SAR may fuel rise in Shenzhen flat prices

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 July, 2000, 12:00am

Property prices in Shenzhen will jump by 20 per cent over the next two years as more Hong Kong people seek to buy flats there, according to a property consultancy that has surveyed flat-hunters.

The findings come a day after an estimate by the SAR Government that nearly 8,000 Hong Kong people commute from the mainland almost daily and more than 50,000 live there.

Yesterday's poll of 614 people was carried out by Land Power International Holdings between May 10 and 25. Company chairman Michael Choi Ngai-min estimated about 375,000 people would consider buying homes in the special economic zone over the next two years, but admitted it was difficult to predict how many would go ahead with purchases.

The survey found 40 per cent of potential home-buyers were professionals and businessmen, 22 per cent housewives and retired people and over 80 per cent under the age of 50.

Nearly half of those surveyed planned to use the flats as their own residence and 33 per cent would live there only during holidays, 10 per cent were for retirement and the rest would treat the properties as an investment or home for relatives. Almost one-third were middle- and upper-middle-class families earning more than $40,000 a month.

The findings indicated the city's Futian district was most popular, followed by Lowu. Nearly 60 per cent would buy high-rise flats and more than 70 per cent preferred property sizes of 651-1,200 square feet. Most of their budgets ranged from $200,000 to $600,000.

Mr Choi, a Housing Authority member, noted the better living environment, higher quality, cheaper prices and lower living standard in Shenzhen had begun to attract the 'well-off' classes .

He estimated the flat prices in Shenzhen would rise by 20 per cent in the coming two years but said most families would continue to stay in Hong Kong and treat their mainland flats as their second home. 'Some professional people and businessmen who need to travel often to the mainland for their businesses would prefer a second home there for short stay.

'But some upper-middle-class families are still reserved about moving their homes to the mainland as they are concerned about the law and order, hygiene and medical facilities there,' the chairman said.