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Hong Kong – Buying Property

Legal Restrictions on Ownership or Sale of Property by Foreign Nationals in Hong Kong

There are no legal restrictions on the ownership or sale of property by foreign nationals in Hong Kong. However, there are certain taxes and stamp duties that foreign buyers may have to pay when purchasing property in Hong Kong. Additionally, the government has implemented a number of measures in recent years to curb rising property prices and to cool down the market, such as increasing stamp duties for certain transactions.

Average Property Prices in Hong Kong

The average property prices in Hong Kong are among the highest in the world, with prices varying greatly between different regions. Prices for a small apartment in a less desirable area can start at around HKD $3,000,000, while prices for a luxury apartment in a prime location can reach over HKD $100,000,000.

Popular Locations to Buy Property in Hong Kong

The most popular locations to buy property in Hong Kong are the Mid-levels and the Southside areas, which offer a mix of luxury apartments and townhouses. Other popular areas include the New Territories, Causeway Bay, and Tsim Sha Tsui.

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Upcoming Areas in Hong Kong

There are no new upcoming areas in Hong Kong that are attractive options when considering buying property. However, the government is currently working on development plans to increase the housing stock and create new residential areas in the future.

Trends in the Property Market in Hong Kong

The property market in Hong Kong has seen some cooling in recent years, due to government measures to curb rising property prices and a general economic slowdown. However, there is still strong demand for property in Hong Kong, particularly from foreign buyers looking for a safe haven for their investments.

Is Buying Property a Good Investment in Hong Kong?

Buying property in Hong Kong can be a good investment, but it is important to consider the current market conditions and the long-term economic outlook. Property prices in Hong Kong are among the highest in the world, and the market can be highly volatile. As such, it is important to consult with a professional before making a decision on buying property in Hong Kong.

Most Common Property Types in Hong Kong

The most common property types in Hong Kong are apartments, particularly high-rise apartments and luxury apartments. There are also a small number of townhouses, detached houses, and villas available, but these are more expensive and less common. Land is also available for development, but it is also relatively scarce and expensive.

Typical House Buying Procedure in Hong Kong

  1. Surveys/Inspections: Before making an offer on a property, it is recommended to conduct a building inspection to check for any structural issues and a pest inspection to check for any infestations. It is also recommended to obtain a land survey report to confirm the property’s boundaries and any potential encroachments.

  2. Making an Offer: Once you have found a property you wish to purchase, you will need to make an offer to the seller through a sales and purchase agreement. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the purchase price and any contingencies.

  3. Notary: Notary services are not typically used in the property buying process in Hong Kong.

  4. Exchange of Contracts: Once the sales and purchase agreement has been signed by both parties, the contracts will be exchanged. This means that the buyer pays a deposit, usually 10% of the purchase price, and the seller agrees to transfer the property to the buyer on the completion date.

Finding a Reputable Lawyer in Hong Kong

  • Ask for referrals from friends or family who have recently purchased property in Hong Kong.
  • Look for a lawyer who is a member of the Law Society of Hong Kong.
  • Research online and read reviews of different lawyers.
  • Lawyer’s fees for buying a property in Hong Kong typically range from 1-1.5% of the purchase price.

Pitfalls and Problems

  • One common problem expats may encounter is the lack of transparency in the property market. It is important to research and verify all information about the property and the seller before making an offer.
  • Another pitfall expats may encounter is the high competition for property in Hong Kong, which can lead to bidding wars and inflated prices.
  • Language barriers can also be a problem for expats, as all legal documents will be in Chinese. It is important to hire a translator or a lawyer who can speak English.

Purchasing Property Through a Company in Hong Kong

  • It is possible to purchase property through a company in Hong Kong, and it can be advantageous for some buyers as it offers certain tax benefits and asset protection.
  • However, it is important to note that purchasing a property through a comapny can be more complicated and may require additional legal and accounting services.

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