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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Oct 21, 2023〉As the market looks to Wednesday's policy address in hope the "spicy measures" to stabilize the property sector may be removed, developers are offering new payment methods to speed up sales of unsold flats at completed projects amid a high-interest-rate environment.

Among their efforts is "move in now, pay later" - a plan that allows buyers to take possession of the flats before making the payments in full by up to two years.

Instead of applying for a mortgage that comes with an interest rate of up to 4.125 percent right away, purchasers can now "rent" properties from developers after making down payments. All rental payments made during the period go toward offsetting outstanding payments when a transaction closes.

〈Asian Post, Oct 20, 2023〉Hong Kong reported a low seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the third quarter, remaining at 2.8% in the period of July-September 2023, the same in the June-August period.

Data from the Census and Statistics Department also showed that the underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1% at the same period.

The department said the changes in the unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, and underemployment rate during the June-August and July-September in different industry sectors varied, “but the magnitudes were generally not large.”

〈Hong Kong Business, Oct 19, 2023〉Overall Grade A office leasing market reported a slight improvement with the overall vacancy rate dropping to 12.7% in September, according to JLL’s latest Hong Kong Property Market Monitor.

Three major business districts reported improved vacancy rates. Central’s vacancy rate decreased by 0.3% while Tsimshatsui and Kowloon East vacancy rates dropped by 0.4% and 0.3% respectively.

“Last month, the overall Grade A office market showed further improvement, with a positive net absorption of 66,100 sq ft. Notably, it is also the first time in two years that Tsimshatsui’s vacancy rate fell below 10% as the supply is tight in this district,” Alex Barnes, Managing Director and Head of Office Leasing Advisory at JLL in Hong Kong said.

〈Asian Post, Oct 18, 2023〉The Lands Department issued 13 pre-sale consents for residential developments involving 8,993 units in 3Q23.

Three developments in Tuen Mun, Kai Tak and Yuen Long, comprising 4,146 units, will be completed next year.

Four developments in Yau Tong, Kwun Tong, Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O, consisting of 3,184 units, will be ready in 2025.

The remaining two developments, involving 1,663 units, in Kwun Tong and To Kwa Wan, will be finished in 2026.

〈CNBC, Oct 17, 2023〉Major property developer China Vanke said on Thursday it had raised 3.92 billion Hong Kong dollars ($499 million) in a share placement in Hong Kong, in the first test of investor appetite towards a mainland developer share sale in 2023.

State-backed Vanke said in a filing that it sold 300 million shares at HK$13.05 per share, versus their offer price range of between HK$12.93 to HK$13.20 apiece, according to the term sheets of the deal launched on Wednesday and seen by Reuters.

The pricing was at a 6.12% discount to Vanke’s Wednesday close of HK$13.90.