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Property News Weekly Digest
2019/11/23
〈Asian Post, November 23, 2019〉Large Kowloon site draws bids from leading developers
Auction may test investor appetite as estimated value of the plot has dropped 63pc amid unrest

Hong Kong's biggest land auction, which involves a site that was the latest flashpoint in more than five months of anti-government protests, has attracted three bids from among the city's richest developers.

Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and CK Asset Holdings had submitted bids for the 5.88-hectare commercial plot atop the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus, company officials said.

A consortium comprising Wharf (Holdings), Sino Land, Henderson Land Development, Chinese Estate Holdings and Lifestyle International Holdings also lodged a bid.

The auction may test investor appetite and underline the extent of damage to market valuation over the past six months. Anti-government protests have turned off buyers and pushed the economy into a recession.

〈Asian Post, November 23, 2019〉Several top brands have delayed their plans to open new stores, leaving empty spaces at city's high-end malls. Is this a sign of worse to come?

"Opening soon," says the white hoarding covering a Chanel Beauty store at Fashion Walk, a retail area normally teeming with shoppers in Causeway Bay. The shop, which has looked like this for nearly four months, is just one of many whose openings have been much delayed by recent anti-government protests, adding to the increasing number of empty storefronts appearing in the city's retail enclaves.

As the escalating unrest sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill shows no signs of abating, luxury brands that had plans to open new stores in the third or four quarters of this year have put them on hold, taking a wait-and-see approach towards developments as Hong Kong enters its sixth consecutive month of turmoil.

Last week, malls including the Landmark in Central and Sogo in Causeway Bay were closed almost every day as radicals adopted a new strategy: cripple the city on weekdays instead of confining protests to weekends, as they had previously done.

〈China Daily, November 22, 2019〉The average monthly rent for small flats with newly obtained occupation permits on Hong Kong Island has reached HK$65 to HK$90 per square foot - more than 10 percent higher than that of luxury houses in Mid-Levels.

The rental market for larger flats and luxury projects has not been very active - even though they usually have a lower per-square-foot rent than micro-flats - as the total rent paid for a micro-unit is still lower than that of a bigger unit, said Hong Kong Property Services chief executive Richard Lee Chi-shing.

Lee said the nano-flats at new projects on Hong Kong Island have lower rents, convenient locations and easy access to public transportation, which makes them appealing to office workers, pushing up their market demand and prices.

He also added that tenants prefer to rent flats at new projects in the primary market rather than the secondary market.

In North Point, a 207-sq-ft flat at One Prestige was rented for about HK$20,000 per month, or HK$97 per sq ft.

〈The Standard, November 21, 2019〉The average monthly rent for small flats with newly obtained occupation permits on Hong Kong Island has reached HK$65 to HK$90 per square foot - more than 10 percent higher than that of luxury houses in Mid-Levels.

The rental market for larger flats and luxury projects has not been very active - even though they usually have a lower per-square-foot rent than micro-flats - as the total rent paid for a micro-unit is still lower than that of a bigger unit, said Hong Kong Property Services chief executive Richard Lee Chi-shing.

Lee said the nano-flats at new projects on Hong Kong Island have lower rents, convenient locations and easy access to public transportation, which makes them appealing to office workers, pushing up their market demand and prices.

He also added that tenants prefer to rent flats at new projects in the primary market rather than the secondary market.

In North Point, a 207-sq-ft flat at One Prestige was rented for about HK$20,000 per month, or HK$97 per sq ft.

One Prestige offers only studio flats. Another 163-sq-ft studio flat was let for HK$15,000 per month, or HK$92 per sq ft.

〈The Standard, November 20, 2019〉Nova Scotia beckons with islands that are bigger than Victoria Park and prices that are less than a 450 sq ft Sai Ying Pun flat in Western district

Tired of news about Hong Kong's protests, US President Donald Trump or persistent worries about a recession in 2020?

Consider an island property in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, where property is still cheap, foreign interest is growing and taxes on real estate are still favourable to non-residents.

While most people may think an island property is for the billionaire set only, Nova Scotia offers private islands larger than Hong Kong's Victoria Park for less than the purchase price of a 450 sq ft flat in Sai Ying Pun in Western district.

Nova Scotia, one of four provinces that make up Canada's Atlantic coastline, has been an economic backwater for years, despite a long colonial history and old connections to Europe.

That has changed recently, according to Matthew Honsberger, president of property agency Royal LePage Atlantic, as immigration has increased and jobs and industry have returned.