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Hong Kong residents moving to Singapore, snapping up rental homes


Hong Kong residents are moving away from Hong Kong because of the Covid restrictions.

Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — After eight years in Hong Kong, Jonathan Benarr is giving up that city for a new set of attractions — in Singapore.

CNBC reported that Hong Kong is always a fun destination. Singapore was the place to go if you wanted to be boring, or if your family needed you.

“Well, you can go forward quickly.” [two years]”Singapore is a shining beacon,” he stated. “You just reopened all the bars and clubs. People are now treated like adults.”

Hong Kong’s strict Covid regulations have made it difficult for some Chinese residents to move to Singapore. In fact, there is evidence of an increase in rental demand.

Private home rents climbed 4.2% in the first quarter of this year, compared to a rise of 2.6% in the previous quarter, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Leonard Tay of Knight Frank Singapore said that “anecdotally” it is possible for some individuals based in Hong Kong to be looking to move to Singapore.

It is important to be clear that rents have risen not just because of interest from Hong Kong. Due to increased demand from many sources, Singapore’s rental prices rose during the pandemic. including young adults moving out of their parents’ homes and people looking for interim housing because of construction delays.

Hong Kong vs. Singapore travel rules

In Hong Kong, people arriving need to quarantine for at least seven days in a hotel and take multiple Covid tests. Singapore however has slowly dropped its quarantine requirement since September. On Tuesday, vaccinated visitors will no longer need to take any Covid tests.

“[Hong Kong]It just feels wrong,” Benarr said, and is the group director for real estate at The Mandala Group.

He said, “What used to be a progressive place just seems like it doesn’t want to be part of the international discussion.”

Briton has been packing his Hong Kong apartment and is moving permanently to Singapore.

CNBC reached Hong Kong’s Information Services Department to respond to CNBC’s request. They pointed out that a speech by Chief Executive Carrie Lam in late MarchIn this interview, she stated that Hong Kong should balance the risks of virus and Covid.

It is meant to allow “the city to continue addressing social and development requirements of Hong Kong” and to meet the personal circumstances of its people, she stated.

We couldn’t be harsher with our people, and their tolerance was always one of the things that we must consider when devising the most effective public health measures for Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, there is a surge in the number of arrivals

Visitors to Singapore from Hong Kong nearly doubled between January and February of this year. according to Singapore’s tourism board.

This figure jumped more than 110% in March, compared to February. official data shows.

According to the industry experts, some of these arrivals plan to settle in Singapore.

Hmlet, an online co-living platform based out of Singapore, stated that bookings increased by “exponentially”, in January 2022. “This is due to Hong Kongers expecting tighter public health regulations.”

Hmlet stated that Hong Kong inquires rose 25% between December 2021 and January 2022.

Giselle Makrarachvili, chief executive officer of the company said that while bookings from Hong Kong have dropped slightly in February andMarch but were still higher than they had been previously.

Hong Kong uses a zero-tolerance strategy to combat Covid. imposed strict measures from January in a bid to slow the spread of the virusThe ban included the prohibition on dining out after 6 p.m. every day.

However, restrictions in the city were further tightened during February. They were somewhat relaxed last Thursday.

Far East Hospitality managed service apartments, and there was a surge in bookings for those units around February’s end, but that trend has slowed down, according to the company.

Are you looking for permanent relocation?

According to Hmlet/Far East Hospitality data, there are some Hong Kong arrivals who make reservations for just two weeks. Others plan to stay up to 12 months.

Hmlet CEO stated that most of the bookings made from Hong Kong were for permanent relocation to Singapore.

Makarachvili said, “Interestingly we also observed a group of people whose initial travel intention was to business and then converted into permanent stays.”

The minimum stay required for 70% of Hmlet Homes bookings in Hong Kong was three months. Rest 30% were booked for stays longer than six months, and up to 12 months.

According to the CEO, around 80% Hmlet Homes’ Hong Kong customers are young families.

This suggests that although guests might be moving for work, many are also looking to bring their loved ones.

Tan Chia Hui

Far East Hospitality is the head of operation for serviced residences and hotels,

Far East Hospitality has received a mix of bookings — from both travelers and businesses looking for interim accommodation for their employees, according to Tan Chia Hui, head of operations for hotels and serviced residences.

Corporate bookings usually last one to three month. She added that larger units have between two and four bedrooms.

She said, “This suggests that guests might relocate to work but they want their families with them.”

WeWork, a co-working company said that its Singapore offices saw an almost 13% increase in inquiries and sales from Hong Kong-based businesses in the fourth quarter 2021 over the third quarter.

JustCo stated that it has not seen a significant increase in its customers, however international financial institutions from Hong Kong have expressed interest in flexible work spaces in Singapore.

Returning Singaporeans

In the past, maybe I could have entertained … staying long enough to be a Hong Kong PR, but for now, I think with the current situation, it’s unlikely that I will do so.

Singaporean banker

Many Singaporeans felt the need to go back to their homeland to see loved ones and family.

A Singaporean who is employed in Hong Kong finance said that it allowed him to see loved ones. This was especially important given the worsening Covid situation in China earlier in the year.

Her friends often used Singapore to base themselves for personal or business trips to Europe and the U.S., as Singapore is not required to quarantine travelers who are fully vaccinated.

Leung frequently crosses into Malaysia for family visits, something that would be impossible if Leung were to stay in Hong Kong.

Too little too late?

On Thursday Hong Kong began allowing groups of four to gather at any one time, and restaurant operating hours were extended to 10 p.m.

Leung says that this is not something to be celebrated. He works as a financial representative and has returned to Hong Kong since April.

Singapore has removed social restrictions and social ditancing from Singapore. The 10.30 pm cutoff time for alcohol sales was also lifted by authorities. Bars and Karaoke Lounges were allowed to reopen.

Although it is great that Hong Kong will have fewer extreme rules, Leung said that there is still a lot of work to be done.

He stated, “If it continues in Hong Kong for the next year or more, I don’t know what, I believe it will be strong enough to leave.”

A Singaporean working in banking, the man stayed in Singapore for one month and said that he didn’t intend to move to Hong Kong right away. However Covid and other political turmoil in Hong Kong have made him reconsider his long-term plans.

“In the past, maybe I could have entertained … staying long enough to be a Hong Kong [permanent resident]He said that he was not sure, but that it is unlikely for the moment.

Leung stated that while he doesn’t want to rush back to Singapore and isn’t in any hurry to do so, he remains open to exploring the option.

“If something is offered, and it’s in my best interest, then I should accept. He stated that it was a good time for him to make a move.