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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Sept 16, 2023〉Interest rate hikes and sales launches for new builds have dragged down the secondary market, with many potential buyers turning cautious and homeowners rushing to sell - even if it comes at a loss.

Twenty housing estates saw 63 units sold off at lower prices, with the losses ranging from HK$866,000 to HK$8.96 million, or a 9.8 to 30.1 percent decrease.

Of these, luxury units were particularly hit hard.

A four-bedroom unit on a high floor that came with a storage room and sea views at The Graces in Tai Po went for HK$40 million, or HK$18,315 per square foot, which was lower than the asking price of HK$43 million, according to Ricacorp Properties.

〈The Standard, Sept 15, 2023〉Shek O Road was reopened at 9pm yesterday after it was closed for a second time in a week yesterday morning, as the only road to the seaside village was blocked amid the red rainstorm warning.

The red warning - raised when rain exceeds 50 millimeters in an hour - was hoisted from 5.55am to 10.30am, prompting the Education Bureau to suspend all morning classes, though schools were reopened later.

Earlier, the downpour washed away emergency repair work on Shek O Road - the only way in and out of the district - near Lan Nai Wan after Friday's calamitous rainstorm had triggered a landslide and road collapse there.

So the road was closed for the second time in a week, and government authorities offered Shek O residents "with a pressing need" the chance of leaving the district by boat in the morning.

〈Hong Kong Business, Sept 14, 2023〉In Hong Kong’s real estate industry, the adage “one man’s weakness is another man’s strength” rings true as occupiers and homebuyers in the city gain stronger bargaining power amidst a slowing market.

From the office market to luxury residences, real estate agents are saying buyers and tenants are expecting substantial discounts from their landlords.

“Office vacancy in Hong Kong is over 15% already and this has created more options for the occupiers to consider during their renewal or relocation,” Alex Siu, senior associate director for Office Services at Colliers, told Hong Kong Business magazine.

“Occupiers now have stronger bargaining power when they’re negotiating for the renewal [of leases]. Normally, they will expect a 20% to 30% discount to align with the current market conditions,” he said.

〈Asian Post, Sept 13, 2023〉The total volume and value of super-prime homes sold in Hong Kong declined in 3Q23, data from Knight Frank showed.

In 2Q23, only 42 residential properties worth US$10m above were sold, a drop from 1Q23 when 67 homes exchanged hands.

The value of sold super-prime homes likewise dropped, falling from US$989m to US$834m.

On the flip side, average selling prices of super-prime homes in Hong Kong increased to US$19.9m in 2Q23 from US$14.8m in 1Q23.

According to Knight Frank, Hong Kong’s super-prime market received a “boost from mainland buyers who had been largely absent from the market between 2020 and 2022.”

〈RTHK, Sept 12, 2023〉Chinese retail sales jumped last month, data showed on Friday, beating expectations and fuelling hopes that the country's army of consumers are returning to help kickstart the world's number two economy after an extended period of weakness.

The data, which also revealed a better-than-expected lift in industrial output, is the latest pointing to a stabilisation and will follow a number of stimulus measures by Beijing.

Sluggish domestic consumption, an embattled property sector and soft overseas demand for China's exports have all complicated the nation's post-Covid recovery after the lifting of restrictions at the end of last year.

Retail sales – the main indicator of household consumption that is closely followed by markets – jumped 4.6 percent on-year in August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.