Speculators must accept risks involved

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 June, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 June, 2000, 12:00am

I feel no sympathy for those people who went on the demonstration to protest against the Government for the slump in property prices.

Few of the demonstrators were genuine homeowners. Many were speculators and investors. A few demonstrators interviewed by the TV crew mentioned they had purchased more than one flat. One man said he owned three flats. Another even said he had considered jumping off his building, if he could not repay his loan. For these so-called negative-asset owners, I have this to say: 'You get what you deserve.' The crazy rise of property prices in the 1990s was caused by this group of people.

Why should the Government bail them out of their predicament which they got themselves into because of their own greed? Any investor/speculator should appreciate that not all investment and speculation brings a return. There are always risks associated with any investment. If they cannot afford to take the risk, perhaps they should not have invested in the first place.

For those homeowners who purchased their property during the peak period, whichever way prices go now, it will not affect them. Unless they are considering selling their property, they still have to settle their mortgage loans.

If the Government intervenes to push up property prices, it will only help the speculators and the property developers to make more money and penalise those of us who do not own any property.

No rational government would want its economy to be buoyed by property prices. Even at current price levels, property prices in Hong Kong are among the highest in the region. Pushing up property prices now will only aggravate Hong Kong's dependency on property to keep the economy afloat.

KAREN KWAN New Territories