Hong Kong businessman Raymond Chiu says he has perfect credit and is prepared to spend about HK$16 million ($2 million) on a 1,000-square-foot apartment in the city’s Mid-Levels residential area. There’s just one catch. The government requires a 50 percent down payment.
Chu Kin-lan has already shuttered six of 11 offices of her Hong Kong real estate agency, whose Chinese name translates as Precious Prosperity, and let go half of her 70 employees amid the city’s toughest curbs on home buying in its history. The worst pain may be still to come.
Jean Liu’s plan to buy a Hong Kong apartment was derailed by the 2008 global financial crisis. It was an opportunity lost as prices surged instead of dropping as they did in many of the world’s property markets, leaving the 32-year-old corporate banker still searching for an affordable home four years later.
Midland Holdings Ltd., the biggest realtor listed in Hong Kong, headed for its biggest decline in more than four months after saying the city’s property brokers may close as many as one third of their branches.
Hong Kong property shares fell the most in seven months after the government imposed a tax on overseas homebuyers to deter capital inflows and reduce the risk of a bubble in the world’s most expensive housing market.