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Property News Weekly Digest
〈Asian Post, July 17, 2021〉Big-ticket property investments are set to more than double this year to HK$100 billion, the highest since 2018, as local investors and international funds scramble for non-residential properties.

The number of non-residential sales worth more than HK$100 million each is expected to reach about 200, with total values of HK$90 billion to HK$100 billion, according to consultancy Cushman and Wakefield. Last year, 79 deals generated HK$48.8 billion.

"The total consideration for this year is likely to reach half of the peak in 2017 or 2018," said Keith Chan, Cushman's director and head of research.

As the local coronavirus outbreak is brought under control and Hong Kong's economy recovers, local and institutional investors with abundant capital have become active and are looking for investment opportunities.

The city's commercial real estate investment market has already recorded 89 deals in the first half of this year, generating HK$43.1 billion, an increase of 97 per cent year on year.

〈The Standard, July 16, 2021〉While critics say an onslaught of regulatory probes and changes could undermine investor confidence, others argue that it could foster competition in the oligopolistic tech industry

It was the kind of brazen PR stunt that Jack Ma (馬雲) might have dreamed up. However, this was not the flamboyant Chinese billionaire who disappeared from public view eight months ago. It was Mark Zuckerberg, bobbing up and down on a hydrofoil surfboard, clutching a US flag and exuding all the confidence of a man worth US$130 billion.

The contrast between the social media mogul’s July 4th Instagram video and the day’s big event in China could hardly have been starker. Regulators in Beijing had just hours earlier banned Didi Global Inc’s ride-hailing service from app stores, delivering their latest hammer blow to an entrepreneurial elite that once seemed destined to challenge Zuckerberg and his US peers at the top of the world’s wealth rankings.

The age of unfettered gains for China’s ultra-rich now appears to be coming to an abrupt end.

〈China Daily July 15, 2021〉Senior managers, flush with funds from IPO launches in Hong Kong, help drive 5 per cent jump in big-ticket leasing transactions for homes

Luxury home rents in Hong Kong are back on the rise, ending eight consecutive quarters of decline, as mainland executives, flush with funds from successful initial public offerings in the city, drive leasing transactions at the top end of the market, agents say.

Rents for luxury homes jumped by 5 per cent in April and May, after falling by as much as 13.5 per cent from a record high in August 2019, according to data from the Rating and Valuation Department.

"Hong Kong Island tenants traditionally come from finance-related industries, which are benefiting from the flourishing IPO market," Aradhana Khemaney, head of residential services at Savills, wrote in the firm's latest report on residential leasing.

Hong Kong's listing market has been busy in the first five months of this year, with companies raising a record HK$184 billion,a 620 per cent jump from the year before, Savills said.

〈The Standard, July 14, 2021〉Emigration has had little effect on Hong Kong's property market and home prices in the city are on course to set a record in one or two months, according to US investment bank JPMorgan.

"The chances of breaking the record are very high because [home prices are] just 1 per cent to 2 per cent from their peak," said Cusson Leung, head of Asia property research at JPMorgan.

Leung also said he expected prices would rise 5 per cent to 10 per cent this year.

Strong housing demand from local users, quantitative easing and short supply have fuelled a rally in home prices despite talk of Hongkongers leaving the city following the protests of 2019 and the implementation of a controversial national security law.

Home prices and transaction volumes had kept rising, even if the wave of emigration was real, Leung said.

He questioned the impact of emigration on the market and wondered whether the people said to be leaving owned homes and how many would actually sell their properties.

"This proves the number of people selling properties is far smaller than the number of people buying properties," he added.

〈Asian Post, July 13, 2021〉Hong Kong had found enough land to meet its three-year target of building 15,000 transitional homes, the chief executive said, describing the achievement as a "breakthrough" in delivering faster help to low-income groups.

Moving people out of poor living environments such as subdivided flats was crucial while they waited for public housing, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said yesterday. The delay has now stretched to 5.8 years, the longest in more than two decades.

"No matter if we are doing temporary housing, social housing or transitional housing, it's a breakthrough for us," Lam said on a radio show.

"We know for public housing, we need more time to improve the living environments for low-income families, so being able to speed that up is our mission."

To help residents on the waiting list, Lam's administration is using temporarily available land or vacant premises leased by the government or private developers for transitional housing.

In her 2019 policy address, Lam set a target of building 10,000 housing units within three years but later revised that to 15,000. The government announced in February it had found enough land to supply 14,000 transitional homes by 2023. More than 1,100 flats had already been completed and 2,400 were under construction.