The anti-government protests that rocked Hong Kong in the second half of 2019 made its impact felt on the country’s economy severely. Among the hard-hit was the property market. Until the country hit a financial crisis, Hong Kong had one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. The December 2019 price index, however, confirmed a 1.7 per cent decline.
This decline came after a sudden marginal gain in November. Data shows that the gain, however, was more a result of mortgage leniency that was brought in to stall the five-month-long decline in the market. Ever since the protests started, HongKong’s economy has been reeling. The tourism and retail industries of the country were first to bear the brunt of the pro-democracy revolution. In addition, the US-China trade dispute had also brought down the markets.
The property market has fared better in comparison even though it could not escape the impact of a failing economy. Housing costs in Hong Kong reflected a 4.8 per cent annual rise at year-end despite going down by 4.6 per cent since May. Realtors had hoped that with the withdrawal of the bill that stirred the country into such a volatile state, the economy will start healing but now there are new factors impeding the financial health of Hong Kong now that the real estate market cannot remain untouched by.
Adding fuel to fire is the coronavirus outbreak in China though the actual impact of the virus outbreak will be officially gauged only in the February reports. As of now, several leading companies are putting off their new launches owing to the epidemic. This has relatively slowed down real estate business.
The new year, in other words, looks bleak for the property market as reports continue to show a downward trend.
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