As property prices in Hong Kong fall, public support for the government will rise
The latest data from the Rating and Valuation Department shows the local property market is facing increasing downward pressure. Investment banks generally forecast a 15 to 20 per cent reduction in property prices in the coming year given the increase in housing supply, the US-China trade war and the proposed introduction of a vacancy tax.
Amid market pessimism, top executives of local property agencies have called on the government to roll back its cooling measures (“Property cooling measures to stay in place for now, Hong Kong housing chief Frank Chan says”, November 21).
Morality aside, it is not surprising for businessmen to make such comments. Their intention is obvious, but the argument is ill-founded since property prices have only fallen moderately after a protracted increase over almost 10 years. The government has set the right course by focusing on increasing the housing supply and tightening regulation of the mortgage market. The general public is expecting the government’s measures to yield positive results in the coming year.
The proposed vacancy tax is a good initiative and should be implemented quickly. Also, all counter-cyclical measures should be maintained. The government must adhere to its principles as this is the only way to regain public support. A sudden policy U-turn will certainly lead to catastrophic consequences, both economically and politically.
Stanley Ip, Tseung Kwan O
Good news for those who get rich from Hong Kong real estate
The US has signalled that we are almost at the peak of interest rate hikes, and the trade war has caused its share of price corrections. Given the historical trend of Hong Kong property prices, I would assume that the downtrend is over and that prices will begin rising again. It’s time to snap up bargains, buy that bigger home if available, and look for investment opportunities.
When interest rates drop in the future, all will be well for real estate once again. Good luck to all property investors in the land that makes everybody rich from real estate. And renters need to realise that a crash isn’t likely to happen any more.
Rishi Teckchandani, Mid-Levels