Are you interested in purchasing Hong Kong real estate? Now may be the perfect time to do so, considering the residential property price index in Hong Kong dropped by just over seven per cent at the end of the first quarter in 2016. Space is a luxury in the city, so if you can find a spacious apartment for sale, you are onto a winner.
Nevertheless, it is not merely residential property you should be considering, as investors are veering towards commercial options. This is largely driven by the fact that a lot of Chinese corporations are looking to elevate their brand globally, and Hong Kong is a popular destination for them to do so, especially as the economy is slowing in China and thus Hong Kong offers higher returns.
No matter what you are interested in, we have some Hong Kong property investment tips to help you get started:
1. Learn about ownership rights – The first thing you need to do is get to grips with ownership rights in Hong Kong. The state owns all land in the city, with the only exception being the grounds of the Anglican Cathedral. The Hong Kong government issues Government Leases to land owners.
2. Seek expert assistance throughout the entire process – The process of acquiring real estate can often be complex, which is why hiring a real estate investment advisor, such as Taylor Brunswick Group, comes highly recommended. They will be able to oversee the entire process, from the provisional agreement to the keys being handed over.
3. Choosing the right finance – It is important that you finance the purchase of the property in a manner that is best suited to your situation. The vast majority of investors acquire a mortgage from the bank to fund the purchase.
4. Factor in the transaction costs of buying and selling real estate – One of the biggest mistakes you can make is underestimating the costs associated with property investment in Hong Kong. Don’t overlook transaction expenses, such as stamp duty, which is currently charged at a maximum rate of 4.25 per cent in Hong Kong if the property’s market value or purchase price is more than HK$ 21,739,120. You also have legal fees and estate agent’s fees to consider too.
5. Know what taxes are payable –Next, determine what taxes you are going to be subject too. Property tax and profits tax need to be looked into. There is no withholding tax or capital gains tax in Hong Kong, and estate duty was abolished roughly ten years ago.
6. Buy insurance – Consider insurance options that are going to protect your investment, such as buildings insurance, which offers a payout in the event that the property is damaged by the likes of a fire or a flood.
7. Apply for a mortgage early – Apply for a mortgage early to avoid disappointment, and make sure you have the right documentation before applying. Expats, in particular, require a considerable amount of documentation.
8. Assess the letting market – What is demand like for the area you are considering? What types of properties are people after? Will the property require a lot of adjustment before it is ready for people to rent?
9. Rental yields – Determine the rental yields for the area you are thinking about. In general, an average of three per cent gross rental yield can be expected in Hong Kong.
10. Legality – Make sure you adhere to all legislation that is in place, including everything from Landlord and Tenant Ordinance to Buildings Ordinance.
Author – Nick Smith
Managing Partner in Taylor Brunswick Group. A Hong Kong-based wealth-management firm that offers expert wealth management advice that will increase the potential to maximize growth for any individual or businesses.