Rents for Apartments in Hong Kong Drop to an Unforeseen Limit


When it comes to Hong Kong, everybody knows that rent there was never in the affordable range. And, even so, it was very hard to find available flats in desired areas, due to high demand. However, the current background generated by the pandemic changed things in ways no one expected, turning Hong Kong into a favorable market for renters. Thus, anyone interested in getting rent in this city should know that now is probably the best time to start looking for a flat.


How much did rents drop in Hong Kong? The last significant drop happened in the last part of the year 2016, when the lower value of rents was recorded. The first quarter of this year brought decreases of US$5.77 per square foot, which is quite significant. Thus, a 2-bedroom apartment can now be rented for approximately US$3,500 per month, compared to US$4,200, which was the value of the rent of the same kind of flat about two years ago.


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New Private Home Prices Experience Sharper Jump of 3.3%, Fuelling Expectations for Cooling Measures

As per the recent reports, the new private home prices jumped by 3.3% during the first quarter, which is much above the early estimate of 2.9%. The main reasons behind this steep rise are observed to be the new launches during this economic recovery mode, vaccine optimism, and the low-interest rate opportunities.
It is believed to be the fourth consecutive rise in price with a steep quarterly hike right from the second quarter of the year 2018. At that time, the pricing of private residential homes was increased to 3.4% before the property curb issues were reported in the July month of that year.

The information presented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on 23rd April shows that there was a 3.3% price rise during the first quarter this year and it is higher than the reported 2.1% growth during the fourth quarter of the previous year.

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For the 4th year consecutively March strikes a record in the sales of private homes

The period near the Chinese New Year is known to be slower when it comes to investments in the real estate market. However, after this celebration is over, homebuyers start hovering around properties and making purchases, in many instances exceeding the expectations of both developers and real estate specialists. Thus, the month of March appears to be the most fruitful month in terms of property transactions, for the fourth year. More than this, this year’s March exceeded all expectations, recording the highest number of properties sold since 2017.


More precisely, March enjoyed double the number of units sold during the month of February, which means a total of 1.296 units. The last significant take-up during March happened back in 2017, so this year something happened that made homebuyers be more active than in any month of March in the past 4 years. However, the most amazing aspect is that high-end units were highly appreciated this year. Maybe what happened during the pandemic, with the lockdown and people needing to spend more time at home, made comfort and quality priorities when looking for a new home. Thus, in March of 2021, almost half of the units sold represented high-end units, located in the top districts of Singapore.

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The month of April brought an increase of 2.8% in the resale prices of HDB units

For the 4th quarter of a year in a row, HDB units recorded a price increase, this time of 2.8%. Over the past three quarters, the prices of these units grew slowly yet steadily. Thus, the price increases summed up by the first three months of 2021 got the increase mentioned previously. From one year to another, the overall increase is 8%, which shows the steady interest of homebuyers in these types of units.

Ms. Christine Sun, who is the senior vice-president of research and analytics at Orange Tee & Tie, made a comparison between the peak recorded by HDB units, which took place in the 2nd quarter of 2013, and notices that today’s prices were just 5% lower than that peak. In other words, if the price increases continue in the same manner, the last half of 2021 may bring along a new peak in this sector, one that will subclass the one in 2013.

Still, things didn’t look this way all the time. After the peak in 2013, the prices of HDB units started to decline. This decline took place up to 2019 when the second half of the year started to bring signs of recovery. Also, as Ms. Sun noticed, after taking a look at the info provided by the HDB, 22 HDB cities, out of a total of 26, recorded price increases in the January – March 2021 period. Toa Payoh is in the lead, with an increase of 17% and 244 units. Bukit Timah follows in the second place, recording an increase of 11.2% in 28 units. And, finally, in the third place, we have Bedok, with an increase of 8% in 402 units.

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For the 4th Month in a Row Factories in Singapore Record an Unexpected Growth

The growth of factory output in Singapore manages to surprise everyone from one month to the other. Because of the increasing demand for products in certain sectors, more precisely semiconductors and other similar equipment, devices for the medical domain, and pharmaceuticals, the output continued to grow, the numbers exceeding predictions once more. So, as the numbers show, the month of February brought an increase of 16.4% in the production of factories. Experts expected a growth of only 15.8%, so reality brought in a surprise, especially since January ended with an increase of only 9.2%.

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The Recovery Level of Domestic Economy in Asia-Pacific Area Depends on the COVID-19 Vaccine

The countries belonging to the Asia-Pacific area managed to keep the Covid-19 virus under control quite effectively, which can be seen in the good recovery levels of the economy in this part of the world. However, the extent to which this recovery can be taken doesn’t depend entirely on the Asian or Pacific countries. A desirable recovery relies on the economic relationships with other countries of the world, countries in which the continuing occurrence of infections is stalling the recovery. According to the Chief Economist of the World Bank representing Pacific and East Asia, Dr. Aaditya Mattoo, things will speed up only when vaccines will be implemented at a wider scale.

If we are to take the statements of Dr. Mattoo, no matter how much effort countries in the Asia-Pacific area deposit in making the recovery happen, they will reach a plateau at some point and even slide backward if vaccines don’t start to be used fast. In his opinion, the countries that still struggle with infections should make the vaccine a priority, making room for the recovery of their economy and the economy of the rest of the world, eventually.
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The Recent Midtown Modern Launch Generated Immediate Sales of 60% Out of Available Units

Developer GuocoLand recently launched its newest project, the Midtown Modern condominium, located at Tan Quee Lan Street. Over 60% of the available units provided by the project were sold on the weekend of the launch alone, which is a great success for the developer. According to the developer, the majority of the customers were residents of Singapore, part of them being owners and part investors. Thus, it is possible to say that the launch went great since 340 units were sold immediately after the launch was made official, considering that 558 is the total number of units available.

The most sought-after units were the one- and two-bedroom apartments, which were sold in a proportion of 90%. Three-bedroom units were also highly appreciated since half of them found new owners right away. Regarding prices, the units of this project had price tags ranging between $2,401 and $3,501 per square foot, most of the apartments sold recording an average of $2,800 per square foot. Created to be a complex condominium, ready to deliver solutions for all types of homebuyers, Midtown Modern also provided four-bedroom units and penthouses with five bedrooms. Some of these units sold fast as well. Buyers purchased four units with four bedrooms and one penthouse, showing that large apartments have their place on the market.

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The Market Surrounding Private Home Sales Could Boost due to the Spread of the Covid-19 Vaccine

The real estate market revolving around the private home sector is enjoying interesting growth, due to the upgrades provided by the HDB and the unsatiated interest of homebuyers. However, it is expected for things to get spiced up even more, now that the Covid-19 vaccine is being widely spread and used. Very soon, the borders abroad will open for those who got vaccinated, which could mean a significant increase in sales of private homes in Singapore.

Mr. Chia Ngiang Hong, who is the group general manager of City Developments, said that there is still room for development in this area if we are to look at the numbers. Compared to the peak period, which happened between 2013 and 2014, when 23,000 properties were sold, last year only 9,982 properties enjoyed closed transactions, while 2019 concluded with an even smaller number of units, of only 9,912. Thus, until the former peak values are reached, there’s plenty of room for growth.

Considering that the vaccine is now becoming widely available and that the number of vaccinated people is growing steadily from one day to another, plus countries are looking to reach arrangements regarding safe travels, the country expects to see more foreign buyers soon. Foreign homebuyers and investors are welcome to the country, as it is obvious that they can contribute to the revival of the market.

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February was a fruitful month for the HDB and its resale flats

The second month of the year summed up values of 23 million in the form of reselling apartments, released by the HDB. It is interesting to see that the prices of flats increased constantly over the past months, February is the 8th month in the row which recorded such increases. So, we can say that the past month brought another record, somewhat unexpected if we consider past events. More precisely, as numbers show, the price of resale units increased by 1.4% in February, compared with January of the same month.

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Little time remaining until the launch of the modern condominium developed by Guoco

Very soon the Tan Queen Lan Street, located in Bugis, will officially enjoy a brand-new Singapore condominium. The project developed by GuocoLand is almost done and getting ready to be launched. Those interested in units in this condominium should know that prices will start around $1.1 million for one-bedroom units ranging between 409 and 474 square feet. Penthouses with five bedrooms, on the other hand, which measure 3,500 square feet, will have selling prices of around $14.98 million. The good news is that you’ll have a good offer to choose from, as the condominium offers 558 units for all types of homebuyers.

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A New Peak Was Reached Last Year in Singapore as Foreigners Are Buying Less Homes

There were times, not so long ago, when foreigners chose the private properties of Singapore with a high amount of interest. Considering the fast-developing background of the country, no wonder things presented themselves this way. Their desire even contributed to the increases in price regarding some properties, as it added to the growing demand of homes in Singapore. However, the year 2020 recorded a new peak in this direction. In the past 17 years, 2020 brought the lowest level of purchases, concerning private residences, made by foreigners in the country.


The last low of the kind was back in 2003, when only 671 units were sold to non-Singaporeans. In 2020, the value was close to the previously mentioned one, since only 742 units managed to be purchased by foreigners. It is worth mentioning that these numbers include new units, second-hand units, and sub-sale properties. If we are to regard what happened last year, with all the travel restrictions and lockdown measures adopted by so many countries, it is easy to understand why the numbers are looking this way.

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Private Property Cooling Measures Talk

The recent ministerial remarks have intensified the talk on property cooling measures and it is believed that the government is now keeping a close check on the real estate market. It has become a matter of debate right since the Urban Redevelopment Authority estimates show a 2.1% rise in the price of private homes for the fourth quarter. This is believed to be the steepest quarterly increase after the second quarter of the year 2018 when a jump of 3.4% was recorded due to cooling measures that were applied in the month of July that year.

All this is happening despite the slow return of Singapore’s economy on track after the 6% shrink due to pandemic in the year 2020. In this phase, unemployment hit by 3.6% during the third quarter which is quite high as compared to the 2.3% of the previous year.
The strong sales of property at Normanton Park – one of the largest new condo launches of the year is also considered as another important factor for these cooling measures. Note that almost 1862 units were sold out of this park recently and they all were locked at a great price.

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China Cracks Down on Fake Divorces to Control Higher Property Purchase

The resurgence in the property prices in Shenzhen and Shanghai has forced authorities to rethink property market activities. The Chinese government has run a detailed analysis on market scenarios and they have finally come to a conclusion.
The officials at Shanghai recently revealed new policies to cool down the real estate market and it also includes a measure to capture the loopholes in fake divorce filing which makes people eligible to buy new properties. Furthermore, the government has also decided to levy a tax on all the houses that are purchased within the past five years. It is expected to be up from the tax barrier applied two years ago.

With this new policy on the ground, the professionals in big cities of Shanghai such as Hangzhou and Shenzhen are expected to crack down all the housing speculations due to fake divorces right from the year 2018.

It is important to mention that most of the Chinese cities follow certain limit on home buying trends on the basis of how many properties a single family can own. But divorce has become a way to bypass this restriction. As per existing guidelines, one family in Shanghai can own two homes at maximum. As per the new rules, the number of homes that are owned by divorced couples within the last three years will be counted and this count will be compared with the number of homes they used to own when they were married.
Other than this, the government authorities at southern boomtown have also decided to tighten the rules for a home purchase by this month. With the new rules, the cost of an apartment has to be equal the 43.5 times higher than the annual salary of the resident. Note that the housing affordability is generally better in Shenzhen as compared to Hong Kong, which is believed to be worse in respect to other 80 megacities.

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New Private Home Sales Boost by 57% Achieving Highest Level in Past 8 Years

The new private home sales climbed their peak level in December month recently and it was the highest recorded boost since the past eight years. This situation is believed to be a response to post-pandemic recovery where buyers jumped into the market while expecting a further rise in property prices.


If we look at the stats from the previous month, the sales by developers reached the count of 1,217 units with a rise of 57% as the count was restricted to 774 in the month of November. Note that this rise is almost 126% higher as compared to the market condition from a year ago.


These sales were mostly driven by several new launches in the real estate market. Clavon in Clementi reported a sale of 473 units which turned out to meet the median price of $1,537 per square foot. On the other side, Brookvale-based Ki Residences shifted almost 172 units and the median price for these sales was $1766 per square foot. As per the recent stats, both these projects represent 53% in terms of new home sales from the previous month. Note that the new home sales from the December 2012 records were found to be highest till now with the reported count of 1410 units.


A surprising turnaround in the real estate market was observed in the second half of the year 2020. The demand for the new private homes during these months led to the sale of a total of 10,024 units in the entire year. Note that this count was 1% higher than the records of the previous year (2019) when only 9912 transactions were reported.


Reports reveal that the new home sales have not crossed the estimated count of 10,000 units right since July 2018 when the fresh cooling measures were imposed in the real estate market. But this has happened somehow in a year loaded with all uncertainties. As the Singaporeans are advised to avoid travel plans as long as this global pandemic situation doesn’t fall under control, most of the local residents decided to visit show flats during the ongoing holiday season.


Note that the figures displayed above exclude the larger executive condominium units that fall into the category of public-private housing hybrid. If we include these units, the new hole sale can be reported to be 1265 units that come out to be 54% higher than the previous month and 129.6 percent more as compared to the previous year.


On the other side, the number of new housing units launched in the month of December surged at 265% as compared to the previous year; however, it was less than November month by 1.9%. As per the Huttons Asia report, a total of 23 private residential projects was introduced into the market in the year 2020 out of which ten projects came into the market before circuit breaker and 13 were launched after that. Some of the most popular and top-selling projects from recent listings include Piermont Grand, Jadescape, Treasure at Tampines, and Parc Clematis.

Condo Resale Prices Increased Surprisingly for 5th Straight Month

Covid-19 fallout has caused considerable turbulence in the business and real estate sector. However, even after this major fallout, the private property resale market in Singapore is still rising higher. After the implementation of cooling measures in the year 2018, these prices climbed consistently for the fifth month as reported in December.


For the entire 2020, the real estate experts have observed a considerable rise of 1.4% in the prices of condominium resale values. However, it is slightly lower as compared to the 1.8% rise reported in the year 2019. Note that the overall resale price for the non-landed properties in Singapore also rose by 0.3% as compared to the previous month.

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