US Properties “Hot-Potatoes’ in Hong Kong
Many of Hong Kong’s biggest property tycoons are staying out of a keenly watched residential property sale by the US government to “stay onside”, as the asset becomes a “hot potato” amid worsening US-China relations.
The US government put the six blocks of multistorey mansions in the exclusive neighbourhood overlooking Deep Water Bay on the market on May 30, a rare plot that analysts estimate to be worth between HK$3.2 billion (US$412.8 million) and HK$3.5 billion. The decision came three days after China proposed a national security law for Hong Kong, which eventually came into force on June 30.
“It is definitely a hot potato and some investors will try to dodge the bullet, taking into account the complicated political uncertainties” surrounding the property, said Vincent Cheung, managing director at Vincorn Consulting and Appraisal. “After all, the land is neither a must-have, nor selling at an attractively low price.
Market observers believe the developers are weighing the difficult business climate amid the city’s worst recession on record. The developers are also loath to run afoul of the line in the sand, especially when dealing with “hostile” foreign governments.