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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Aug 12, 2022〉Luxury estates in Mid-Levels Central and Southern district are suffering amid rental pressures as global firms cut housing allowances for senior management or relocate some staff out of Hong Kong amid the fifth wave of the pandemic.

The vacancy rate for luxury homes in the two areas on the Island climbed about 10 percent to 285 units from before the fifth wave of the pandemic, property agents said.

Flats with asking rents from HK$60,000 to HK$100,000 per month accounted for more than 60 percent of the vacancies, or 185, amid the lower demand, said Dave Ma Tai-yeung, chief operating officer and director for Kowloon at Hong Kong Property.

Their rents declined about 3 to 8 percent to between HK$56,000 and HK$99,000 each month, resulting in luxury homes of sizes between 1,107 and 1,674 square feet being leased below market prices, according to the agents.

〈The Standard, Aug 11, 2022〉The secondary property market in Hong Kong has turned quiet and banks have lowered their valuations for flats in many housing estates accordingly, as interest rates and pandemic cases continue to spiral up.

The number of housing estates where bank appraisals for homes fell on a monthly basis increased from six to 12 among 50 indicator housing estates, with the declines ranging from 0.11 to 2.59 percent, which was wider than during May to June.

Bank appraisals slipped up to 1.26 percent at the six housing estates that saw valuation declines.

Only one estate saw valuations go up (and that's by 0.38 percent) in June to July, whereas the estates chalked up seven increases ranging from 0.3 to 1.53 percent in May to June.

〈Hong Kong Business, Aug 11, 2022〉Hong Kong’s population decreased by 1.6% in the first half of 2022 compared to a year ago due to natural decreases and Hong Kong residents leaving the city, according to the Census and Statistics Department.

A natural decrease happens when the death rate exceeds the birth rate. A natural decrease of 26,500 was recorded during the period, with 35,100 births and 61,600 deaths. Over the same period, a net outflow of 95,000 persons was recorded, with an inflow of 18,300 One-way Permit holders and a net outflow of 113,200 other Hong Kong residents.

Amongst the total population in mid-2022, 7,181,900 were Usual Residents and 109,700 were Mobile Residents. The revised figure for the year-end population for 2021 was 7,401,500. The number of Usual Residents was revised to 7,289,600 and the number of Mobile Residents to 111,900. The rate of change in population from end-2020 to end-2021 remained at -0.3%.

〈Asian Post, Aug 9, 2022〉Only 4,997 building units were sold in July, representing a 49.8% YoY and a20.6%MoM decline.

Of those sold, 3,671 were residential units. The number of sold residential units dropped 23.9% from May, and 51.6% from the same period last year.

Total consideration for sold residential units likewise dipped in July, decreasing 25% MoM and 56.9% YoY to $33.9b.

Overall, total considerations for all properties sold during the month dropped 21.1% MoM and 55.4% You to $41.9b

〈Trade Economics, Aug 8, 2022〉Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in the second quarter of 2022, from 5.1 percent in the three months ending May.

It was the lowest jobless rate since the three months to February, reflecting a continued improvement of the local pandemic situation and further relaxation of social distancing restrictions.

The number of unemployed persons decreased by 12,800 to 178,600 and the number of workers went up by 17,800 to 3,571,600. Unemployment fell in all sectors, more notably in the construction; retail, accommodation, and food services; and arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors.