



3. Silicon Valley Bank imploded in a single day 2023-03-11 23:31:23

Silicon Valley Bank imploded in a single day. It could just be the tip of the iceberg.

The market on Friday watched as regulators shut the doors of Silicon Valley Bank, capping off a speedy decline and marking the biggest bank failure since 2008.

The bank's collapse was a byproduct of the Federal Reserve's hiking of interest rates by 1,700% in less than a year. Once risk-free Treasuries started generating more attractive returns than what SVB was offering, people started withdrawing, and the firm was forced to sell its loan portfolio at a huge loss. Even more people fled, and regulators were forced to shut it down.

The chaotic episode showed that the Fed's aggressive interest rate hiking regime could upend institutions and markets that were once thought to be relatively stable. It appears that any rate sensitivity is about to be laid bare, and past risk-taking behavior held accountable.

4. Digital fraud is mounting 2023-03-12 10:52:05

As much as consumers claim to be tech-savvy enough to recognize scams, Visa found that 73% are still likely to miss the requisite red flags in digital communications.

Visa referred to the language of fraud as “fraudulese,” which can be seen in texts or emails that offer free gifts, winning, exclusive deals, or act now messages. 

“Understanding the language of fraud is increasingly essential in our digital-first world. Scammers have reached new heights of sophistication in both language and variety – no one is immune,” Pavan Kumar Muttireddy, Head of Risk, Visa Hong Kong & Macau, said. 

5. 威靈頓街92號尺價2.2萬 2023-03-13 11:17:29



6. HSBC rescues subsidiary of SVB 2023-03-14 09:45:52

HSBC says it is acquiring the UK subsidiary of stricken Silicon Valley Bank for 1 (HK$9.46), but its shares edged down in Hong Kong.

"This acquisition makes excellent strategic sense for our business in the UK," chief executive Noel Quinn said.

The move comes after US authorities moved to shore up deposits and stem any wider fallout from the collapse of its parent, tech start-up lender SVB.

7. Hk shop rents edged down to second place 2023-03-15 10:19:43

The global political conflicts and closure of borders impacted Hong Kong’s top spot in the priciest retail destination. According to Cushman and Wakefield’s 2022 report, Hong Kong has now edged down to second place. 

The Upper Fifth Avenue located in New York ranked first in the most expensive retail destination report, with $15,622 (US$ 2,000) per square foot (sq ft). In 2019, the US was at the second spot globally.

Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui has $11,216 (US$1,436) per sq ft. The market was in first place before the pandemic hit.

Followed by Hong Kong in the most expensive retail destination is Italy’s Via Montenapoleone with $10,779 (US$1,380)  rent per sq ft. London’s New Bond Street and The Avenues des Champs Elysees in Paris placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

8. Measures in place to prevent abuse public housing 2023-03-16 18:09:56

Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho assured the public that there are measures in place to prevent abuse of the city’s public housing resources.

Ho added that the Housing Department has also collected evidence and strengthened collaboration between the various government departments to obtain key information more effectively and quickly to determine if there is any tenancy abuse.

Since the implementation of the revised Well-off Tenants Policies in 2017, about 3,200 households have surrendered or had their public rental housing (PRH) flats recovered.

9. Commercial properties strengthen in 2023 2023-03-17 13:55:45

Transaction volumes for commercial properties will likely improve across all sectors in 2023 and beyond, according to CBRE.

In a report, CBRE said demand for commercial properties will gradually strengthen on the back of a brightening economic outlook, improving sales for the year.

In February, sales surged by 23.4% MoM to 1,698 units.

CBRE, however, said the rental and capital value performance of the market will “depend on the supply-demand balance across individual property sectors.” 

“In the short term, a rebound in the retail sector will be more evident as supported by growth in inbound travellers from a low base, followed by the hospitality segment. We expect to see more money chasing these assets going forward,” CBRE said.