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Property News Weekly Digest
〈Asian News International, Apr 2, 2022〉Beijing [China], April 1 (ANI): China has introduced the use of digital Yuan in the real estate sector with payments worth around USD 87,000 for 3 construction projects.Beijing [China], April 1 (ANI): China has introduced the use of digital Yuan in the real estate sector with payments worth around USD 87,000 for 3 construction projects.

The payments were made through the digital wallets of the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank, reported local media.

The move comes after China witnessed a decline in the real estate boom. Real estate giant Evergrande is finding it difficult to pay its debts in the face of government policies designed to curb the boom.

The increased use of the digital Yuan in the real sector is likely to enhance the transparency of fund flows, thereby increasing Government's control over the sector, reported local media.

Furthermore, a Chinese company Zhengyuan Data System Engineering is currently working on the application of digital Yuan in the upcoming (September) Asian Games 2022 to be held in Hangzhou of Zhejiang province.

〈The Standard, Apr,1, 2022〉The Rating and Valuation Department forecasts an 18-year high of 22,850 new homes to be completed this year, up 59 percent from last year .

The actual impact on overall property prices is expected to be minimal, but it analysts believe it could have a downwards effect on rents.

About 65 percent of the completions in 2022 will come from the New Territories.

Sha Tin is expected to provide 19 percent and Yuen Long 13 percent of the new supply, says the Hong Kong Property Review 2022 released by the department.

However, Ryan Ip Man-ki, head of land and housing research at Our Hong Kong Foundation, believes the projection is relatively high compared to the actual average annual completion volume of about 17,500 units from 2017 to 2021. He said that does not mean the actual housing supply is on the upward trend. Ip said seven out of the past 10 years of government forecasts were actually higher than real completions, ranging from 12 percent to 64 percent.

〈China Daily, Mar 28, 2022〉Hong Kong developer Kerry Properties, which owns two shopping centres in Shanghai, said it was looking at ways to support its tenants and alleviate the impact of the city’s lockdown.

"We recognise this is a very challenging time in Shanghai for everyone," the home builder said in an email to the Post. "We are currently looking at the best way to support each of our tenants, which potentially include a number of initiatives from rent relief to other forms of assistance depending on their individual needs."

The Shanghai government has told state-owned firms to offer free rent for three months, and encouraged private companies to extend relief to tenants, too.

At the moment, Kerry said it was focused on ensuring the health and safety of its staff, tenants and partners. The two shopping centres cover about a million sq ft between them and house tenants that range from Burberry and Lowe to Adidas and Nike.

The Jing An Kerry Centre on Nanjing Road West normally attracts more than a million visitors per day. The other is Pudong Kerry Parkside, located across from Century Park and twinned with the Shanghai International Expo Centre.

〈The Standard, Mar 27, 2022〉The fifth covid wave, coupled with the tightening of the social-distancing restrictions, has resulted in a sharp drop in property turnover - and huge difficulties for real-estate agencies.

Fu Shing Property Agency, a small chain that focuses on the Wong Tai Sin and Diamond Hill markets, is the first to take a battering, with business at its five branches suspended.

Developers have not launched sales and transactions in the second-hand market have hit a low.

Insiders point out that Fu Shing is not the only victim and that agencies that ply their trade in this market segment are destined for a similar fate as they are suffering huge losses.

Fu Shing says its suspension is a move aimed at safeguarding the well-being of employees and home buyers, as well as prevent the outbreak from getting worse. It expects to lose HK$600,000 to HK$700,000 a month with the suspension.

The suspension is unprecedented in the 32 years of Fu Shing's existence since its branches remained open during the 2003 SARS crisis and the 2008 financial tsunami.

〈China Daily, Mar 26, 2022〉Hong Kong's private home price index dropped to a 13-month low after falling 2.1 percent, or 8.1 points month-on-month to 382.1 points last month, but rents rebounded, data from the Rating and Valuation Department shows.

The accumulated drop this year has reached 3 percent and the February home price is also 0.7 percent lower than a year earlier.

Prices of small and medium-sized units fell by 2 percent month-on-month, or 0.5 percent year-on-year last month.

Among them, prices of flats under 40 square meters fell 2.7 percent month-on-month to the lowest in nearly two years. Homes above 100 sq m recorded a 3.5 percent decrease in price in February from January, and also slid 4.8 percent compared to the same month in 2020.

Louis Chan Wing-kit, Asia-Pacific vice-chairman of the residential division at Centaline Property Agency, said the decline reflected the slack market during the traditional low season of the Chinese New Year when the fifth wave of the Covid outbreak started to worsen.