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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Sept 30, 2023〉The number of shop transactions jumped to a 14-month high last month, according to Midland IC&I, although rents in core districts are still seeing a slower recovery.

Deals rose by 36 percent month on month to 106 in August, Midland said, citing consolidated data from the Land Registry.

The total value of the transactions stood at HK$1.74 billion in August, an increase of about 8.3 percent month on month.

〈The Standard, Sept 29, 2023〉Singapore became the biggest investor in Japan's real estate sector this year, lured by the yen's weakness and growing demand in logistics and hospitality industries, according to Knight Frank.

Inflows from the city-state amounted to almost US$3 billion (HK$23.4 billion) so far this year, followed by investors from the United States, Canada and the United Arab Emirates, according to a report published this month.

Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC's purchase of six warehouses in Japan from Blackstone for US$800 million contributed significantly to that, said Christine Li, Knight Frank's head of Asia-Pacific research, in the report.

GIC chief investment officer Jeffrey Jaensubhakij recently described Japan as a "very cheap" market where value can be realized, and with a long way to run. International investors are also attracted to its low borrowing costs, and putting more money into hotels because of a post-pandemic tourism boom.

〈Asian Post, Sept 28, 2023〉Overall residential property price index dropped by 1.1% in July, recording the lowest decline this year. The residential mortgage loans in negative equity cases will likely exceed 10,000 by the end of this month, property expert JLL said.

Overall home prices as of the end of July were 2.6% higher compared to the previous year-end, but this increase is expected to be offset during the current month. Meanwhile, secondary transaction volume in the market reached an all-time low in January 2020.

As of July 2023, the rental index for class A properties is still 9.0% below the end-2019 level.

Major local banks raised the HIBOR-based mortgage rate cap by 50 bps to 4.125% and reduced cash rebates. More local banks are expected to follow suit due to mounting funding cost pressure.

〈Hong Kong Business, Sept 27, 2023〉1 in 2 of Hong Kong’s young professionals are considering or planning to move out of the city, according to a survey by Robert Walters Hong Kong.

51% of those aged between 27 and 42 are seeking to move out of the city, compared to 38% of those aged between 43 to 58 years old.

Whilst the desire to work overseas and gain international experience is nothing new, it is concerning that such a large number of Hong Kong professionals want to leave the city, said John Mullally, managing director at Robert Walters Hong Kong.

"As employers, we need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to retain our top talent, and this means offering opportunities for growth and development, as well as competitive compensation and benefits packages,” Mullally said.

〈Shanghai Daily, Sept 26, 2023〉The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated on Thursday that it maintains its expectation that China will achieve its growth target of approximately 5 percent in 2023.
"On China, what we have seen recently is a slowdown in the economy since the first quarter. However, the very recent data has been a bit more mixed, with some signs of stabilization," IMF spokesperson Julie Kozack said at a press briefing in response to a question from Xinhua.

Detailed projections will be provided in the World Economic Outlook, set for release during the 2023 World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Marrakech, Morocco, from October 9 through October 15.