It is a good time to renew your lease if you are renting in Sai Kung or Clearwater Bay, according to Asif Ghafour, founder of the Spacious property research website. In the first half of 2016 the rental market has softened. Prices are either flat or down about 5%. “In normal times landlords will seek 10 per cent rent rises when you renew,” Asif said. Now, if you’re a good tenant, they will likely accept renewal at the same rent.
In general rents are pretty stable in Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay, he said. “There is a difference between family-friendly areas and those that are not so family friendly.” Sai Kung qualifies as the former, supporting rents. In the second half of 2016, Asif said rents in our district are likely to flat-line. If you need to renew, do it soon, he said.
At the beginning of this year, SAI KUNG BUZZ quoted the Spacious boss, who is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, as saying property sales prices in Sai Kung and CWB could be expected to decline by about 20 per cent over this year. We asked him how right he was. What has happened to prices in the first half? “It’s in line with what we said. Asking prices across the market have been down about 30 percent on average.” In the second half, Asif expects a further drop in property sales prices of 5 to 10%, then it will stabilise. “Transaction volume has picked up again, which is a good sign. Confidence is returning. We are close to the bottom.” The last big dip in property prices was in 2009 to 2010 in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Since then property prices have doubled. The market turned last September. Asking prices across Hong Kong dropped about 30 per cent. The Government is under pressure to loosen the cooling measures and the market maybe about to harden again.
SPACIOUS is a relatively new interactive property research website. It may be the most sophisticated in Hong Kong. Asif said the company is expanding and has opened offices in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Taipei. The Spacious mobile app has been improved. If you visit a district seeking to rent or buy it will tell you what is available in the immediate area, also demographic details and peculiar things such as buildings people have jumped off.