China property price rise sparks fears of more curbs

Home prices on the mainland have continued to climb, but there are fears more rules to rein in the market will be issued. Photo: Reuters

Although the pace of growth slowed slightly from May, prices in nine cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, saw increases of more than 10 per cent from a year earlier, according to data tracked by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Friday, 19 July, 2013, 4:11am 5 comments

Cheap Detroit homes are costly for communities, unwary buyers

A boarded up house has flowers painted on the planks to keep vandals out in the Brightmoor neighbourhood of Detroit. Photo: Reuters

The solid red brick house on a block of similar homes in Northwest Detroit sounds like a steal at US$3,728 (HK$28,906).

But in many ways, it’s a lemon.

4 Jul 2013 - 2:42pm

Bar state-owned developers from commercial housing market

A view of high-rise residential properties in Shanghai. Photo: AFP

Despite government efforts to cool the property market, land sales in China have surged in the first five months of the year, with record prices set. More worryingly, state-owned enterprises were once again in the thick of the action, despite an order from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Sasac) to back off.

13 Jun 2013 - 2:18am

Kai Tak sites for 'locals only' flats sell for above estimates

The Kai Tak site

China Overseas & Investment has won the two sites in Kai Tak under the "Hong Kong property for Hong Kong people" scheme for a better-than-expected price. The mainland developer paid HK$4.54 billion, or HK$5,157 per square foot, for the two sites, higher than surveyors' forecasts of up to HK$4.4 billion or HK$5,000 per sq ft.

6 Jun 2013 - 7:31am 6 comments

China tycoon Zhang Xin in deal for New York's GM Building

The General Motors tower in New York is valued at US$3.4 billion. Photo: Reuters

The deal makes the two million square-foot building – a 50-story tower overlooking New York’s Central Park and featuring Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue store – the most expensive US office building.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

HK$1.9b price tag on pair of new sites

The site in Sha Tin's Kau To covers 64,046 square feet. It is located atop the Kau To hill and is close to a site owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties. It could yield a total gross floor area of up to 134,496 sq ft. The government has imposed a height restriction in the area.

15 May 2013 - 4:04am

US economic recovery could spell disaster for Hong Kong

Last Friday, the United States released data showing the world's biggest economy grew at a weaker than forecast 2.5 per cent annualised rate over the first three months of this year.

30 Apr 2013 - 4:28am 10 comments

More property buying tips in China

A visitor learns housing information in front of the model of a residential housing project during the 5th Western China House and Automobile Fair in Yinchuan. Photo: Xinhua

There are many good reasons to buy a new, not second-hand, home in China. Every time I talk to property investment expert Chris Dillon I glean something new. Most of it is common sense, such as if you buy from a developer, you evade to 0.5 per cent to 3 per cent estate agent commission, depending on location and your negotiating skills.

29 Apr 2013 - 1:08pm 1 comment

Draughty London mansion, anyone?

A general view of 18 Carlton House Terrace in St James's, in London. Photo: EPA

So, London’s reputedly most expensive mansion has been trumped by London’s even more expensive mansion. This comes only a few weeks after reading that Heath Hall, on north London’s Hampstead Heath had its asking price slashed by a thumping £35 million (HK$420 million) from its previous £100 million (HK$1.2 billion) tag.

29 Apr 2013 - 12:56pm

Long-time Lamma residents feel pinch of rising rents

Karen Carmen is moving to a smaller place on Lamma Island because her landlord has raised the rent. But finding cheaper accommodation is not easy. Photo: Felix Wong

Boxes surround Karen Carmen in her Sha Po village flat on Lamma Island. Faced with a rent increase from HK$18,000 to HK$23,000 a month, she has had to search for a new home. However, when she started scouting around at the property agencies, she was shocked by the prices.

22 Apr 2013 - 6:07am

New property law forbids publishing of unofficial price quotes

The thick brochures for Riva in Yuen Long. Photo: Thomas Yau

Media outlets have been advised against a long-standing practice of quoting "market sources" from developers who want to test the water for new projects, as they might be criminally liable under the new law on flat sales that takes effect on April 29.

20 Apr 2013 - 5:22am 1 comment

Luxury residential opportunists count rewards

The skyline of lower Manhattan is seen from the Staten Island Ferry. Photo: AFP

Global luxury residential markets are always interesting. It really does indicate where the wealthy are hanging out, migrating to and moving away from. The never-ending search for safe haven investments keeps pushing prices up, in spite of stock market blips and financial crisis fallout. It seems you just need nerves of steel and the courage to jump in at the bottom.

15 Apr 2013 - 5:55pm

Developer poses legal challenge to Building Authority

A developer linked to Henderson Land Development is seeking what it calls an "unprecedented" judicial review of decisions made by the Building Authority. Long Winner Development is seeking to challenge whether the authority has the power to revoke a permit that grants it extra building areas - valued at HK$150 million - at its site in Central.

12 Apr 2013 - 4:29am

Uniform Hainan housing divides the online community

A general view shows newly built houses at Dadun village of Lingshui ethnic Li Autonomous County, Hainan province. Photo: Reuters

The photograph was published by writer Liang Hong on microblogging platform Sina Weibo on Sunday. She commented in the post under the photo: “A bunch of brand-new prisons without space or privacy…China is turning into a desperate nightmare. Wherever you go, you see the same thing.”

8 Apr 2013 - 9:05pm

Woman buys US$6.5m Manhattan apartment - for two-year-old daughter

The Manhattan skyline. Photo: Reuters

The Chinese woman told a shocked New York real estate agent that her daughter would be going to Columbia University, New York University or maybe Harvard in the future.  

26 Mar 2013 - 5:05pm 4 comments