From monthly to daily leases: Hong Kong luxe investors change their tactics

Investors of luxury villas and bungalows struggle to keep their investments afloat, as Hong Kong’s political unrest intensifies

Luxury Condominiums at Victoria Harbour Front, Hong Kong. WijannarongkKunchit/Shutterstock

Anti-government protests and the year-long US-China trade war cause Hong Kong’s real estate market to crumble, urging investors to rent their properties on a daily basis through Airbnb or hire agents to find tenants on a medium-term lease, reported South China Morning Post.

At the Valais community in Sheung Shui, for instance, a four-bedroom apartment measuring around 184 square metres, with a 279 sq m garden is asking for a daily rate of HKD11,800 (USD1,505).

The said rate would give the tenant access to the pool and gym at the clubhouse, as well as a grand piano inside the home and parking space for up to 8 vehicles, based on the listings. In case the renter does not need the seven-seat sport utility vehicle (SUV) that comes with the property, they could cut HKD2,500 from the daily rate.

More: More than the trade war, protests drive pessimism over Hong Kong property

Hong Kong’s real estate experienced a decade-long bull market, up until the ongoing civil strife and year-long trade war abruptly stopped it in its tracks.

For the 19th consecutive weekend, street rallies and protests have reduced to vandalism and violence, driving tourists away and causing the region’s economy to dive into a technical recession.

Even Sheng Shui area was not spared from the unrest, as a peaceful protest on July 14 turned into chaos at a local shopping centre.

Franky Lam, a property agent who represents the Valais villa owner, shared that no one wanted to buy in that kind of market sentiment. “For Valais, basically every unit is resold at a loss,” he added.

By the first quarter of 2020, prices of villas could drop to 20 percent from their peak, said marketing manager Walter Tam of Centaline Property Agency. He explained that it normally takes between three to five months for villa owners to reduce their prices to that extent. Moreover, the Centa-City Leading Index revealed that large homes experienced 1.3 percent price drop from the end of August to October 6.