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Home ownership optimism up among HK affluent
Prices anticipated to rise after government rollback of property cooling measures
The Asset 7 May 2024

A majority of affluent individuals in Hong Kong express a greater interest in home ownership and anticipate a rise in housing prices in the next 12 months after the government’s rollback of its property cooling measures, according to a recent survey.

In general, there is a positive sentiment among the public towards the property market after all the cooling measures were lifted in February, boosting optimism among potential home buyers, finds the Citi Property Survey, conducted by Citi Hong Kong in April 2024 on residential property ownership in view of the current economic and market conditions.

Highlights of the survey of respondents in the affluent segment – individuals with liquid assets of HK$1.5 million (US$191,907) or above – include:

  • 50% think it is now a better time to buy a property, as opposed to 40% who think it does not make any difference, and 8% who think it is a worse time to buy.
  • 72% express a greater interest in buying a property. Compared with the general respondents, those in the affluent segment are more interested in buying a property as an investment (46%), followed by support to their children (34%) and a source of rental income (25%). Only 6% of those surveyed express less interest in buying a property after the cooling measures have been lifted.
  • Among the home-owner respondents in the affluent segment, 62% express a greater interest in changing to a new property, as opposed to only 3% who show less interest in doing so.
  • 54%, 62% and 57% anticipate a rise in housing prices over the next 6, 12 and 24 months respectively, as opposed to 31%, 21% and 26% who think housing prices will stay flat. Only 13%, 16% and 15% think housing prices will go down over the next six, 12 and 24 months.
  • Those with children (77%) and a monthly family income of more than HK$80,000 (75%). as well as those who had once owned a property (81%) in the affluent segment are more interested in buying a property now that all property cooling measures have been lifted.
  • Among all the property cooling measures that have been lifted, the respondents in the affluent segment are most aware of the removal of the special stamp duty (SSD), 65%, and buyer’s stamp duty (BSD), 61%.
  • Of those who express a greater interest in home ownership in the affluent segment, 42% cite the removal of the SSD as one of the reasons for their increased interest in buying a property, followed by the easing of loan-to-value ratios for residential properties (41%) and the removal of the BSD (36%).

Josephine Lee, managing director and head of Citigold, and cards and unsecured lending sales, at Citibank Hong Kong, points out: “From this survey, we see that affluent individuals have a greater need for investment, wealth preservation and legacy planning, with residential property being an integral part of their wealth portfolios.”

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