Penthouse Buyers Pay Premiums In Hong Kong, London, New York
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Penthouse Buyers Pay Premiums In Hong Kong, London, New York

But house hunters will find comparably more space in the aerie in cities like Singapore.

By Liz Lucking
Tue, Aug 3, 2021 10:27amGrey Clock 2 min

Across some of the world’s largest cities, trophy-home hunters can expect to pay the largest premium for the prestige of securing a penthouse in Hong Kong according to a report Monday from Knight Frank.

A top-tier unit in the city comes with a 59% price premium per square foot, the highest surcharge of any of the five top global markets analyzed by the estate agency and property consultant, which compared the cost and size of a penthouse unit to the average of the rest of the units in the same development.

Despite the upcharge, a penthouse buyer in Hong Kong will only get a footprint that’s 48% larger than their less-exclusive neighbours, the smallest size premium of the cities analyzed. 

“Exclusivity and privacy underpin values, and local factors such as the configuration of developments and sales technique mean [price] premiums in various cities can differ by as much as 50%,” Flora Harley, partner of residential research at Knight Frank, said in the report.

Penthouse price and size premiums

Knight Frank

“What we have noticed is that the larger the space differential, the smaller the price premium,” Ms. Harley said. “For example, of the cities analyzed, Singapore penthouses command the smallest premium, with an average of 7%, yet they are, on average, almost three times the size of their counterparts—in Hong Kong penthouses are only around 50% larger.”

Penthouses in London came with the second-most significant price upcharge at 43% and New York City ranked third at 41%, according to the data,

All three cities ranked above the global average penthouse price premium of 35% per square foot. Typically, penthouses globally will be an average of 129% larger than their counterparts.

Reprinted by permission of Mansion Global. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: August 2, 2021.



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Hong Kong Takes Drastic Action to Avert Property Slump

The city’s real-estate market has been hurt by high interest rates and mainland China’s economic slowdown

By ELAINE YU
Fri, Mar 1, 2024 3 min

Hong Kong has taken a bold step to ease a real-estate slump, scrapping a series of property taxes in an effort to turn around a market that is often seen as a proxy for the city’s beleaguered economy.

The government has removed longstanding property taxes that were imposed on nonpermanent residents, those buying a second home, or people reselling a property within two years after buying, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in his annual budget speech on Wednesday.

The move is an attempt to revive a property market that is still one of the most expensive in the world, but that has been badly shaken by social unrest, the fallout of the government’s strict approach to containing Covid-19 and the slowdown of China’s economy . Hong Kong’s high interest rates, which track U.S. rates due to its currency peg,  have increased the pressure .

The decision to ease the tax burden could encourage more buying from people in mainland China, who have been a driving force in Hong Kong’s property market for years. Chinese tycoons, squeezed by problems at home, have  in some cases become forced sellers  of Hong Kong real estate—dealing major damage to the luxury segment.

Hong Kong’s super luxury homes  have lost more than a quarter of their value  since the middle of 2022.

The additional taxes were introduced in a series of announcements starting in 2010, when the government was focused on cooling down soaring home prices that had made Hong Kong one of the world’s least affordable property markets. They are all in the form of stamp duty, a tax imposed on property sales.

“The relevant measures are no longer necessary amidst the current economic and market conditions,” Chan said.

The tax cuts will lead to more buying and support prices in the coming months, said Eddie Kwok, senior director of valuation and advisory services at CBRE Hong Kong, a property consultant. But in the longer term, the market will remain sensitive to the level of interest rates and developers may still need to lower their prices to attract demand thanks to a stockpile of new homes, he said.

Hong Kong’s authorities had already relaxed rules last year to help revive the market, allowing home buyers to pay less upfront when buying certain properties, and cutting by half the taxes for those buying a second property and for home purchases by foreigners. By the end of 2023, the price index for private homes reached a seven-year low, according to Hong Kong’s Rating and Valuation Department.

The city’s monetary authority relaxed mortgage rules further on Wednesday, allowing potential buyers to borrow more for homes valued at around $4 million.

The shares of Hong Kong’s property developers jumped after the announcement, defying a selloff in the wider market. New World Development , Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development were higher in afternoon trading, clawing back some of their losses from a slide in their stock prices this year.

The city’s budget deficit will widen to about $13 billion in the coming fiscal year, which starts on April 1. That is larger than expected, Chan said. Revenues from land sales and leases, an important source of government income, will fall to about $2.5 billion, about $8.4 billion lower than the original estimate and far lower than the previous year, according to Chan.

The sweeping property measures are part of broader plans by Hong Kong’s government to prop up the city amid competition from Singapore and elsewhere. Stringent pandemic controls and anxieties about Beijing’s political crackdown led to  an exodus of local residents and foreigners  from the Asian financial centre.

But tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have arrived in the past year, the result of Hong Kong  rolling out new visa rules aimed at luring talent in 2022.

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