Home-buying invasion to continue
The number of mainlanders acquiring homes in Hong Kong will continue to rise this year, when they are expected to account for a quarter of the money spent buying flats.
Data compiled by Midland Realty shows individual mainlanders spent HK$62.3 billion on residential properties in Hong Kong last year, or about 20 per cent of the value of all sales excluding those involving corporate buyers. That was almost double the 10.8 per cent in 2010. The agency expects the figure to jump to about 25 per cent this year.
'The number of mainlanders coming to Hong Kong to purchase properties has been increasing in recent years, particularly new properties,' said Albert Wong Kam-hong, deputy chairman of Midland Realty.
'The government's imposition of additional stamp duty will continue to dampen local buyer sentiment to enter the market, hence lowering the proportion of Hong Kong buyers.'
In November 2010, extra stamp duty of up to 15 per cent was imposed on quick resales of properties.
The proportion of new homes sold to mainlanders, as measured by transaction value, rose to nearly 40 per cent last year, from 26.3 per cent in 2010. In the secondary market, purchases by mainlander grew by 5.1 percentage points to 12.9 per cent.
The statistics may be conservative, since only buyers with names written in pinyin are identified as mainland buyers.
Wong said mainlanders preferred luxury flats and nearly a fifth of mainland buyers paid over HK$20 million for a flat in Hong Kong. Another fifth spent between HK$10 million and HK$20 million, while slightly over half purchased flats priced from HK$5 million to HK$10 million.
The research comes a week after New World Development's managing director, Henry Cheng Kar-shun, was reportedly found to have helped a Beijing friend buy a house in Headland Road, Repulse Bay, for HK$511 million in July.
Wong Leung-sing, an associate research director at Centaline Property, also believes mainlanders will become more dominant in the property market this year. Developers are expected to launch more luxury projects, which usually attract mainlanders. Hongkongers, meanwhile, are less eager to buy flats because of uncertainties in the global economy and local property market.