PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 March, 2012, 12:00am


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Some years ago, I interviewed HSBC's Asia-Pacific chief executive, Peter Wong Tung-shun. I can still recall how he easily listed the many property cycles in Hong Kong that he experienced in his banking career, each with specific reasons for their ups and downs. Seasoned professionals are familiar with property cycles, but not everybody is.

A new book by a former top HSBC and Credit Suisse analyst, Derek Cheung Yat-ming, now a fund manager, is throwing some light on this subject. Cheung says the city is in its 10th property cycle since 1945. In this cycle, positive factors for prices include negative real interest rates and hot money, while negative factors include government cooling measures, unaffordable prices and a slowing external economic environment. However, the biggest risk now is the tightening of global liquidity.

While investing in a home is on the minds of a lot of people, there are plenty who opt to rent. In a special report on serviced apartments, we look at how style and location are becoming the key attractions in this sector.