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Property News Weekly Digest
〈China Daily, August 8, 2020〉Shenzhen’s property market has again headed north in defiance of the pandemic blues. Runaway real estate prices have further forced the Shenzhen authorities to impose tighter curbs on home purchases to rein in speculation. Zhou Mo reports from Shenzhen.

Shu Dan threw her hands up in frustration on learning last month she’s not qualified to buy a home in Shenzhen, where she has been an architect for three years. Her hopes of owning a roof over her head were again dashed by a recent change in the city’s property-purchase rules.

The 32-year-old had moved to Shenzhen from Beijing in 2017 after having worked in the capital city for seven years.

"I love Shenzhen and really want to spend my whole life here. But, it has now become so difficult for me to settle down in this metropolis," she groaned.

Having seen Shenzhen’s property prices go through the roof in the past few months despite the coronavirus pandemic casting a shadow over the Chinese mainland’s economy, Shenzhen’s municipal authorities moved to rein in the frenzy.

〈Asian Post, August 8, 2020〉 Hong Kong Listed flagships of tycoon Li Ka-shing report sharp declines in half-year profitability, citing global effects of coronavirus on their operations

CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Asset Holdings, the listed flagships of tycoon Li Ka-shing, reported sharp declines in their first-half results yesterday as slower demand owing to the coronavirus pandemic weighed heavily on the companies' energy, ports, retail and property operations.

CK Hutchison, the conglomerate with businesses spanning container ports, retailers to telecommunications and power plants, said net profit fell 29 per cent to HK$13 billion for the first six months of 2020.

"The world has experienced many unexpected shocks in the first half of 2020," said Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, CK Hutchison's chairman and the eldest son of Li Ka-shing, in a stock exchange filing.

〈The Standard, August 7, 2020〉Homebuyers in Hong Kong have backed out of the purchase of 10 units at major new projects in the first four days this month, local media reported, over fears of a price slump amid a flareup in Covid-19 infections, while a survey found that over a half of global buyers expect property prices to fall over the next 12 months.

MCC Real Estate recorded 28 deal cancellations for L'aquatique in Tsing Lung Tau.

Meanwhile, 56 percent of global buyers expect property prices to fall over the next 12 months, the Knight Frank Global Buyer Survey found after surveying over 700 clients across 44 markets between June 5 and June 23.

In the commercial property market, a 1,973-sq-ft room at The Center in Central was rented for about HK$78,920 per month or HK$40 per sq ft during the first year of a two-year lease.

In the primary market, Empire Group and Hong Kong Ferry (0050) released 62 flats in the fourth price list of Seacoast Royale in Tuen Mun on Wednesday at an average HK$14,393 per sq ft after discounts, around 6 percent higher than the first price list, and will launch the sale of 185 flats in the third and fourth price lists on Sunday.

Henderson Land Development (0012) will sell two luxury houses at Eden Manor in Fanling next Monday.

〈Asian Post, August 6, 2020〉Big discounts by developers are drawing buyers to the latest properties, leaving sellers of existing flats to cut asking prices or even sell at a loss

The prices of pre-owned homes in Hong Kong came off a 10-month peak in June as buyers shifted their attention to newly launched projects, prompting some sellers to unload their lived-in properties at losses.

Only five flats changed hands across 10 major housing estates in the city on Saturday and Sunday, the lowest weekend transaction rate in six months, according to Midland Realty. Separate data by Ricacorp Properties reported 93 sales across 50 estates last week, for the lowest rate since February.

"The property price index in July will still be under pressure," said Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp. "Although the epidemic improved slightly in late June when the government relaxed the social gathering restrictions, the positive factors were completely offset by the third wave of the epidemic that broke out in early July."

〈The Standard, August 5, 2020〉A survey conducted in June found that about 10 percent of Hongkongers think it is a good time to buy a home, which is a nine-year high, but property sales dropped about 8 percent in July amid the third round of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number of sales and purchase agreements for all building units totaled 7,576 in July, falling 8.2 percent month-on-month but rising 18.7 percent from a year ago, data from the Land Registry showed.

The total consideration of property transactions totalled HK$69.3 billion last month, a 1.4 percent drop from June but a increase of 28.4 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

Transactions for residential units grew 27.6 percent year-on-year to 6,133 in July, with a total consideration of HK$59.5 billion, rising 35 percent year-on-year.

Although sales fell last month, the proportion of respondents who believed property prices will rise in the next 12 months doubled in the second quarter of this year, Citi Hong Kong announced in their Second Quarter 2020 Residential Property Ownership Survey, which was conducted in June. The number of those who believe property prices will decline in the next 12 months dropped 24 percentage points compared to the previous quarter.