HK property rebound may last years, says tycoon

It’s now harder to rent an apartment for less than HK$10,000 (S$1,742) per month in Hong Kong’s two urban areas as such flats are nearly no longer available there...

Sky-high property prices in Hong Kong are not expected to fall anytime soon.

With growing property demand outweighing government curbs, Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing, expects the property rebound to last by up to two years, reported Bloomberg.

Hong Kong saw home prices take a short-lived dip before rising again over the past year to record highs. In fact, the Centaline Property Centa-City Leading Index showed that existing home prices rose 17 percent from a low point a year ago.

And while the government imposed higher stamp duties in November, excluding first-time local buyers, the curbs failed to cool demand as buyers flocked to newly built projects amid discounts and rebates offered by developers.

“I cannot see how property prices would fall in the coming one to two years,” said the 88-year-old Head of CK Hutchison Holdings and Cheung Kong Property Holdings during his annual earnings press conference.

“The force from buyers is very strong.”

Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying’s five years in power have been plagued by housing cost issues. The upcoming election saw two leading candidates looking to replace Leung single out unaffordable housing as an issue, signalling the possible introduction of new measures.

Dodging questions on who he’ll vote, Li said Hong Kong’s next leader should be able to work well with China.

Li’s wealth, which grew by US$2.1 billion to US$30.7 billion this year, has remained resilient as the robust property market of Hong Kong boosted stocks of listed developers.

Keeping a less optimistic view on Hong Kong’s economy, the tycoon noted that the city’s tourism-related industries have deteriorated over the past year. In fact, Hong Kong’s performance within his retail operations worldwide was among the worst.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg