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Property News Weekly Digest
〈Asian Post, Jan 8, 2022〉Hong Kong's housing conundrum has no overnight solution, as evidenced by the limited progress made by successive governments. Various initiatives have been put forward over the years, but supply remains woefully inadequate.

Property prices are still out of the reach of many people. We trust Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is feeling the heat as her five-year term ends in June. Speaking in a recent media interview, she said the government would study a new mortgage scheme that would slash down payments by half, making subsidised flats more affordable.

Those in the queue for public rental units will also be eligible to buy such flats via a new leapfrog arrangement under consideration.

The mortgage proposal was inspired by a housing scheme introduced by New World Development last month, under which buyers only pay a 5 per cent down payment and take out a mortgage for 45 per cent of the unit’s value, instead of the usual 10 per cent down payment and 90 per cent mortgage ratio.

〈Asian Post, Jan 7, 2022〉Developer’s subsidiary failed to fulfil obligation as a guarantor for a trust product, investors told

A Shanghai construction materials supplier with links to Shimao Group has defaulted on a US$101 million project loan guaranteed by the Hong Kong-listed group, adding to its recent debt burden.

Shanghai Shimao Construction failed to repay the proceeds as a guarantor for a project that raised funds for Shanghai Qianyi Construction Materials, according to a notice sent to investors on Thursday by China Credit Trust, the trustee for the loans.

Shanghai Shimao, a Shimao Group subsidiary, indirectly owned a 30 per cent stake in the materials supplier, the group said in an announcement yesterday.

As of Thursday, China Credit said it had only received 147 million yuan (HK$179.7 million) of the 792 million yuan that was due by December 27. The failure to make the payment constituted a default on the trust loan, China Credit said in the note seen by the Post.

〈The Standard, Jan 6, 2022〉The secondary property market showed signs of softening, with more owners slashing asking prices to offload their homes, resulting in lower bank valuations.

Seventeen out of the 20 blue-chip housing estates have seen decreases in the latest valuations, accounting for 85 percent of the total, with the drop ranging from 0.28 to 3.4 percent.

Valuations for the remaining three housing estates stayed flat, with no rises reported, indicating that banks have become more cautious.

Dave Ma Tai-yeung, chief operating officer and director of Kowloon at , Hong Kong Property said the territory's lived-in home price index had fallen for seven consecutive weeks before rebounding this week.

Therefore, banks would be more cautious in their property appraisals due to the past declining trend in property prices.

And because several banks fulfilled their home lending targets at the end of the year, loan growth may have slowed.

〈The Standard, Jan 5, 2022〉Local developer Nan Fung has bought over 60 percent of Jardine Court, splashing out HK$896.8 million for 15 apartments at the development on Mount Butler Drive.
The 15 homes together with 15 parking spaces were bought for prices ranging between HK$42,400 and HK$65,141 per square foot via four companies, local media said.

A 1,136-sq-ft unit on the ground floor with a parking space was sold to Nan Fung for HK$74 million, and the owner who purchased the flat for HK$118,000 in 1970 made HK$73.88 million on the deal after holding it for 52 years.

Jardine Court is a three-story low-rise residential project of 24 flats ranging from 1,114 sq ft to 1,136 sq ft.

Separately, an old building at No 88 Robinson Road in Mid-Levels in which Henderson Land Development (0012) owns a 96 percent interest, will be auctioned on January 27 with a reserve price of HK$1.01 billion,real estate firm JLL said.

〈China Daily, Jan 4, 2022〉Raymond Kwok’s property giant pulls in HK$29b in 2021 while New World drops to No.4 after having to tear down and rebuild two towers in Tai Wai

Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) has replaced New World Development as the biggest seller of new homes in Hong Kong after the latter had to tear down and rebuild hundreds of flats under construction in Tai Wai.

SHKP, chaired by Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, recorded sales of HK$29.65 billion in 2021, 15 per cent higher than the previous year, according to Data elements, which tracks new residential property in Hong Kong.

New World Development dropped to No.4 as its sales plunged 45 per cent to HK$14.49 billion.

The dramatic tumble in revenue came after the firm announced it would rebuild two blocks of flats at Pavilia Farm, Hong Kong’s bestselling project of 2020.