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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, July 15, 2023〉The government is stepping up the pace of development at Northern Metropolis, Kwu Tung North and new areas in Fan Ling North.

To speed things up, it proposed last year lower premiums for land-use conversions in the latter two areas at standardized rates.

However, complicating matters is the continued softening of property and land prices.

That complication might not have been taken into account by the Development Bureau when it announced on June 30 that standard land-use conversion premiums would go down by up to 33 percent.

〈Asian Post, July 14, 2023〉Projects such as Kai Tak and Wong Chuk Hang will likely see better sell-through following Hong Kong's relaxation of the loan-to-value (LTV) ratios for residential properties, according to Jefferies.

In a report, Jefferies explained that whilst residential projects priced between $12m to $30m could see an LTV uplift of 15% to 20%, "stretching the LTV for large lump-sum units would require a high-income level to support the monthly instalment under the 50 debt service ratio constraint."

Jefferies underscored that only 8% of the total households in Hong Kong who make more than $100,000 a month can potentially participate in the expanded LTV schemes set by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

〈Hong Kong Business, July 13, 2023〉Property developer, CK Asset Holdings, has terminated the sale of the 21 Borret Road development to ORIC-Borrett Limited following the latter's failure to give the first part of the payment of $1.04b.

In a bourse filing, CK Asset Holdings said it has also forfeited the $2.1b deposit from ORIC-Borrett Limited.

"Despite the parties’ attempts to address the default through discussion on a without prejudice basis, no resolution has been reached," the company stated.

The board of the property developer said the termination of the sale of the luxury project will not have "any material adverse impact on the business and financial position of the Company and the interests of its shareholders as a whole."

〈Asian Post, July 12, 2023〉Leasing momentum, particularly in core shopping districts, has picked up in a recent spike of retail sales, 21% YoY growth in the first five months of 2023.

According to JLL, leasing activity in the first half of the year was dominated by mid-to-mass-end trades and food and beverage segments.

In the near-term, F&B, grocery, mass fashion and lifestyle trades as well as experiential retail will support leasing demand

“About 4 million sq ft of new retail supply is scheduled for completion by the end of the year. All of these projects are located in non-core shopping areas,” Oliver Tong, head of retail at JLL said,

〈BBC, July 11, 2023〉Inflation rose 3% in the year to June, according to data, from 4% in May.

Inflation has fallen sharply from a peak of more than 9% in June 2022 and the latest reading marks the slowest pace since March 2021.

The figures suggest a succession of interest rate rises have punctured soaring prices.

However, analysts still expected the US Federal Reserve to raise rates again this month.