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Hong Kong home prices revised to record high in July, edge lower in Aug By Reuters


© Reuters. View from the air shows Choi Hung, a public housing development, and the surrounding Lion Rock peak. This was taken in Hong Kong (China), June 3, 2021. Photograph taken by a drone June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Joyce Zhou/Files

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong private home prices hit a record high in July, according to revised data, before dropping a tad in August, suggesting one of the world’s most expensive property markets is showing little sign of cooling.

Recent weeks have seen the government make a double-down on its long-term commitment to making housing more affordable.

Official data revealed that prices in the financial center rose 0.8% in July and then fell 0.15% in august. It was an all-time high, at 397.7 in July. This compares to 397.1 in August.

Prior to mass anti-government protests or the COVID-19 pandemic, 397.9 for July was a record.

The recovery economy, as well as hopes that mainland Chinese buyers would return to the market after the COVID travel restrictions have been lifted, has pushed prices up by 4.5%.

Hong Kong is home to 7.5m people. 30% of Hong Kong is made up green belts, country park woodlands and wetlands. Any plans to develop these areas have met with strong resistance from environmentalists.

All of Hong Kong’s leaders have made affordable housing a priority since 1997, when the British colony was returned to Chinese control. But many still long for the dream of owning their home.

Eunice Ma (55) stated during an August trip to a showroom that she had plans to buy a 2-bedroom flat in a luxury new development, close to China’s mainland border, for her 26 year-old son. 

“Whether the flat will make a profit or not, I don’t think about it that way, because I purely want it for my son’s marriage in the future,” she said.

Some spaces are also extremely expensive because of the city’s shortage of parking spots. The Peak, a luxurious residential project in Hong Kong, sold a parking lot for HK$10.2,000,000 ($79 Million).

Hong Kong is planning to construct artificial islands to address the housing crisis.

Real estate remains a safe investment because of the demand.

“Keeping the money in a bank doesn’t give you interest, but with an apartment you can at least rent it out,” said Vera Tang, a 50-year old housewife who was looking to use her retirement fund to buy an apartment for investment.

($1 = 0.1284 Hong Kong dollars)

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