Flying start to the year
The Year of the Rabbit has started well for the property market. Prices and transactions have continued to climb, while developers are launching new marketing campaigns. Although the government continues to set out policies to stabilise the market, economic fundamentals supporting it remain strong, including external factors.
While the rise in interest rates on the mainland has eased sentiment somewhat, the measure is a necessity to curb inflation and, in the long run, it will ensure a healthier economy.
Fears that the United States may raise interest rates soon, or that the second round of quantitative easing may be stopped, have been eased by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's assessment that America's economy still needs all the help it can get. It means mainland growth is well monitored and international liquidity will remain plentiful.
With the property market getting back on track, products and marketing strategies are becoming more sophisticated. One of the most welcome value-added products is the clubhouse. In our cover story, two of Hong Kong's leading developers, Sun Hung Kai Properties and Cheung Kong Holdings, share their views on how to bring opulence to projects located in areas beyond the traditional luxury districts. Today, exquisite residential clubhouses offer decor and facilities that could match the finest.
On the subject of creating something lovely in the month of St Valentine, we bring you an article on how to create romance at home with tips from leading interior designers. Across the border, the tug-of-war continues between the central government's efforts to cool the market and the strong demand for housing. Some experts have noted that Hong Kong could be a beneficiary, as mainland funds interested in property investment could increasingly look to south of Lo Wu.