Can’t afford a place in Hong Kong? Here’s what HK$7million will buy you abroad
The same money it takes to purchase a small flat in Hong Kong will cover a mansion in Phuket or a lakeside three-bedroom villa in Italy
In a city where property is king, HK$7 million won’t get you the castle. But head overseas and that amount of money could deliver some royal returns.
In Italy, for example, you could be rubbing shoulders with Hollywood royalty in a three-bedroom waterfront villa on Lake Como, on which George Clooney’s £25million (HK$299 million) mansion also sits.
Or if the bustle of the big city is more to your taste, you could nab a cosy one-bedroom flat in London’s Notting Hill, a stone’s throw from Kensington Palace Gardens, one of the world’s most expensive streets.
If the balmy climes of Southeast Asia are more to your taste, take a look at a four-bedroom resort-style home in Phuket, Thailand, where the 30 million baht (HK$7.2 million) price tag includes membership in an exclusive golf club.
Closer to home, you could secure a three-bedroom place in Shanghai’s Pudong financial district for the same money.
The HK$7 million price tag is significant because it is the price below which buyers must come up with a bigger down payment under new rules announced on Friday to cool the market.
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The measures, introduced by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, mean buyers must find 40 per cent of the purchase price before getting a mortgage, taking the dream of home ownership even further away for many. There are also new affordability restrictions on loans to buyers of second homes.
The measures are the seventh step introduced to cool the market since February 2013, and also include higher taxes on sales.
Agents say they expect the latest measures to cut the number of sales and lead to a dip in prices, though industry analysts question their long-term effectiveness given the tight supply and limited space for development.
“When comparing to the property prices in London, Hong Kong is higher but still similar in general. Both are a free market for external capital inflow and outflow,” said Pantazis Therianos, managing partner of London-based property developer Euroterra Capital.
“In terms of central London, HK$7 million is not much as well, but in other European countries, it can buy a house in Greece or Bulgaria,” Therianos said.
In Hong Kong, however, it won’t even cover a 296 sq ft flat in Sheung Wan. The asking price for one such home in Old Bailey Street is HK$8 million, according to the website squarefoot.com.hk But for those willing to commute, full village houses in Sai Kung, covering up to 2,100 sq ft, are available for less then HK$7 million on the same website.