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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Nov 18, 2023〉Britain's buy-to-let property deals are slumping as cautious buyers retreat and landlords endure the highest interest rates in 15 years.

Buy-to-let investors are on track to sell about 140,000 homes in Britain this year, roughly 53,000 fewer than in 2022, according to a report from broker Hamptons International.

Despite the slowdown in sales, landlords are still letting go of more homes than they are buying.

"Strong rental growth is softening the blow, but they're also drawing on their equity and cash reserves to see them through," said Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons. "Portfolio investors - who tend to be more highly leveraged - are juggling their assets by selling one or two properties to reduce their mortgage debt on the rest of their portfolio, rather than selling up entirely."

〈The Standard, Nov 17, 2023〉Despite uncertainties present and future, developers are launching sales of their latest projects this month in a race to offload the many homes weighing down the need-to-sell side of their balance sheet.

Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016), for one, plans to upload the prospectus for Yoho West in Tin Shui Wai before November 20 and then follow up on that by unveiling the first price list for a project that is the largest residential launch for this year with 1,383 units.

In Tuen Mun, SHKP embarked on a new round of sales on Saturday for 154 flats in price lists and 32 units by tender at Novo Land 2A.

〈Hong Kong Business, Nov 16, 2023〉The jobless rate for the August to October period clocked in at 2.9%, a 0.1 percentage point increase from the July-September record.

Based on the data from the Census & Statistics Department (C&SD), the total number of unemployed people from August to October was 115,800.

The movement of the unemployment rate varied in different industries.

The manufacturing sector and import and export trade sector recorded relatively notable increases.

〈Asian Post, Nov 15, 2023〉Chief Executive John Lee said the property market needs time to adjust to the easing of property measures announced in the Policy Address last month.

The government announced adjustments to the demand-side management measures for residential properties, including the shortening of the applicable period for Special Stamp Duty payments from three years to two years.

The measure resulted in Buyer’s Stamp Duty and the New Residential Stamp Duty rate reduction to 7.5% from 15% and suspension of the stamp duty for residential property acquisition by incoming talent to Hong Kong.

〈Macau Daily News, Nov 15, 2023〉China’s economy showed more signs of reviving in October as retail sales and manufacturing picked up though the property sector remained sluggish, the government said yesterday.

Factory output rose 4.6% from a year earlier in October, while retail sales jumped 7.6%, helped by robust spending during the weeklong National Day holidays.

But real estate investment sank 9.3%, and officials acknowledged that the industry was still in the “midst of adjustment,” after a crackdown on excessive borrowing by developers two years ago, coupled with the pandemic, plunged the industry into crisis.

Disruptions to manufacturing, transport, travel and virtually every other aspect of life during the pandemic ended nearly a year ago when China’s leaders abandoned their “zero-COVID” policies aimed at preventing infections.